Good evening, all!
So, after that last post, I’m sure you can probably imagine what happened. I moved to San Francisco to rejoin my husband, and getting settled here has been no easy feat.
There are so many differences between SF and LA. I’m not yet sure, and refuse to yet render an opinion, whether I prefer things as they are now or as they were in LA.
No car: Most people I’ve met here (and that includes every Uber driver that picks me up, because, yes, I do ask them these questions) say that not having a car is totally freeing. I can tell you that not having strip malls and free parking lots everywhere is something I miss. Running errands and getting crap done is harder. I’ve heard that said about New York, as well. I can’t walk to pick up my dry cleaning, then walk to the pharmacy, and then swing by our favorite Mexican place to pick up dinner. A girl simply does not have enough arms! On the other hand, you walk a lot and get fresh air, so while I may be limited to one errand per day, if that, I can say that running those errands is slightly more enjoyable. By the way, Max and I do have a car and a spot in our building, but as parking is so hard to come by it doesn’t make sense unless we are picking up kitty litter, which we cannot carry any distance, or are taking a day trip somewhere outside the city, which we have done a few times since being here.
The Weather: I was pretty freakin’ positive that I would LOVE the weather in SF. I am a fairly modest dresser; often choosing sweaters and pants to tank tops and shorts even in Los Angeles. Damn, you guys, SF is windy! It isn’t even cold. It is often a gorgeous day outside, sun shining, temps in the high 60s, but you step outside my apartment door and a frigid wind overcomes you. I haven’t figured out how to be savvy about this wind thing yet. Everyone says to layer (thanks Uber drivers!) but then what do you do with all those layers once you peel them off? Carry them around with you? Like I said, haven’t figured that out yet.
Working from Home: This has been my most daunting and coolest challenge. So in this new job, I am back to litigation again after a 3 year hiatus. I made myself a pretty fancy little girly office in our second room. Before I started the job, I did my research, as any good attorney does. The rules seemed pretty clear. Treat your home office and work you do from home almost identically to how you would treat an office elsewhere. At first, I abided by these rules religiously. I set an alarm, took a shower, got dressed in real clothes, and went to my office to begin work. I was still waking up in the night waiting for my alarm to go off like I did when I commuted. I was still stressing about how many hours I needed to sit there. Making sure I take a proper 1 hour lunch break. Well, I can tell you this has devolved into something entirely different that suits me more. I wake up when I wake up. I’m sort of an old lady when it comes to bed times, so I prefer to be asleep by 11, anyway. Waking up naturally has me up around 8:30-9am. During these hours, from about 8-12, Max is home and that is my only time to see him all day. I will have been asleep for hours when he gets home at night (in the morning). I’m not super hard on myself about working while he’s home. When I feel that we’ve had a little time to connect, I simply stay put, put my earplugs in, pull out my laptop and get to work. I generally remain there, in my bed, right where I am now until I’m finished working for the day. I can do this because (1) I’m super focused and not easily distracted, but want to be able to be distracted when appropriate otherwise what is the point of working from home? and (2) a great deal of my work is researching and writing-very academic and the part of the job I enjoy. I can write and research just as well in my cozy bed with my floor to ceiling windows and cat at my side as I can sitting in my desk chair one room over, so why not just take the pressure off? Work out of bed. There are certainly times when I need that office-when I have to make phone calls or read long documents or work when there are people over. I just don’t force myself to go there because I found that had the same effect as “forcing” me to drive to an office. It stressed me out. I’m sure that would not be a recommended way of doing business for most people, but it works for me.
No Friends: When I pictured myself moving here to be with my husband, I guess I thought it was pretty romantic. I had a “it’s me and him against this world” kind of attitude about it. Or rather-“it’s me and him against this new city; new adventures together!” Unfortunately, Max is hardly ever around and when he is, we are often under obligations because of his job, to attend functions or dinners. We share Sunday off and I try to make it a point to be available for dinner Monday night when he is off. I imagined that every weekend we would set-off on some grand exploration of our new city. There are so many things I want to do here. I want to go to all the farmer’s markets and see the wonderful produce, which is often cited to me as one of the advantages of SF living. I want to explore the Palace of Fine Arts. I want to take a hike around the Northern California woods (nothing too strenuous-just fun). I want to get a little wild at Golden Gate Park. The list goes on. But you know how life is, when Sunday rolls around Max and I often find ourselves with good intentions to go exploring and then life gets in the way. He has a work event or we are totally out of food and need to run to the store or we have to interview the handyman at 3pm or my computer crashed and I need it for work on Monday. It seems like it is always something. We have done very little exploring other than eating very well all the time. In that way, we are some super blessed beings.
When I talk about this issue with my friends, family, therapist, and Max, I’m often told to just go do these things on my own and not to wait for Max. I mean-sure, that can be somewhat nice, but there is nothing like sharing something new with someone you care about and having that shared experience. To my credit, I take a lot of walks, have gone to some museum exhibits on my own, explored the park new our house, joined a gym that I go to quite regularly (yay me!).
I’m not going out of my way to be bored and lonely, but I literally know no one here and there’s only so much alone exploring I am really up for. I don’t work in an office, so that built in friend creator that is sharing office space is not something I have to rely on for friends. Instead, I try to connect with people that Max has met over his time here and their partners and friends. When my friends come to visit, I always ask that they introduce me to their friends up here. I think it is simply going to be slow going and I just need to get over my impatience.
I’ve also been doing A LOT of traveling. I have only spent 2 weekends in the city since I’ve been here. I’ve been traveling for work some. My mother, brother, and I went to my father’s side of the family’s family reunion in Philadelphia recently. My best friend since I was 8 years old got married in Palm Springs.
I just returned today from a Sunday/Monday weekend in LA. We spent Sunday with my brother and mom celebrating my brother’s birthday and Monday with the Coanes celebrating my MIL’s birthday and Father’s Day. In hindsight, this trip may have been a mistake. It was a little hectic and I don’t think Max every fully recovered from being tired and not having his weekend to rest. Always great to see my family, though. Always. No. Matter. What.
I’m wrapping up my day an will adjoin to the living room shortly to watch some TV, one my constant solaces in life. Nothing gets me out of my head faster than a good TV show. Dinner is up in the air as just got back into town this morning.
A few more pictures of life in SF to date: