Plano: Day 2
I haven't been this exhausted in a while... I didn't sleep well or long last night, thanks to my own restlessness and the lawn maintenance guys. I woke up pretty early (around 9) and got back to running errands, making phone calls, browsing--furniture, mostly--and buying stuff for my apartment. I've spent about $150 at Target over the past couple days and I still haven't even got pots 'n' pans and things like that. All I've bought is various soaps, stuff for the bathroom, a Foreman Grill and some other little things I needed.
Seems like furniture shopping's a little trickier than I'd hoped. I've been to a few stores and none of them have exactly what I want--style, color, comfort, price--but all of the stores have some of what I want. I guess compromise will be the name of the game and it ain't gonna' be as cheap a game as I'd hoped.
My cable's turned on, but I don't have a TV yet, so I'm enjoying looking at the little black chord coming from the wall. I don't have any idea when my internet will be turned on, so that's making it even more difficult to do all my shopping and furniture buying and such. Also, I have about 15 "anytime" minutes to get me through next Tuesday (although the weekend will be free, so I'm having a hard time getting a hold of everyone I need to and I've been ignoring a lot of calls during the day.
As I've driven around Plano, I've noticed things that remind me of home and I'm thankful I'm so busy because I'd probably get pretty down if I allowed those things to cause me to stop and think about what I left behind. In fact, even this blog entry is more of a voluntary distraction than a necessity. I find myself taking solace in the fact that I know I won't be here, doing this, forever.
The Chronicles of Narnia
I finally bought the box set at Christmas Conference, but I wouldn't allow myself to begin reading them until I was here in Dallas. As I suspected, I'm already having a hard time putting them down; I had to pull myself away to go brush my teeth a little while ago. I'd forgotten how much fun C.S. Lewis' stories are to read and I'm already totally engrossed in the plot. I'm surprised how similar the basic premise is to Tolkein's Lord of the Rings stories: people touch gold rings and suddenly disappear; other people look after those with the rings.
Anyway, I'm really looking forward to plowing through these books as I've been anticipating it for some time now.
I'm glad I left a week buffer before my start-date to do some shopping and furnish my apartment. Already, I've found I haven't enough time in the day to run all the errands and buy all the stuff I need. I've been to Target several times and I browsed several furniture stores today. Best Buy is my new home-away-from-home and I spent a good deal of time looking at stuff in other electronics stores (although, surprisingly, Best Buy has the best prices on basically everything). The thing that is most difficult about shopping right now is that I don't have an internet connection, so I can't do the research I usually do. It's rare that I'll buy something without spending a fair amount of time browsing the web for specs, reviews and bargains; but, without an internet connection, my only recourse is to drive around looking for stores that might sell the stuff I'm after. I generally have a pen and paper in hand and I just write down whatever I need to remember that piece of furniture or electronic thing, so I can make comparisons later. It's painstaking, frustrating and pretty imprecise.
But the most frustrating thing is that I'm buying only the things I think I'll need to feel at home, but I still feel like I'm just blowing money. I mean, I'll be bringing home a decent paycheck soon, but I'm definitely already spending some of that money before I've earned it. I'm not accustomed to spending money I don't have, but I guess it's ok to make an exception in this situation. I'm trying to exercise as much self-control as possible, so hopefully it'll pay off.
I'm realizing how fortunate I am to have a large group of friends thinking of me back home. I spent quite a while on the phone tonight with several people and I felt very encouraged while I spoke with them. Some friends, I was just shooting the breeze, seein' what's up back home; some friends, I was asking for advice on whether to buy this or that; some friends, I was looking for pointers to help me make this transition as smooth as possible. But all my conversations were encouraging to me and made me thankful that I have such good friends who care about me and are praying for me. I'm sure their prayers and concern will make this time much easier for me.