Eventful week, with most of the action happening near the end of it. Sometimes I feel like nothing gets done, but when I reflect back, I realize it’s probably because I concentrate on what’s left to do rather than what’s actually been done. Silly me!
Most eventful things to happen this week: Got my residency card in the post (I think that was this week?), got my address changed at the AT, applied and was approved for NHR status, more paperwork sorted (all of the fore-mentioned thanks to Thomas!). Then at the very end, had some super-quick gardeners completely remodel our front and back yards within the span of half a day. Now that I have my residency card, I feel a lot less antsy. Barely anything left to do with regards to paperwork, so relieving. Somehow, it feels we landed in Portugal a month ago, but it’s been three.
In terms of moving in general, I do feel a little more settled this month, but now that the paperwork is complete, I want us to explore so much more.
The other day, driving home in an Uber from Jumbo, I felt a sense of familiarity I’ve been craving lately. That feeling you get when you recognize the ins and outs of a road, and don’t have to question the direction you take to get back home. No cure for change whiplash like a healthy dose of familiarity. Can’t wait to start feeling it more frequently. Am sure it’ll help me feel more confident with pushing boundaries, branching out, and exploring more and more new areas.
Now for the snapshots from this week –
November 12, 2018
The moment I hop out of bed, Avery rushes to my office, positions himself in the triangle of direct sunlight, and follows it closely to bask until it’s moved on.
Often, it’s not enough for him to simply sit in the sun, he wants to be pet as well (his favourite combination, as he discovered about a year into our living in the Bournemouth flat). Giving me a gorgeous “please” face and a meep every few minutes, he does his best to lure me over for a cuddle. Cuddle I will, but when I leave, the process of begging repeats, until he’s lost interest in the sun and gone to snuggle with a still-sleeping daddy, until there’s no more sunny spot, or until we all head down for our morning coffee ritual.
November 14, 2018
There are days my anxiety takes over, and there are days I feel okay. I need to learn to forgive myself on days that are hard.
Right now, I ruminate. I do something I dislike, then obsess over it for days – sometimes even weeks. The only way I feel I can forgive myself is if I think I won’t do something again. But spending time scolding myself for insignificant and inconsequential things is a complete waste of time. And the longer I worry over not repeating the past, the less time I can actively spend producing things I will be proud of in the future.
I need to fight this ruminating habit hard, to feel that pang of guilt, decide I dislike what I’ve done, but force myself not to think of it longer than that initial moment. I need to learn to catch rumination starting up, then immediately distract myself. Cold turkey quit, by switching to an activity I will concentrate fully on.
November 15, 2018
Another selfie since we were off to the AT & Jumbo today.
Walked from our house to downtown for the first time since we were told by a lovely neighbour, Gina, that it takes roughly 15 minutes and not the half hour Google Maps seems to think it will take. Can affirm – it’s quick, though I do want to time it to see exactly how quick the next time we stroll down.
Started watching Alias Grace and loved it so much I dragged Thomas into watching it with me around 2 episodes in. Makes me really desperately want to find a way to watch The Handmaid’s Tale. Damn do Atwood books make excellent TV series.
November 17, 2018
No post for the previous day because it was so long, hectic, full of planning, discussion, and build up for the gardeners to come over and do a complete overhaul of our entire outdoor area the next day.
Gina not only asked her gardeners if they could remodel for us, but also discussed the ins and outs of what that would look like, translated back and forth, and went so far as to bargain down a price for us. To top off her kind acts, she drove us to a garden center to pick up plants, then to Cascais Shopping Center just to show us around. Ridiculously helpful, couldn’t possibly convey how grateful we were.
Not a great picture of the final result, but by the time I went to take a snap of the completed “after,” it was dark and overcast, already drizzling, and about to chuck it with rain. Luckily, Thomas took better pictures.
I desperately need to learn my lesson about taking advantage of perfect moments when it comes to snapping pictures. Each time I think, “There’s always later” – later doesn’t look quite as nice! Or I never end up taking a photo at all, which is probably worse.
Had such a great experience with this whole process. Gina asked another neighbour if she had plants she’d be willing to share cuttings from and they essentially took complete control of the arranging, telling the garners what to plant where. I’d only butt in if there was something I disliked, which ended up being only twice. The end result turned out brilliantly, with so many more plant varieties than I ever would have had bringing in store-bought plants alone.
Can’t wait to see the cuttings grow, and possibly do some rearranging or add some new pots full of colourful flowers this following summer. So excited about how low-maintenance the final result is – especially since we get so little rain and watering can be very demanding in the summer. Succulent varieties galore for the win!
November 18, 2018
Avery sitting by the kitchen door silently begging me with his eyes to give him cold-cut ham as I have been each day for the past few weeks.
While I only give him once a day (normally at lunch), because we’ve been in and out of the house at different times so often, this week he’s begun to think he can have ham all day long. Need to figure out a time I can consistently give it to him so he doesn’t get in the habit of wanting his snack 24/7. So easy to accidentally train a cat to beg for food, even if it’s just with snacks.