2014 Grateful 44

The seven-year itch is a psychological term that suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage. The phrase originated as a name for irritating and contagious skin complaints of a long duration.

I read that on Wikipedia so it must be true.

Last night, one of my three kitchen clocks fell off the wall and smashed to pieces. It was the one that was set to Hungarian time. It happened at 11.36pm. And I’m sure my downstairs neighbour wasn’t impressed. My question: is this a sign?

Early this week, I had some long conversations with friends about a restlessness that seems to be in the offing – not quite here yet, but waving precociously from within viewing distance. Then I realised that this coming September I’ll have been in Budapest for seven years. The only other seven-year term I did since leaving Ireland back in my early twenties, was in Alaska. And it took 9/11 to send me packing. That and a host of other things, admittedly.

In the last month or so, a number of friends and acquaintances (both expat and Hungarian) have been muttering about job applications abroad. There has been talk ofย  possible opportunities in Australia. Thoughts of moving back to Ireland with family in tow are increasingly common. And I’m left to wonder at the changing landscape of what has become all too familiar territory.

I’ve been a little dissatisfied with my life lately – hard to imagine really, considering I lead a rather blessed one. But there’s something niggling beneath the surface that no doubt will rear its head in the months to come. All the signs are there. I weeded through my books yesterday and have some ready to mail to friends who will give them a good home and others ready for the book swap shelf in Jack Doyle’s. Divesting myself of my books is a sign I recognise.

I walked away from a pair of shoes the other day, too. And from a jacket I’d had my eye on. And from a heavy-duty frying pan. The shopping gene shutting down: that’s another sign.

And it’s as if my powers of observation have upped a notch or three. Yet another sign. When the mundane starts being novel again, I know that something’s afoot.

I have 18 months floating around in my head – it came from nowhere. It’s just there. I have no idea what my intent is. I have no idea what it is I’d prefer to be doing. But I see the signs.

As I get ready to cross Mohacs off my bucket list tomorrow, I’m grateful that now, after so many reinventions and relocations, I have the experience to recognise the signs of oncoming change and the patience to react accordingly. I’m grateful for the newness that coats the old, and the fact that I’m noticing stuff I’ve overlooked for years. Like this:


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10 Responses

  1. One of my clocks came crashing down last week. I just put in a new nail and put it up again.

    I only problem I see with your seven year itch is that I think with your globe trotting it will take about another 14 years before you reach seven in Budapest. The city has become the place I have lived the longest. By the time I was seven I had lived in six houses. I have spent my life moving around and until recently I have never lived anywhere long enough to think about redecorating. The price is that you tend to develop few true long term friendships but hundreds of acquaintances.

    Looking at the greener grass on the other side of the fence is certainly a feature of election times everywhere. Only a few more weeks and that will be behind us. The embarrassment of dressing up for St. Paddy’s day will be gone . The tables and chairs will move on to the pavements, the sun will come out, the shorts skirts ( for us hot blooded men) will appear and all thought of moving will be postponed. Another wet summer in Britain or Ireland and you will wonder why your were so stupid to returning to those cold wet islands.

    1. The price is that you tend to develop few true long term friendships but hundreds of acquaintances. …. not sure I agree with you there Tim… I’ve made friend friends here in the last seven years, friends who I know would see me through painting and redecorating… and you know how I hate the heat ….

  2. The seven year itch…. a skin condition. And as such it is superficial and curable. What only matters is what happens deep inside, in your heart.

    There is no denying that the itch of the superficial can absolutely consume your body, consciousness and mind at some moment in time. But if you truly love someone, or some place, the superficial really is a minor temporary irritation that can be worked through. But only if you have the real internal interest, and only if you have the real internal wish and will, to do so.

    But if you do, and if that is what you really want, what comes next might well be real magic.

    Then again, if not, then your relationship with a person or place was probably always itself superficial, and moving on is probably a necessity to retain your integrity, sanity and honesty.

    Not advise. Simply personal experience from someone both associated with Hungary, and married, longer than 7 years.

      1. ‘a minor temporary irritation that can be worked through’ – I hope so – but then again, whatever’s around the corner will come in good time

  3. Those clocks were put up with ‘quality’ fixings……….must have been a problem with the tradesman! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Probably still celebrating the Welsh vistory over the French (after the pasting that your lot gave us we have to make the most of anything we can get!).

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