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No time

It’s been so long since I truly didn’t have time for things. No time to read books I want to read. No time to catch up on my shows. No time to read and comment on all the blogs that I love.

No time.

Well, ok not no time. But I would have to give up other things. Like spending time with friends. Or sleeping.

Those are things that I’m not giving up.

So for all intents and purposes, I have no time.

It’s weird for me.

I can’t remember a time in my life when I had no time. In The Netherlands I had plenty of time for internet and books and shows. Obviously the kids kept me busy but I always had evenings free plus three days off a week. Then I had basically part time jobs until I got a job as a flight attendant.

As a flight attendant? It felt like I had nothing but spare time. I spent a ton of time “working” but let’s face it, even on the airplane I had time to sit and read a book or whatever.

Then there were layovers. Often on my layovers I went out and explored the town or hung out with coworkers. I wanted to soak in every second of that job. However, if you’re staying in an airport hotel with nothing around for the 8th time in 2 months…. you run out of things to do outside your hotel room so it leaves plenty of time for books and blogs.

Add into that having 11 guaranteed days off a month plus not flying every single day I was on call? Sometimes I felt like the laziest person alive. I wasn’t.

Until I got furloughed. Then I was definitely the laziest person alive. I would go days without ever seeing the outdoors. Pajamas were my uniform and I would find myself on Hulu watching absolute crap because I had no more blogs to read or shows to watch.

Really truly pathetic.

Now I have this job. And I. love. it. It keeps me on my toes and challenges me. There are always problems to solve and when I turn a near disaster into a success? Well, there’s nothing quite like the rush it gives me.

But, I’m left with a choice between reading a book that I really love (or at least I really love so far. I’ve barely begun it) or sleep? I’m probably going to choose sleep.

And when I say probably I mean pretty definitely.

I love sleep. We’ve established this.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m an awful blog friend lately. I barely even check Twitter anymore, much less post. I read as many blog posts as I can but I rarely comment. I hate that. I have things to say, really, I just am trying to squeeze as much into a short period of time as possible.

So I’m totally lame and have no time to do a lot of the things that I’ve loved and gotten used to over the past couple of years. I think it’s probably a good thing. I haven’t felt this fulfilled since I stopped flying. I certainly have never felt this productive, possibly ever.

I’m sure a balance will come soon. Already things run a million times smoother than they did before. Until then I’ll treasure ever second of sleep and down time I get.

Speaking of sleep, I have a nice warm bed and handsome husband calling my name right now.

Where to next?

I had all these great ideas for posts today. I can remember thinking at least four times, “Oh! I should blog about that!” Now? I have no freaking clue. Normally I’d have written my ideas down but we were busy enough that by the time I had a chance I’d already forgotten my idea.

Add to that working a 12 hour day…. I’m totally brain dead.

So….

I’m excited about how work is going. I have a bunch of new responsibilities that I’m excited about. So hopefully my job will be less same old, same old. I like variety and I like to be challenged. Hopefully these changes will be just what I need.

I also decided that I need to plan a trip. Somewhere warm in January or February. It will give me something to look forward to instead of dreading the winter. I’m just stir crazy and I need something to focus on when I feel like my wings have been clipped.

So, now I need ideas. I went to Cancun last January so I’m not too interested in that. Plus it really needs to be somewhere relatively inexpensive. Also, I’d like it to be somewhere I’ve never been. As much as I’d love to go somewhere like Thailand I think it probably will need to be somewhere close. If I can get the time off I don’t want to waste whole days in transit.

I was thinking possibly South Carolina. I’ve never been and I’ve heard it’s gorgeous. New Mexico is another option. There are many states that I’ve never been to but I’d prefer to go somewhere warm and I’ve pretty much been to all the other southern states.

I’m already perking up at the ideas. Anyone want to help me daydream?

Sighs

Joel had to work late tonight. This isn’t anything new. Thursdays he usually has to work late. That just means I get him for a long lunch and more other times so it’s not that big of a deal.

