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 of 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: