Archive for May, 2009

A quick hello

It appears as if I’ve been quiet the past couple of weeks, but of course, in reality it’s completely different. I’m just not online yet, so the only computer access I have at the moment is at the house where I lived up until a little over a week ago. I’m not here often, but today just happened to be in the neighborhood.

My husband made me a cup of coffee and we chatted for a bit, then I disappeared to check my emails and see what’s happening. There have been some strange occurrences and de-accelerating factors, but after reading Mama Donna’s “Queen’s Chronicles” about Mercury being in retrograde, that is helping me get through the few weeks until May 30th, when it’s over. Then I imagine things will move more smoothly.

Ironically, when one expects things to not go well, anything that works out seems really great. Thus I’ve been quite thankful for several things. Last week a policeman paid me a visit — my first unannounced visitor in the new apartment. How exciting! He wanted to check my visa, passport, etc. It was the first such visit I’ve had in these nearly 24 years of living in this country. Of course I couldn’t find the old passport with the unlimited visa stamp in it — even though I’d had it in my hand the day before, and for the first time, I’d let my passport expire a month ago and not renewed it. I figured it could wait until June.

I assured him I’m not an illegal alien, but my visa dates back to 1990, at which time not everything got put into the computer automatically. I promised to get a new passport ASAP and gave him the address of the office where the visa had been issued, as well as the approximate date. In addition to that excitement, I had a lousy cold and sore throat most of last week, which really put a damper on things. It forced me to rest, which wasn’t such a bad idea.

By Sunday I felt somewhat better and reserved a sleeping place on the overnight train to the capitol of this country, which is where the U.S. Consulate is located. I decided to get it over with — take the train there, get my photo done at the special photo shop that does American photos to meet our special specifications, and then go to the consulate office around the corner and fill out the forms, etc. — and hop the next train home again. So much for a few relaxing days wandering around the city and hanging out with friends. To everything there is a time… and this time wasn’t for socializing.

After I reserved the ticket, doubt plagued me briefly. “Oh! Is it a sleeping chamber or am I sharing a 6-bed compartment?” I really wasn’t in the mood. Too lazy to go back to the train station and ask, I told myself: “Forget about it. Whatever will be will be. You’ll cope with the situation.” And I managed to let it go.

As I boarded the train at 10:30 pm, I was delighted to see that I had the lower berth in a little compartment just to myself, and the conductor asked me to fill out the form indicating what I wanted for breakfast! Imagine that! It made me laugh with relief that I hadn’t wasted time obsessing about sharing a compartment with farting and/or snoring roommates.

I settled back and read “Wuthering Heights” until 1 am, then half-dozed among the rattling sounds of the train. Still, in the morning I was better rested than if I’d had to sit all night. I got to the photo shop before it opened, so I waited outside. At opening time, I walked in. Someone was there ahead of me — she’d come in through the back entrance. I looked at her. It was the mother of the children for whom I’d babysat for nearly three years back in the mid 1980’s! What a coincidence!

So we chatted, then she accompanied me to the consulate office. (Her youngest daughter was born in the USA and had to renew her passport.) As we stood on the long line, she asked if I had my S.A.S.E. with me. I gave her a blank look. She ran downstairs to the shop in the lobby (the consulate is in a hotel building) and bought me an envelope with the right amount of stamps. In the meantime, I chatted with her daughter, and then it was our turn to go in.

It took my friend nearly 15 minutes to return! Why do I mention that? Well, thanks to her, I was out of there and heading back to the train station, and got there 5 minutes before the train departed. She saved me 2 hours of waiting! Even that made me laugh. Upon arrival, I’d checked the schedule to see when the trains run. I thought to myself: “I hope I make the 9:40 am, since the next one doesn’t leave until 11:40.” But then I reminded myself: “Let go. Whatever will be will be.” So I didn’t obsess or hope ceaselessly that I would make the train. Nor did I get nervous. I told my friend: “If it takes longer, we could have a cup of coffee together. Otherwise I’ll get the early train back, as it arrives at 4:40 pm. The later one at 6:40, and that is rather late.”

So it all worked out well. And then, I needed a plumber because the pipe on the tank from the toilet leaked. It took me a while to get organized and call. Meanwhile, I realized I needed help to hook up the dishwasher & washer, and a few other plumbing items arose. So I finally got to calling and had a whole list to really make it worth it! And how about this? I called yesterday, and he had time to come today! (Tomorrow is a holiday here, so we have a long weekend coming up. That means, I just have to read the instructions on the dishwasher about the first-time use, and then I won’t be washing dishes by hand this weekend!)