Since I expected him to be gone I made plans to go out with a friend. Her and I have a lot of fun together usually so I was looking forward to it.

Notice the was?

Currently I’m sitting on my couch, in my pajamas and watching Gossip Girl while eating chips and salsa.

Don’t be too jealous.

But yeah, my friend got a date. I’m actually happy for her.

But it sucks to be blown off.

I just feel so lame lately. I miss my old life as a flight attendant. Now my life consists of so much of the same thing over and over. I have a routine.

A routine!

I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, relax a bit, hurry up and go to bed only to start all over again the next day.

I try to be in bed by 7pm most days.

Seven PM!

I wake up now usually before I used to go to bed six months ago. Not that I miss my extreme night owl habits. But why do I have to go from one extreme to another? I hate the boring routine already. I want variety in my life. I want to travel.

Yes, I know I just got back from India. For most people that would satisfy their travel lust. Not me. I’m like a crack addict. A trip like that makes me crave even more. Even just a quick trip to somewhere domestically would be so wonderful. I can’t though because of work.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of fun at my job. I work with fantastic people and I just got officially promoted which will give my job a little variety. I believe in the concept that we’re working toward with the store and I want to see a place like that thrive. Being a part of it is exciting.

I still miss hotels though. I miss airports and new cities. I miss walking through the terminal in my uniform like I own the place. I miss nodding at other crew members in a we’re-all-in-the-same-club kind of way. Now they just look at me like I’m an insane person when I do that which brings me reeling back to the reality that I’m just one of the crowd right now.

I don’t look at weather reports anymore. I enjoy rain instead of it stressing me out because I know that will put me closer to The Call. Unless you’ve worked in the airline industry you can’t truly understand what kind of stress that can be, especially if you have plans that you’re looking forward to.

Now, I don’t even bother looking at the weather report. My weather man is Joel when he takes Phoebe out in the morning.

“Honey, what’s it like outside?”

And that’s how I pick my outfit for the day. Every. single. day.

But this post isn’t about how I want to start checking the weather more.

This post is about how bored I feel. And how trapped. And lonely. Ah yes, always lonely. But you don’t want to hear me whine about my problems making friends again. More lameness.

I want adventure. I’m starting to regret taking the longer furlough. I know I needed the break so I could recharge and actually miss my job. My incredible, fabulous, glamorous (ha!) job.

So yeah, I miss it. I’m ready to go back. I’m over this break. Unfortunately I still have to wait another year and a half before this break is done with me.

::sighs::

Wordless Wednesdays: Packing Light Before and After

Why do I do this?!

I procrastinate. And I freaking hate it. I leave for India tomorrow.

TOMORROW!

Guess how packed I am at 8pm the night before.

(not at all)

Guess how many blog posts I have ready.

(still have a bunch to write or get ready to post)

So yeah, I’m freaking out just a little.

I’ll get it all done. I always do. Will I get a decent night of sleep? That is very questionable.

So this post is a little phoned in. Sorry. I just have to concentrate on other things right now. Because I’m already tired and am hours away from being able to go to bed.

Ugh.

Luggage and other packing type dilemmas

One week and one day from tomorrow we leave for India. Holy moly it’s coming up so fast. I’m so excited but also nervous. The thing I’m nervous about? Packing. I feel totally lost.

First of all I’m going to have to raid some thrift stores for clothing because I’m pretty sure I have next to nothing that’s appropriate to wear there. Either I actually like it and don’t want to risk it getting ruined or it’s not culturally appropriate. I’m hoping I can find some cute-ish, cheap skirts and a couple tops (although not really sure what I’m looking for in the top department) and then I’ll just buy a couple things in country. From what I’ve read stuff is really cheap and easy to find there. So I may be better off only packing an outfit or two and finding the rest there. We’ll see what kind of treasures the thrift stores around here hold.

