Last month was Adbusters’ Slow Down Week. I certainly thought about it a lot that week, but the first few months of this year were even more manic than usual that it just wasn’t possible for me to slow down. Holidaying in Darwin, my Sydney Festival speech, going through the recruitment process for this job, wrapping up my last job, doing a creative writing course, packing up my life. Not to mention all the good times I had, all of which are now fond memories I’m carrying with me. I’m honestly surprised I managed to get through all that I did this year without completely burning out. I find it hard to believe we’re still in March. No wonder I’m so tired!
I’ve long been thinking that I really do need to make the effort to slow down because there’s no way I can keep going at this pace. I was very excited about the prospect of moving to Thailand because here was my big chance to change the way I live my life in a place far from home without my usual distractions. But so far I’m not having much luck.
I seem to be very productive already so this first week in Thailand is actually setting a dangerous precedent. I feel like I haven’t even tried that hard, so I can only imagine how things will go when I am trying hard. I’ve made a conscious effort to get lots of rest and it’s great having the headspace to blog and read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. But I’ve also been in the office every day since I arrived, opened up a Thai bank account, found a home to move into next month, made new connections, found two bikes to buy, been out a number of times, lined up a Thai language teacher starting tomorrow night, and unwittingly explored much more of the city than I planned to, as I want to save most of the exploring for when my other half gets here.
By the way, I really have to write more about the new place I found yesterday morning. It’s the only place I’ve looked at so I’ve had a stroke of good fortune there. I wasn’t even planning to go househunting until this week to give myself a break but came across the ad online and it sounded perfect – and it was. The person I’m renting the flat from is like a character straight from a Jack Kerouac novel, the kind of person I didn’t really know existed in real life. I’m having dinner with him on Wednesday night so will write more about him then – I alluded to him in my post yesterday but want to find out a bit more about him before going into great detail.
So my first week in Thailand has been great and things are progressing even better than I could have hoped for. My new job is going exceptionally well and it’s very exciting, though I knew it would be this way before I even got here. In what has been a short space of time my director and I are already developing a good working relationship and it’s clear that together we’re going to move mountains. As I walked out the door on Friday he told me how happy he was about having me on board and how completely comfortable he felt, and that was a really nice thing for me to hear.
Part of me thinks I should just accept the fact that I can’t change the way I seem to be a natural over-achiever who is constantly sleep-deprived. But that would be pretty lame of me to accept the status quo. I really need the time to focus on my writing which was one of my big goals for 2010, along with visiting Vietnam for the first time. Those goals matter to me so I will try to invest in them.
So here’s to my attempt to have a Slow Down Year in Thailand. If I manage to slow down even a little bit, it will be my biggest achievement yet.