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Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Year Later

Dear Blog,

It's been one year since I declared to the Blog World, that I would begin a writing adventure with an on-line audience.  In the beginning, it was kind of weird to write, because I didn't really know who my audience was.  But after writing on this blog for one year, I can proudly say that I write from the heart. I participated in the  Slice of Life writing challenge, which I wrote on this blog everyday in the month of March.  It was actually difficult to do;  writing about this exciting life of mine and making it relevant and interesting for all of you, but I simply wrote about the simple things, and those little happenings of each day.

I love to write, and wrote a lot when I lived in Germany.  One of the reasons why I want to return to an expat life, is because I'll have time to write.   And, I'll have some interesting topics to write about again.  All the traveling, all the little mishaps that happen when you are trying to survive in a foreign country...Yes, I hope to return to write more about this world that I had to leave so abruptly.  (Well, we knew we were moving back to the USA after living in Germany for one year, but it just came to a halt and I wasn't ready to return here to the States).

I hope all of you make New Year's resolutions that you can achieve.  My goal for 2012 was to write.  I wish I wrote more, so this year, my goal is to write at least once a week.  Maybe like a weekly column.  And if we DO move to Germany, I will promise myself to write each day.

This year's other resolution:  I hope to keep up running.  Running was something I pleasantly discovered that I enjoyed; or maybe it's a love/hate thing.  I hate when I am in the middle of running and can't wait until it's all over...the constant talking to myself in my head "You can do it.  Just listen to the music and run to the beat.  Oh, there's my neighbor...keep running so she thinks you're working hard and she'll be impressed.  OK, is she really impressed?  You run like a weirdo.  Oh, why is this song on my i-pod???  I have to get this song off- it's starting to annoy me.  Next song... OK, better.  Breathe, Breathe...    OK, so that's myself talking to myself while running.  It's all pretty comical in my head.  And then there's a 3rd personality within me that just laughs at everything Pathetic Me and Running Me say back and forth.  But truly, there's nothing like the feeling after a run.  When everything negative and toxic has been drenched and wrung out, and a clear and healthy mind wait for me, as I cool down and catch my breath;  and later, take a shower.  I imagine all the sweat as the toxic that leaves my body...  I have become addicted to running in a way, and my relationship to running, I guess, can be compared to that of my relationship to writing.  I am always striving to do better, and to not quit.  And when I write, the toxic energy sometimes is released to the paper.  
Dresden, Germany.  Where I lived for one year.  I loved how the buildings seamlessly flow together.  This is  Dresden's main square, where I enjoyed a drink every now and then.  Oh, missing the cafe life, too!

Happy New Year, and I hope all of you have a couple resolutions that you actually look forward to achieving.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


2012 is almost over, and what kind of year did we all have?

For me, personally, it was a year of transitions and adjustments.  With a new job, I was faced with lots of difficulties and obstacles with co-workers, and I had to learn to work with people that are different than me;  very strong personalities.   It was a year of frustration, and having to endure with these "setbacks" and having to settle.  After applying for a teaching position at my former school, I was told that Human Resources lost my transfer request, and my request to move schools was denied.  It was such a disappointment for me, since I was having these issues at my new school, and looked at this as my "way out;"  the light at the end of the tunnel.  Always trying to stay positive, I found myself being upset a lot.  It took a long time to find peace with this decision,  or with this HR mistake...Currently, I am in my 2nd year at this new school, and the environment is a lot different for me and I'm making it work.

2012 was also the year of my migraine headaches.  I am so grateful for a neurologist that I see in Clifton Park.  I am now on a preventative pill, and my headaches are much more under control.  What triggers them?  I honestly think it was the stress from work last year.  I am fortunate, because as I write this, my principal is putting in special filter lights in my classroom, to help decrease my migraines (I had to leave school one day this year because I lost vision, then a migraine came on).  I still get them, but not at all in frequency.

2012 was the year I became a runner.  My friend asked me to run a 5 K with her in the Fall, so I decided to give it a try.  I started running seriously in  July, and by September, I was running my first 5K.  I felt so healthy and alive, and I found myself being addicted to running.  Now, however, with winter here and a foot of snow on the ground, I haven't been able to run.  I'm debating on trying to get a treadmill.  I feel so much better, physically and mentally, after running.  It releases so much negative out of me.

2012 was a year of change for my children.  Riley was elected the student council president at his school.  He also raised just over $3,500 for St. Baldrick's, which helps fund research for childhood cancers.  Maggie has become a swimmer and is on a swim team.   She is becoming a very independent and strong 8-year old, and I'm so blessed to have my two children, because they are perfect in every way.

2012 was a year of family reunions.  Tim's parents drove in their RV from Washington State to visit us for 10 days.  Then shortly after, my sister got married, and my mom's side of the family were all in town;  the first time since my Grandmother's death.

2012 also brought a decline in our dog Toga's health.  He now has diabetes, liver problems and heart problems.  He's currently on 3 different medications, and he is declining...It's been a sad sad couple of months, but our vet has convinced us that Toga is a "Miracle Dog," and he is surpassing all her expectations (she had suggested we put him down in September).  Because we knew Toga was on the decline, we decided to rescue a dog named Guppy.  Guppy is a French Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix and he's between 4 and 5 years old.  We brought him home in August, and he is slowly becoming an integral member of our house.  In the beginning, he had many issues (peeing everywhere, bitting issues), but now I'm happy to say that I think Guppy is slowly learning and he is honestly a good  Toga will be approaching his 13th birthday this Spring.  I know in 2013, it may be Toga's last year with us...This will be very hard for all of us.  But we are lucky to have this time with him now.

2012 also brought back thoughts to Germany.  My husband is currently applying for a position back in Germany.  We will know soon if we are indeed moving again.  This time, it will be more permanent, and there would not be an end date.  I do miss Europe, and all that it offers.  I find myself bored here a lot.  I get upset at how small my world seems to be again, living in the US.  I want to think more globally again, and I miss walking in squares and plazas, that are filled with history and amazing architecture.  If we are to move, it would be soon.  It would be in February.  So, if this does happen, we will start the beginning of 2013 with having the task of selling our house, and trying to figure out what items to permanently keep, and which ones to sell.  Last time we moved to Germany, our friend Kellie lived in our house, since it was only for a year.  We rented a furnished apartment, so we did not have to ship large items abroad.  It is a daunting task, and one that we are unsure about as of now.

So, I'm ending this blog on a good note.  A note that we could be once again, be living in Germany and part of the European culture again.  It is a time of feeling excitement and uncertainty..This kind of decision will be a difficult one to make;  if Tim is even offered the position...But this ex-expat could once again be an expat...We will have to see what 2013 will bring.