I also want to look into buying some sandals. From what I understand that’s the footwear of choice there. All I really have are some cute but fairly uncomfortable ones or flip flops. Hiking sandals that I’ve seen around here are kind of pricey so I can’t decide if they’re worth buying or not. Blah.

Then there’s the whole luggage situation. See, I can pack pretty light if I need to. Actually, it’s more I can fit a whole lot into a very small amount of space. I never take anything but my airline issued rollerboard and tote bag. No matter the length of the trip I can fit everything in there.

Except, we’re not really going to be in the same place the whole time. The last thing I want is to be dragging my rollerboard around on dirt roads and on and off buses. Or worse, rickshaws! That would never work.

So the plan is to take backpacks. Joel and I have one that I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to fit his stuff into. Then there’s me. The idea of fitting everything for the trip into one tiny little carry on sized backpack seems impossible. We looked into hiking packs but all of them are technically too big to carry on. The ones that are regulation size seem so itty bitty. I mean seriously, I’m positive I’ve seen people carry on way bigger bags than them. But we measured and I even checked Lufthansa’s website. So now I don’t know if I should just buy a non regulation size and hope I don’t have to check it and if they make me then hope they don’t lose my bag. I hate the idea of checking luggage. Not because it costs money (which I actually think on Lufthansa you can check one bag for free) but because I hate that it could get lost. I like to be in control of my stuff at all times. I may have issues.

Everything else we’re pretty good on. I’m going to look into some dry shampoo since I’d like to take as few toiletries as possible. I’m not sure if it works very well though. Anyone know anything about it? I also have to find some sort of very small travel towel. I’m thinking I can find something like that in some outdoor store.

And…. I think that’s all. Is it crazy to take such a small amount of stuff? I am a chronic over packer and never ever use everything I take. Still, the idea of only taking a small backpack makes me really anxious.

It’s probably because I’ve never actually been anywhere like India really. I don’t know what to expect or how easy it will be to get things I need if I forget/decide not to pack them. If it were Europe it’d be no problem. I know what to expect in places like that.

All of this is part of the adventure though and I know it’s going to be amazing. Not knowing what to expect is part of the excitment. I feel like I’m clicking up the first climb of a giant roller coaster. I have butterflies in my stomach and I almost want to scream at someone to stop the ride.

I know it’s going to be a great ride though and the butterflies are just part of the fun.

Stamps in my passport

I have quite a few of those. Before you think I’m bragging remember when I was stuck in The Netherlands? And then I ended up getting home via Brussels? Yeah, that added a whole lot of stamps. The rest are mostly from Germany because they’re very picky about knowing exactly when you entered and left the country.

One time, as a working crew member, they apparently didn’t stamp my passport. I found this out as I was trying to leave because the customs officer starting yelling at me about the fact that I didn’t have one. I wasn’t aware I was responsible for supervising German immigration. ::eye roll:: Thankfully he let me leave since I was standing there with a crew badge in uniform. And I said I’d only been there for 24 hours. Likely a liar would say slightly longer. I assume. I’ve never lied to immigration. Really.

Since, in my first six months of working, I was assigned trips to Frankfurt no less than 9 times you can imagine how boring it is to look through my passport. A whole lot of AMS and FRA, a French and Chinese visa and a few US stamps just for good measure. This has left me with very few pages left. Thankfully I have just enough room for my Indian visa which I will be applying for next Wednesday.

Yep, you read that right. I’m 90% sure this trip is actually going to happen. I’m in shock and shaking from excitement at the same time. Despite the fact that I’ve been hoping and praying to go on this trip since I was 12 years old I still feel completely unprepared. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we didn’t raise enough money to buy tickets from the US to India. We’re going to have to fly standby to Europe and fly out of there.

Considering my last standby experience to Europe that kind of scares the crap out of me.

The cheapest tickets we found were out of Frankfurt which as I mentioned earlier is a city I’m quite familiar with. The only concern I have is I realized it’s right smack in the middle of Oktoberfest. Now, Oktoberfest happens in Munich but it still worries me that we might not be able to make it.

