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Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

A new year, 2012, is here. New Year's Eve has always been a big party night for me. But since having kids, the biggest party I have now is playing games all night so my kids stay up, and then we count down as we see the ball drop in Times Square. It is hard for me to say goodbye to 2011. 2011 was a magical, inspiring year for me, and I honestly don't know if any other year will or can be better.

Last year for New Year's Eve, we went to the square in our city of Dresden and watched a firework show. Then we walked throughout Dresden, taking the long way to take a tram back to our flat. I couldn't believe the craziness. People were letting fireworks EVERYWHERE. Many times, just barely missing us. They were being lit, and then flying down the street, not up in the sky. I actually become, at times, scared. In a country where people "follow the rules" and there's so much conformity, I was shocked at the crazy German people! They usually are a quiet breed of people; when you take buses, trams, or trains, everyone is so quiet, it used to drive me mad! And one time, I took Maggie to Abba Mania, and as I listened to the Abba songs that night, I was shocked that the German people sat in their seats for most of the concert. It was like we were at the opera; people watched in a sort of trance. So to see some crazy behavior, FINALLY, with all this emotion, was surprising to me. But I have to admit, as I walked through the artsy part of our city, there were moments I looked at Tim, and said, "Where are we??" I couldn't believe that fireworks were just going off all around us. When we arrived home later that night, we sat outside our balcony and watched all the fireworks going off. I told my kids that in all my 40 years of living, I have never seen so many fireworks. I felt so happy that night, even singing Katy Perry's "Firework" song to the people below. My kids reminded me of my singing last night. I guess that's what 3 glasses of sparkling wine will do to me.

Last night, it was a different picture. First of all, Maggie is sick, so we decided to stay home. We were invited to our best friend's house, but with Maggie sick, we decided to stay home. My husband fell asleep at 9 PM, only to wake up when Dick Clark's show came on. The kids and I played Wii games, we skypped with my sister, and then later with our best friends. We had a family talk about our dreams for 2012. We ate Chinese food, and opened our fortune cookies (which were eerily "right on". It was just a nice time.

This year, I don't really have any resolutions, because I don't really believe in starting all fresh. I think that life is a journey, so I think of it more as what did I learn in 2011 that I can apply to 2012? And because I learned SO much about myself and about the world, I feel the need to challenge myself in 2012. I have also loved writing, so I started this blog. I have decisions to make about what makes me happy about my career. Like I said in an earlier post, sometimes I think I'm ready to do something different related to teaching. As I explore these options, I need to not be afraid of change. 2012 will be a more difficult year for us, as a family. As my husband is starting up a local fab plant in our town, he is spending up to 14 hours at work, and it's only going to get worse, before it gets better. We know, as a family, that he needs to work these long hours. So, at the moment, my life seems very busy. Unlike last year, where I had so much time for myself. I wrote, I traveled, I spend lots of time with friends. Now, it's a much different landscape; I work, taking care of the kids afterschool, driving them to their activities, getting them ready for bed. Right now, the balance is not there. So as this year moves on, I hope to find that balance that I found in Germany, or at least, that feeling I had there. In the movie, "Eat, Pray, Love," Julie Roberts' character says to the man she falls in love with, "I'm afraid of falling in love with you because I am afraid of losing myself because I am so balanced right now." I just watched that movie for the first time a couple months ago, and when she said that I could totally relate. But instead of losing herself to a man, I'm afraid of losing myself to "Full-time Job Vs. A Mom." I don't want my job to have to interfere with me being a mom. How do we find that balance?? I guess that's my sort of, resolution. To find that balance. I think right now, with my husband's demanding job, it might take awhile to find it.
Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2012.

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