Isn’t it funny how in every season of life, no matter what we have going on, we feel so busy? Even if life is relatively quiet and things are plodding along, we still struggle to catch a minute to do the things we’ve been meaning to do and often leave them half done…
For me, the things on my mental to-do list that I always put off or half finish are generally the things that I hugely dislike so it’s understandable that they’re left undone.
For instance – I hate cleaning, and usually more than 50% of the things on that mental list of mine are related to this and tidying up.
However, last week, on Monday morning, I felt energised so decided to act on it and I started to spring-clean our apartment. At the end of the day, feeling pretty pleased with myself, I pondered what it was that made me burst into action that morning.
Recently we’ve been toying with the idea of applying for Permanent Residence (PR). It’s not as final as it sounds – it’s a visa that would allow us to stay here for up to a further five years, with the option then to renew or apply for citizenship if we wanted to. We’re not sure how long we want to stay ultimately – we just know we don’t feel ready to make plans to go back to the UK yet.
We love Vancouver – the city itself, the surroundings, the lifestyle it provides, the warmth of the people, and the day to day life we’ve settled into.
It’s now coming up to a year that we’ve been here. It’s crazy to think that when we applied for visas, we were under the impression they were for one year. If that had been the case, we’d be packing up now ready to come back to the UK in less than four weeks!
It still feels like we’ve only just got here in some ways. We’ve just about settled into our routines, and we’re still exploring new places pretty regularly.
Tom has started working downtown on a semi-permanent basis, alongside other freelance projects, and I am working at church three days a week and have started at a Starbucks five minutes down the road one or two shifts a week as well – so even work things still feel pretty fresh!
We’ve got friends at a couple of churches – we go to Granville Chapel (where I work) in the mornings, then a couple of times a month we go to Vivid Church in Kits which is really close to home. We’re enjoying the variation in the the services at each church, and it’s nice to be able to meet more people in the city.
We have a regular house sitting gig too for an awesome couple at GC who live in this huge house on the Arbutus Ridge (the views are stunning). We’ve stayed there when they’ve been away twice now and it’s such a lovely house, we’re always happy when we’re asked back. Plus we get to have dinner parties where there’s a dishwasher!
We’ve got used to a lot of the things that seemed so foreign to us when we arrived. Things like money (both currency and prices), roads, words, shops, food, transport, electrics, etc.
Life here just feels normal now!
I think it’s all of this that made me want to make our apartment feel more permanent too. Deep cleaning was the jumping off point! Our walls have all been pretty bare so far, but that weekend we went to Ikea and bought some decorative shelves, then stopped on our way home to buy some house plants. Since then I’ve bought some other bits and bobs and we’ve put up these shelves and filled them. It now looks and feels a lot more homely.
My mental to-do list is still full of half done things. In fact, I only got as far as spring cleaning half the apartment… And the shelves still need re-organising as they don’t yet look quite right…
(For anyone interested, we are looking at coming back to the UK for Christmas, but as a two week holiday!)