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2006-03-08 - 10:50 a.m.

I arrived back in Sydney 8am yesterday. Didn't do nearly as much sleeping as I thought I would at home yesterday but I slept solidly from 8.30pm last night until 9.30am today and I think I'm over any remnants of jetlag.

Th airport scene was better than I expected. We both got a bit choked up and teary but it was okay. Spoke to Jane on the phone about this time yesterday (while she is at work she can make free international calls without any questions because she works for an international research company) and we were both in fairly good spirits- not "I miss you so much already" or anything like that.

It's going to take at least a week before it really hits that she's not going to be around this year- yesterday felt like I was talking to her at work in Sydney, and it's quite normal when I'm on afternoon shifts during the week that she leaves the house at 7am and we don't see each other again until after midnight- at each end one of us being half asleep.

It's also going to take some time to get into a routine on my own. Make sure I do more than frequent pubs and restaurants/ takeaway when I'm not at work and avoid frozen dinners on night shift at all costs. In some ways I think it's going to be good for both of us learning to live independently again. Jane's been paying all the bills and writing shopping lists for as long as we've lived together, but on the other hand is notoriously bad at washing up and generally tidying up the house. I've got to be organised to make sure I do all the money stuff and actually stick to a big shop every week or two, rather than buying things as I need them (which inevitably means breakfasts skipped due to lack of milk, not having anything for lunch and eating out or buying takeaway for dinner). I've never been good with lunch before an afternoon shift, mainly because I get up so late, but I want to try to be up by 10am (unless I've had to stay back) and have breakfast and lunch before going to work.

The main thing I remember about the last time I lived by myself was spending a lot of time on MSN (Cindy can vouch for that) and the godawful frozen dinners on afternoon shifts. My days off when I was by myself weren't all that different from when I was living with my parents in that I'd generally spend them out.

I think the hardest thing for me is going to be lacking intimacy. I have enough close friends but I haven't really had to deal with a lack of intimacy for more than a month or two in more than five years. I'm not just talking about sex. Even the casual relationships I've been in have been intimate. When I used to catch up with Annie I could sometimes spend virtually the whole time holding her hand. Ellie and I have always been intimate as friends ("we started off lovers and we learned to be friends") and I think the best way you could describe Cindy and I in that since since we stopped being involved is cautious. I don't know if she feels entirely comfortable when I get too huggy. I'm sure she'll tell me if I'm wrong.

My other worry is being motivated at work. It's still very early in my new role and it's going to b a challenge for a long time before this "suervisor" idea just comes naturally- but then I've got other things I need to focus on like making sure I get over to the US by this time next year. I don't know which will be harder- finding an appropriate job over there within my company (either in Richmond which is an easy commute or San Ramon which I would need a car for) and getting the transfer approved, or looking for a completely new job. The main thing about the latter is that I'm not confident anything exists that I'll be more qualified for than a local, and that if there is the pay won't be good enough. I'm willing, prepared even, to take a significant pay cut to be over there but there is a minimum requirement that we can still pay off our mortgage (monthly repayments are roughly double what we'd get for renting it out) and not live like complete paupers. Things like eating out and socialising are important to us- and being over in the US for two years at the very least we want to get to Canada and Mexico as well as a bunch of states other than California in our holidays and long weekends. Ideally I'd like to do what our friends Tara and Tristan did when they finished working overseas- save up enough to travel (preferably South America) for a month or more before coming back. But they didn't have a mortgage.

I think Jane will do really well over there even in the time I'm not there- she will be lonely, and moreso than me obviously because her friends and family are back here- but in half a week she's already fitting in brilliantly at her job, feels that it will in all likelihood be less stressful yet more rewarding than her position over here (plus she'll get business trips to New York and possibly Chicago), and last Friday we went out for drinks for a colleagues birthday and they all seem great and easy to get along with.

I'll write about the trip in my next entry. I feel a lot better having written this entry- jetlag aside I felt a bit lost yesterday. Couldn't bring myself to unpack, hang out the clothes I put on (in the machine not on me), buy a few essentials like milk that would have made things easier today. I feel like I could do all that in the next couple of hours before I go to work. At the very least hang out the clothes.

So I'll leave it there for now. I hope all you diaryland retirees are still reading ;)


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