Breaking Down Becoming a Bostonian

Most importantly, current countdown status…

9.5 more days of work, 15 days until I leave Chicago for a brief layover in Wisconsin, and 19 days until my flight to Boston… 19 days!

I am ready for this move, better prepared and more excited than any of my other big moves. While that definitely sets me up for success, it also introduces room to take on too much, too quickly. It doesn’t feel as intimidating or overwhelming as other big movies I’ve made, but my logical brain keeps pinching me to remind me that this is a lot.

The job, for starters, is very different than what I do now in some key ways and is going to require something of a paradigm shift for me, in how I think about work and “going to work.” There are going to be long days and a lot of new information and while I am one hundred percent excited and on board with that, it would be irresponsible to deny that it’s going to be an adjustment and that it’s going to take a lot of energy (and caffeine).

Though it’s been a favorite weekend getaway spot for me, living in Boston will just be different. I have to figure everything out from scratch again: what is the best time to leave to catch just the right train to work, where do I get my morning coffee, which local craft beers are my favorite, where will I get my I’m-too-tired-or-lazy-today-to-cook Thai food, etc.

In order to approach this all with a plan, and to avoid the compulsion to blog about every nuance too, I’ve broken the project down into three main areas of focus, one for each month.

October’s Focus: Start work and find a gym.

This is pretty straightforward. I start my new job on October 1st and by the middle of the month, I’d like to have signed up for a gym membership. I already found a place near the office which has a little bit of everything: basic gym equipment, friendly personal trainers, group fitness classes, and a beautiful view of the city. I’m hopeful this will work out well. If I can get into a work-gym-home routine by the end of the month, I’ll be well prepared to deal with transition issues (homesick for home, homesick for Chicago, etc.)

November’s Focus: Explore Boston.

When I was in Boston last November, Caitlin and I went to a great Degas exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. And in May, I went to the Boston Ballet’s staging of Don Quixote. I’ve had a taste of the arts offerings in Boston. November is the time to dive in with a subscription to the ballet and explore museum exhibits in Boston. These weekends will be spent poking around Boston and the surrounding areas then, pushing past some of the obvious entertainment options and finding the things I will love for many years to come.

December’s Focus: Christmas in Boston.

I love the winter holiday season. I love sending Christmas cards and baking holiday treats and white lights and snow and ice skating and gift giving. I have every intention of being in Wisconsin for actual Christmas, but until then, December will focus on exploring how Boston celebrates Christmas. I will fight any homesickness with holiday shows, boutique shopping for gifts, and ice skating – somewhere, there must be ice skating somewhere!

Of course, I will have my constant autumnal touchstone of Packers football during these months. I have already found my Packers Bar and will be trekking there for most games. Wherever I go, whatever “-ite” or “-ian” I become, my fervent dedication to the Packers will never abate, and shall bring me much comfort when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I’m not exaggerating. The most important countdown I actually have right now is 3 days until Packers football starts!

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