My favorite part of our new apartment is far and away the bathtub. I had no idea I even liked baths that much until the last place we stayed in the US didn’t have a bathtub, and I missed it so much.
I can sit and process what in the world is happening in our life. I can hear my neighbor enjoying her evening rock-n’-roll time, and I can hear all the dogs of the back balconies barking the night away. I can reflect on what we experienced that day, and reflect on how we ended up here.
It also makes me miss my mom. In the house we lived in when I was a child we had a claw-foot bathtub and my mom loved to take a bath. I’m sure it wasn’t every single day, but that’s what it felt like. I remember so clearly wondering how she could possibly enjoy sitting by herself for that long. Now I get it. It’s my happy place. Sometimes I’ll play music in the background, Storyhill’s Steady On is always on the list. That’s me and my dad’s song.
One part of living in Greece so far that I wasn’t expecting is how often I forget where I am. I grew up on a lake that seemed to never have enough water in it, and so the other day when it was raining cats-and-dogs here I immediately thought, “Oh well, at least this will be good for the lake.” Stuff like that happens all the time. I just forget. And that’s why I need bath time, so I can remember. I remember that almost two years ago God revealed that we would be coming to Greece, and then it happened. And 2.5 years ago all I was concerned about was walking down the aisle to my best friend, without a sweet clue what was about to happen. That is so important because just like I forget that I am in Greece, I forget that I will never have a grasp on this whole “life plan” situation. It’s so hard to carry the load of people asking us how long we are going to live here, when we are going to have kids, anything about our families in US and their timelines…. because believe it or not, much to my surprise, moving to Greece did not magically give me the ability to see or control the future.
As I sit and face that reality two things usually happen: 1. slight panic, and 2. total joy. All I can do is focus on today. That’s it, that’s all I️ got. That’s all God gave me.
The Greek culture in general is much better at the concept of enjoying the day. They don’t view time the same way US culture does at all. They are not in a hurry. Ever. I️ would say 9 times out of 10 when Joe and I go out to eat we are the last people to get to the restaurant, and the first to leave. They take their time, and they value a relaxed pace. Also, I am the only person I have seen with a laptop in a coffee shop. The Greeks coffee. Hard. But it’s unlike coffee shops I’m used to where everyone is desperately searching for an outlet, maybe with headphones in, trying to give the not-so-secret-signal to the world that they want to be left alone. Everyone is with someone else (maybe someone they came with, or someone they found there) and they are enjoying their coffee. There are no giant lines in order to get coffee to-go as fast as you can with as little human interaction as possible (to be fair the whole concept of waiting in an actual orderly line isn’t a thing here either, but that’s beside the point). It’s about the right now. It’s about who you are with.
I am so constantly aware of myself when I am moving about here. I stick out. Like crazy. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and I am a giant…. so- people notice me. For the first time I have experienced what it feels like to consistently walk in to a room and everyone immediately notice me, size me up, and wait to see what in the world I am doing in their space. I don’t feel threatened or anything like that…. mostly I just sense people’s total confusion. When Joe and I walk into a coffee shop together everyone, with out a doubt, is going to notice us. Most of the time after the 10 second side-eye stare down, that’s it. But every now and then people will just ask, “What are doing here?”
That is a great question. And that is why I love my bath time. I need to think about that question every day…. because if I don’t, I’m going to forget.
Here are some pictures from our first month in Greece. One of my favorite things about Athens is that everywhere you look there is a scene telling a story.