SO WE’RE COMING UP TO 4 WEEKS living here in our new apartment. It’s been a strange transition so far. New things to learn, old habits to adapt, and lifestyle changes that need to evolve. Slowly but surely we’re working into a groove and getting used to this. It’s different. Sometimes it’s difficult, but we’re adjusting every day.
I SET A CURFEW. A quiet time curfew, I mean, set for 10pm. As I said, my neighbors are pretty loud. And it doesn’t seem like anyone here cares too much about noise levels. But for some reason, I did? I wanted to be kind and courteous. I was too afraid to make a sound, to do anything that would disturb the rest of our neighbors. That didn’t work out too well, seeing as how my closest neighbor and his kids were glaring at me a few days after we moved in.
Even so, I was killing myself during the first few weeks, trying to stay quiet. The walls are thin, the floor creaks, and the apartments are really close. We were tiptoeing around, whispering, and sneaking about the house, at all hours. Morning, noon, and night, for the first week or so.
It drove me up the freaking wall, especially because my kids wanted to stomp up and down the stairs, run through the hallway, and sprint across the living room. Even when we were trying to be quiet, we were making loud noises. It was impossible. We watched TV on the lowest setting, played games without sound, and I was constantly trying to referee our children, silently yelling at them and telling them to be quiet. It was madness.
THE TRUTH IS I CARED TOO MUCH. What will the neighbors think? What will they say? What will they do? What if we’re too loud? What if they can hear what we’re doing? What we’re saying? What if, what if, what if… And in the meantime, the rest of the complex was running up the stairs, listening to their music as loud as possible, and laughing, talking, and cussing. They were living their lives.
MY WIFE SAID WE SHOULD STOP CARING. It helps her cope at work when other coworkers start getting out of hand. She said if she cared and let it get to her, she’d be upset all the time. But now that she stopped caring, and just started concentrating on what she needs to do, she feels more at ease. So that’s what I decided to do.
WHENEVER I SEE THE NEIGHBOR that glared at me, or his kids, I just smile, nod, and say hello. No matter what. I see him every now and then, and we just pass, smile and go about our business. No need to take it any further than that. I do this with every neighbor I come across here, and they usually smile and nod back. I feel less anxious. Less irritated. I go out, say hello, and go about my day. It’s only a moment in the day. One moment.
DURING THE REST OF THE DAY, WE’RE LOUD. We decided to let our kids run around, stomp about, and play to their heart’s content during the afternoon, until 10pm. That’s our Loud Time. We watch TV, play games, talk and listen to music at regular levels. We figured if the neighbors are going to be loud, so will we. And if anyone has something to say, they’ll tell us. But until then? We’ll just go about our day, as loud as we need to be. So far, it’s working.
WE FEEL MORE AT EASE. And none of the neighbors have said anything. They go about their daily routines, still loud, still running around, but I guess that means they don’t mind if we’re loud too. You know? It’s freeing to just live and not worry. And at 10pm, we quiet down. We whisper, walk quietly, and try not to make much noise. The rest of the complex is usually silent by then, except on the weekends, so we try to follow suit. And so far? It’s working. But from the morning till 10pm, the day is ours!
OUR NEIGHBORS AREN’T THAT BAD, all things considered. True, they can be loud, and kids are always running around the complex, but they’re just living. Enjoying the day, you know? Everyone here seems to know each other, too. They sit outside, chat with one another, and the kids even seem to run into each of the neighbors’ houses, meeting, chatting, and playing.
THE KIDS AROUND HERE ARE KIDS. I mean, they run around, sure, but it could be worse. When they’re outside? They’re playing tag, hide and seek, throwing water balloons and playing with squirt guns, or skateboarding. Normal kid stuff. The teenagers, too, say hello to me when I walk past as well. They’re just going about their day. They spend more time outside than I do. At least they aren’t vandalizing the property, starting fights, banging on doors, and junk, you know? For the most part, they’re all pretty well behaved.
ENERGY SAVING IS ANOTHER ISSUE. We received our first electric bill, and it wasn’t too bad. But we’ve been trying to conserve energy. I will admit, the bill could be a little lower. I try to turn lights out when we’re not using them, keep TV time to a minimum, and I also want to buy energy-saving LED light bulbs. Anything to lower the cost of our bill. Any money we can save would be nice. We have enough to cover all of our monthly expenses, but there isn’t too much financial wiggle room. Just enough to get by. So we’re learning to save energy, in any way we can.
WE USE TO EAT OUT ALL THE TIME before we moved here. All the time. It was so much easier than cooking a meal at home, you know? Go out. Grab some food. Boom, dinner is ready! But it was also far more expensive.
We ate out so much that the cravings were horrible. Every day, we were thinking of where to go and what to eat. And let me tell you, fast food was delicious! We needed to satisfy that craving almost every single day. And we did.
WE STARTED EATING OUT LESS when we moved here. Mostly because we have less to work with, now that we have to take care of more bills. That, and cooking at home is way cheaper than going out all the time. We can pay for a week of home prepped meals for what we’d spend all in one go, for the 5 of us, going out. Economically, it just makes sense.
WE WENT OUT TO EAT about twice since we moved here. And after all the home-cooked meals, fast food just doesn’t taste as good anymore. It made us feel tired, bloated, and sluggish. The taste also isn’t what we remember. It’s unsatisfying, now, and upsets our stomachs. Even the french fries, which was like ambrosia from the gods on high, isn’t as satisfying. They’re actually kind of gross, now.
LIVING HERE ISN’T THAT BAD. It took some getting used to. Yes, it’s out of my comfort zone, and in any other complex the neighbors would have been further away, not so crammed in, but it is what it is. I’m adjusting to it. This is our home for now, and it’s slowly becoming our sanctuary. The overall vibe is a lot better than when we moved in, and I’m settling into the atmosphere. Time to start getting creative, again!
OH, AND WE FINALLY GOT THE TOILET FIXED! There was a day the maintenance guy was supposed to show up, but they ended up not coming till the following day. But we have one toilet, and that toilet was used. Often. And never flushed. So suffice it to say, he was not happy when he finally showed up the next day XD
HE WAS HUFFING AND PUFFING and when he left he didn’t say anything to me and slammed the door 😛 I mean, what can I tell you! It had been broken for a while, kept getting backed up because of a faulty flapper, and we needed to use the restroom. If he’d shown up the day before, it would not have been that bad. But he had a whole day of toilet dumps to deal with and no flushing. But at least he fixed it! 😉
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