View from a Balcony

I’m sitting on my balcony right now, listening to the air conditioners on the building run and enjoying the warm breeze as it passes across my face and shoulders.

I’m moved in, but my room is far from complete. Actually, it’s more ‘mess’ than ‘room’ and I imagine it will be that way for several more months. I have clothes in my closet and toiletries in my bathroom and I just don’t have time, space or energy to do any more than that now.
I have a lot of negative energy coursing through me at the moment. I’m stressed and tired from work. I’m really tired of and annoyed at the drivers around here. My feet are sore from a very long day. And I just keep thinking about the impossible amount of work that has to get done this week.
I’m going to Europe next week. I thought it would be a great way to pay for a European vacation–do business half the time and enjoy Europe with the rest.
Turns out: it’s a terrible way.
I could have 9 days of unstructured time to relax, read, watch TV, get settled into my room, make bread, go shopping, enjoy the calm before the storm that is the start of a new semester. Instead, I get 3 days. I mean, that’s not bad or anything–one day in Munich and two in Paris. But I have to visit 4 different cities in two different countries, fly 6 different airplanes, figure out how to get a damn TGV ticket, have several meetings, give a presentation, and attend a conference all in the wee space of 7 days. Not to mention how much of my three days of vacation are going to be absorbed in email because the semester is starting and new students are coming, my boss is gone, and I have 3 orientations to prepare.
A terrible way, indeed.
It’s hard to be stressed right now, though. The airconditiong units in from the building across from me sound like rushing water. The far-away sounds of the freeway add a nice white noise to this still, warm night. Even the periodic interruption by a low, loud airplane passing overhead is calming.
In this crowded, noisy place all I hear is quiet.
And it is wonderful.

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