The last few months in Canberra have been good (I have been back four months now and it has gone really quickly). But I have to say I’m getting a bit of the pangs now, a bit of the nostalgia, a bit of the ‘where has all the adventure in my life gone?’ and the itchy feet that always make me want to fly somewhere or drive down some bumpy road, just because the moving back/nesting/catching up/throwing myself into work crazy has died down a bit and the weather is bitterly cold. People are hibernating. Hibernating is nice for a little while but for me a little while is a couple of weeks, not a couple of months. So I’m getting a bit restless.
But this was bound to happen. Moving from the 21st floor to the ground floor. Moving from a metropolis of nearly 20 million on a weekday to a town of less than half a million during a parliamentary sitting week. I expected it.
But I’m not flying away. Spring isn’t too far off now surely and I’ll just keep myself occupied until then. Counting down the days until the pool opens (not until the end of October, quite tragically) while trying not to dwell on that fact that I had three beautiful pools at my disposal in Jakarta and in Dili I had the sea (even though I had to watch for crocs). Just waiting for the chill to go away and the days to get longer and the cherry blossoms to bloom. For the flocks of white-haired bus tourists to arrive for Floriade and for the outdoor chairs at the cafes to be used again.
In reality there’s plenty to do, plenty of things to be busy with and books and papers to read and clothes to wash and floors to sweep and dinners to cook and words that can be written and things to be learned if I just concentrate. I just miss the adventure. When I encounter too many people in so-so pubs talking about what APS level they are and pondering mortgages it sends me into a two-pronged panic. I don’t want to live an ordinary life, I want an extraordinary one. I don’t want to sink into some seriousness, some Canberra mush of policies and procedures. But then people make it seem so important, the houses and the super and the babies in the next seven years. I just wish everyone would get drunk and talk about their favourite poems or the stupidest thing they ever did or the weirdest person they ever met. And to dance around to silly songs together even if we might be sitting across from each other at a meeting the following week.
So I’m not very good and being grown up and sensible, but I guess I shall keep on trying. There are good people around and good work that needs doing. And hopefully the hibernation season finishes very soon.