Our next option is Amsterdam which should be a breeze to get in and out of. The only problem is it’s going to cost like $700 more. ::sigh::

We have to decide soon but we need to get visas before we buy non-refundable plane tickets because the last thing we want is to be denied visas and just throw money away.

And now you can see where I’m stressed.

Not to mention I have barely any room in my US passport.

There’s plenty of room in my Swiss passport but something about the fact that I live in the States means I can’t use it. Lame.

We thought we could get extra pages put in but it turns out it costs almost as much to do that as to get a new passport. Super lame!

But we’re going.

I think.

I want this so bad it makes my heart ache. I wish we had raised enough to buy our plane tickets all the way from ORD but I guess that makes it even more about faith.

All I know is I’ve already heard about the children we’re going down there to help. And it makes me want to cry thinking about them. I can’t wait to play with them and read them stories and make their home a better place.

We’ve already sent money down to the home ahead of us. Today I found out what they’re using it for.

Toilets.

They’re putting in toilets so that they’ll have them when we arrive.

I told Joel I don’t need a toilet! I’ve used a squatty-potty before and we’re going to be in the middle of the jungle, I honestly didn’t expect anything other than a hole. Joel said it was already part of the improvement plans so I don’t feel guilty.

Imagine being exited about getting a toilet.

I can’t tell you how badly I hope to make it there. They are anticipating our arrival already and I know they will be very disappointed if we can’t make it for some reason. This is one of my biggest life dreams and it just seems unreal that it may actually happen.

Please send good vibes as we apply for visas and finally purchase plane tickets.

I’m so nervous but I’m starting to think we’re actually going to make it.

As always you can find out more about our trip at our HelpSend.Us site.

Hoooome!

Despite the challenge that it was to get to Brussels, my bet paid off and I got a flight home! There were three of us standbys that ditched AMS and took the risk of going to BRU. We kind of bonded in Amsterdam and then again today. When you’re in stressful situations like that I guess it’s pretty common.

Not long after we got to the gate the CSR made an announcement that they were clearing the standby list so we should remain seated. At that point we got excited because we were pretty sure that was a good thing. It was! Before boarding was even half over I was handed a business class boarding pass. I could have kissed her. I controlled myself, although I don’t think my thank you even began to express my gratitude. I literally got teary eyed at having that boarding pass in my hands. Me and another standby were seriously hugging each other we were so happy. The only bummer was, because of date restrictions, one of the standbys I bonded with didn’t get on. As I went down the jet bridge, I overheard the CSR tell the other guy he wouldn’t be able to fly. I felt so bad for him. He’d been trying to get out just as long as I had. Hope he makes it tomorrow.

Once we were on the plane I was in heaven. There were a few tense moments where the pessimist in me was afraid the flight would cancel because they were running “system checks” for 30 minutes past departure time. Thank goodness everything checked out fine and we were able to get on our way. I didn’t truly relax until we were in the air.

Then did I ever relax. Seriously, if you have to travel first and business class is the way to do it. For some reason, despite a short, restless night of sleep, I wasn’t sleepy once I was on the flight. I ended up watching four different movies and playing a bunch of games on the entertainment system. So nice.

The best part by far though was giving Joel a big hug and kiss. I missed him so much! It was also good to see my puppy. I’m pretty sure she missed me too.

Please focus on the cute puppy and not the enormous bags under my eyes.

It’s now about 7:30pm and I’m seriously thinking I’m going to go to bed as soon as I publish this. Really I wanted to go to bed around 5pm but I thought that was probably way too early. I have a ton of pictures and videos to go through and since my brain is basically apple sauce that’s not going to happy tonight. Look for several Holland posts in the coming days. Night! ::yawn::

The one where nothing goes right

I still can’t get home. Today was the day that looked best for the flights. Now I’m really starting to freak out. All the other flights are just as full and no more than 2 standbys are getting on at a time. Considering there were 33 today it should take me approximately 4.7 months to get home. Guess I’ll have plenty of time to practice my Dutch.

