28 days into 2015 and already any resolutions I could have made (don’t believe in ‘em, by the end of this sentence you’ll know why) would have been torn to shreds (as resolutions always are, and there’s your answer). I have eaten every piece of chocolate in British Columbia; I have become a champion avoider of exercise; the wine has been flowing freely; every movie on Netflix has been watched, twice; I’ve stayed up late and emerged from my cozy bed later still; my swearing is worse than ever. If I’d made a resolution to become a doughy, foul-mouthed layabout, then I’d be the Queen of New Year’s Day.
My dereliction of duties has arisen from a situation known all too well to me: funemployment. My job here in Victoria finished up in late December. And even though I knew the end was fast approaching, I made very few concrete plans beyond lounging and gorging and wearing sweatpants morning, noon, and night, a few lunches with clever girlfriends thrown in here and there. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t been entirely neglectful of my responsibilities as a sensible adult. I’ve had my teeth cleaned, been for a full physical, and the mammogram and annual gynaecologist visit are set for next week (ladies, it’s a goddamn mardi-gras for us, isn’t it?).
And so, it is time to turn to the The Great Matter, The Big Question, The Dilemma of 2015: what’s next? Once again it appears that all options are on the table. Naturally, your first idea for me will be a return to France. To that I say non, merci. The thought of facing French bureaucrazy and verb conjugation again makes me feel sweaty and weak and 98 years old. Now Italy or Vienna, that might would be worth the paperwork. Again, language rears its ugly head. England calls to me as well. I already have the UK passport, and I just know I could give that Dowager Countess at Downton Abbey a run for her money.
Of course, being the chaosaholic that I am, the oddly radical choice would be simply to stay put in Victoria. I walked to the bakery today for the regular ration of dark chocolate ganache tartes. The sun was shining, the thermometer hit 15 degrees above zero (Americans, that’s Celsius for spring), the smell of freshly cut thick grass wafted on the breeze, and daffodils made a cheery appearance. This is a typical January here making it hard to argue with the logic of settling in for the long haul.
Now before all my east coast friends start hurling their snow shovels at their computers, let me say that there has actually been some loose talk chez nous about heading back to Halifax, a move that would give Rusty a hometown advantage, and I suppose he deserves some measure of consideration in all this despite my now well developed phobia of the True North Winter.
But then again maybe he should stick to cooking and supporting my wifestyle, and leave all major decisions regarding our future to me. The other day, fresh off a Skype call with a buddy working in Ho Chi Minh City, he asked me what I thought about us possibly living in Vietnam. Ever the open-minded soul, I responded with, “Sure, we could do that.”
True, I wilt horribly in humidity, speak no Vietnamese whatsoever, have a deathly fear of giant tropical bugs, details, details. I was particularly encouraged by the obvious job prospect for me there. Let’s face it, a pale, silver haired giraffe could make a killing as a side show attraction; people would fork over millions to gawk at such an exotic creature. Christ on a cracker, imagine me standing in a circus tent, soaked in sweat, covered in heat rash, randomly screaming, “COCKROACH!!!!!” No, even I can’t sell that mess.
Once again, I have no idea what the future holds. Does anyone ever? I’m in the weeds with neither map nor compass to return to the world where mature people know what the hell to do with themselves. I’ll “offer it up” as Catholic mothers are fond of saying. And by that I mean wait for one of you to make a case for where I should go and what I could do there. At any rate, it’s clear my next book will be another runaway best seller: When Good Shrinks Go Mad: A Cautionary Tale From the Couch.