Sunday, August 3, 2008

Working on a Healthier Attitude and a Better Me

I haven’t posted in a while for a variety of reasons… mostly because I felt like I haven’t had a ton of exciting things to write about. I recently had to submit my resignation letter to La Canada as they would not grant me a second year of Leave. I’ve been bummed about that and just generally feeling down for a while so I have been having a bit of a pity party with myself. But now it’s time to stop and refocus my energy in a more positive way.

For the past few months I’ve also noticed some self-centeredness on my part. I’ve been concerned more about what I “don’t” have rather than all that I do have. I’ve been envious and jealous of people around me and back home for a whole variety of reasons. It’s unhealthy. It’s counter-productive. And I don’t like who I am when I do that. Tonight I try to change that. Tonight I begin to focus on how very fortunate I am.

I have a wonderful family with two great kids, a husband, and a gaggle of pets… and all of them love me. I have a wonderful, loving, supportive extended family. My parents and in-laws have always been extremely accepting of me… quirks and all. I have fabulous friends who have listened to me whine and complain, and have even talked me off the ledge on more than one occasion since being here. Some of these fabulous friends have even come to visit during my time of need and transition to Germany. They must really like me to brave the journey out here. While I miss teaching, I have the luxury of staying home with my boys. I get to see them as they grow and change on a daily basis. I feel very blessed.

I have a husband who is ambitious, creative, and perseverant. He is steadfast and loyal. Just when I think I know him, he does something new that surprises me. He is a strong man with deep thoughts. He is generous and has a strong sense of what is right and wrong... and he continues to strive to better himself. He is a wonderful husband and father. Though not always easy, sharing a life with him is truly a wonderful adventure.

Okay, so what about Germany, you say. How far has Steph come in the “I hate being in Germany” department? Well, I’ve been here almost a year now and while the whole transition has been quite difficult for me, I do feel I’m making progress. Sure, I still have my list of minor and major annoyances, but there is now a growing list of things that I appreciate about being here.

First off, Regina (my midwife). She took pity on me when we first arrived and took me on as a client- even though she was due to deliver her own child two months after I was due. Since the delivery we have become friends and continue to get together with our children. Regina has a kind heart and a very giving soul. She gives but does not ask for anything in return. In fact, I sometimes feel our friendship is a bit one-sided. Regina is the one person I feel I can say without question is a true friend here. I appreciate her so much and I want to be as good to her as she is to me.

Continuing to focus on the positive, here are a few more things I appreciate about living in Germany. Less smog. Public transportation. Living in an extremely “walkable” town. Being surrounded by beautiful countryside. Living close to a train station, an airport and farmland (full of tractors and wildlife) all for Gerrit and Willem to enjoy. Midwives. Public health care. Government subsidized daycares and kinders. The opportunity for Gerrit to potentially learn a second language. Living in the geographic center of Europe where a five hour drive in any direction takes you to a different country. Being able to drive a half hour away and see really awesome medieval castles and ruins. Seeing old architecture and visiting places full of history.

Working on a healthier attitude and a better me.


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