Seriously though, it was probably really stupid of me to come. It wouldn’t be as bad if I wasn’t supposed to start working again in a week. I also missed my last soccer game and am well on my way to missing Phoebe’s first competition. If I don’t make it back my next Wednesday I’ll lose the job I haven’t even started yet. That would be awesome. And by awesome I obviously mean the freaking worst.

I’m just feeling extremely down and defeated. I don’t have many options. There are only two flights a day. After that I’m S.O.L. I just really thought I’d get on today and I wasn’t even close. It doesn’t help that the CSR is a complete bitch. She’s just rude and as soon as she thinks the flight is full she makes us leave her sight. Not kidding. Even though every time everyone is not on the plane which means it’s possible there could be an open seat because of a no show or error. Doesn’t matter. Once she’s done she literally makes us leave the gate area so she doesn’t have to┬ásee us any more. She better hope she’s never on a flight I’m working. Just saying.

Anyway, the flights are just as full through next week. So, in a desperate attempt to leave Europe and get back to The States I’m going to try something a little different. At ridiculously-early-o’clock tomorrow morning I’m catching a train to Brussels. I praying that I make it on one of the two flights out of there tomorrow morning. If not it’s going to be an expensive train ride for nothing. It’s cheaper than going back and forth to Schipol day after day though so if it works it will be well worth the money. Plus, I’m still under 25 so I can ride on a youth ticket. Score! The ticket calls me a “youngster”, kind of makes me giggle.

Oh, and now? It took me an hour and a half just to buy the ticket. I selected home printing because that way I’d know the ticket was ok and in my hand. Wouldn’t you know the printer is inexplicably offline and won’t print. Nothing we do seems to work. I guess I’m going to end up canceling my reservation and making a new one. Because of course there’s no option to change to picking it up at the station. It’ll cost 5 Euros extra but at this point I don’t really care. I should’ve been in bed hours ago. I’m sure a short night of sleep will help my attitude loads in the morning (not).

So yeah, sorry for the downer attitude. It’s just one of those days, you know? We really can’t afford to just buy me a plane┬áticket back home so it’s stressful. I really didn’t think it would be this hard to get out. I guess I learned my lesson. If you pray please say one for me tomorrow. Or whatever good luck charm/vibes you can send my way would be amazing. I really need it.

Still Here

I can’t wait to write about my time watching the game and my days here but they really should be accompanied by the pictures and videos I took. Since I’m still stuck in The Netherlands I don’t have any way to really upload or edit them.

Why am I stuck in The Netherlands? Well, apparently I’m not the only one who wants to get back to Chicago. Unfortunately most of the other people have tickets. I however, can only list myself for any available seats. Sometimes that works out great. Like on the way over here I ended up in a first class suite. Trust me, sweet only starts to describe it. It is a fantastic way to travel if you want to arrive well fed and rested.

On the other hand, when the flights are really busy it’s a problem. Then I travel all the way to the airport (45 minute train ride) just to sit there for several hours and turn right back around. It’s not cheap. It costs about 30 Euros round trip. Not too bad if you only go once. It starts to get expensive when you have to do it several days in a row though. Plus I have to clear customs and get a stamp in my passport every single time. My passport is going to be so full but it’s only going to be of AMS stamps. There’s also the lugging of my bags back and forth, up and down several flights of stairs and on and off of trains.

The silly thing is, staying here longer is kind of a treat. I feel more at home here than anywhere else in the world. I really love spending the extra time with my host family. If I knew when I could get back I wouldn’t be bothered, I’d be ecstatic to be here longer. It’s the back and forth and the unknown that has me all stressed. I just want to know the plan.

The flights look a little less full tomorrow than they did the last two days so I’m really hoping I can make it home. We’re supposed to sign the new lease on Friday. Plus I really do miss Joel a whole bunch (aws and all that mushy stuff, sorry). Wish me lots of luck. Now I’m off to bed because 5:30am comes really early.

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