That’s about it folks. My time is up for now. Have to get going. Will hopefully be on line by the end of next week at the latest. If not, then soon after that. In time. Hope you’re all well!

May 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

Full moon

There was something exciting about spending the first night in the new apartment during the full moon. I’ve always been affected by the moon, so it seemed appropriate. Most of the day and evening were spent getting organized, assembling bookshelves, and putting things away. It was nearly 11 pm by the time I finally looked outside. There was a glow behind the mountains, and I thought I had missed the moon. But as I sat there, sipping a glass of wine, it got brighter and eventually the rim of the moon emerged. After a while, it was there — in it’s full glory.

Yesterday was a warm summery day, and the night was just as mild. So I sat on the balcony, moongazing, and jumping up every 5 minutes to do one more thing that occurred to me. Still I felt peaceful and content as I surveyed the results of the past week’s efforts.

Yesterday afternoon a strong man materialized once again at just the right moment and helped us carry two more pieces of furniture up the two flights of stairs. It was uncanny — three times it happened that I brought stuff to the apartment building, then realized I would not be as easily able to carry the stuff up as anticipated — and three times help appeared at just the right moment. My daughter and I probably could have managed — but it surely would have taken us 5 times as long. The man helped me carry one thing, and while my daughter and I debated what to do next, he’d gone back down and carrried up the table for the balcony all by himself! Ah, gratitude!

There have been a few sudden bouts of tears — often while driving, as then I tend to reflect and let my thoughts wander. Otherwise I’ve been so busy with practical aspects, I haven’t really thought much. Yesterday and today, as I was driving between the apartment and the house, it hit me. Although I have no regrets, I do feel incredibly sad. Life is changing. The tears come of their own avail, helping me to bid adieu to a long chapter in this life. True, I am optimistic and trust that all will work out well, but I’m a bit weepy today as well.

Excited and sad, I start on a new round in this game — a round with no defined rules. It’s to be figured out as I go along. This is how I’ve wanted to live, but I must say, it feels a bit strange — like a brand new pair of shoes that hasn’t yet been broken in. But once those shoes are broken in, they may become quite comfortable.

May 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

Turning my life around

The other day, I found a piece of paper on which I had written in January of 2008: “I will turn my life around in 1000 tiny steps. Roughly calculated at one step a day, that would be 2 years and 7 months – July of 2010. That seems so far away!”

July of 2010 is still a good year away, and yet I have already succeeded in turning my life around. The trick was to set a realistic goal. One thousand tiny steps, one step a day. Sometimes it was just a different reaction, standing my ground, not feeling guilty, not letting someone intimidate me. Some steps were about taking care of myself — like eating well and going to the gym. Then some steps were simply about letting myself have fun — reading, going to the movies or dancing. Some days I took more than one step. That was allowed. One step was simply the minimum. I didn’t count the actual number of steps it took, but do realize there were some leaps and bounds. Those were the momentous events that occurred — like when I told my girlfriend, “I need a job.” And two days later my future employer happened to be sitting on that girlfriend’s porch, complaining that she was looking for someone to fill an empty position. My friend said she knew just the right person and called me up. The rest is history. I’ve been working there for 8 months already!

It will probably take a month to get settled in my new apartment — at least. I have to get a few pieces of furniture, sort through my books and clothes — all that fun stuff. It’s a good opportunity to get rid of things I no longer need.

This afternoon I returned home from a 4-day seminar for the 3-year training program I enrolled in this past February. I got the keys to the apartment Wednesday, brought some stuff to the apartment, spent Thursday morning cleaning and organizing the kitchen, then left that evening for the seminar. A few colleagues asked me how I could stand to leave the apartment. I replied that I had indeed found it tempting to stay and keep getting organized and transporting carloads of stuff, but somehow it had been easy to let go and leave.

I’ve developed patience and trust over the past several months. I trust that things happen at the right time, and that all will come in good time. Thus it wasn’t so difficult to leave. I told myself it would do me good to get away, get my mind on completely different things, spend the 4 days with fellow students — a wonderful bunch of people. That’s how it was. We worked hard, spent the evenings drinking a glass or two of wine and talking, sharing confidences, and telling jokes. Although there was a lot of theretical knowledge to take in, still I feel refreshed. The break from daily life did me good. Tomorrow morning I’ll send the kids off to school, drive a carload of my books to the new apartment, do more cleaning, and probably see it with new eyes and get new ideas about how to set things up.

The desire to change my life had been building up for several years. I tended to wish, but think it impossible. Part of the problem was that I wanted the changes to occur immediately. The other part of the problem was — beyond the wishful thinking — that I lacked specific ideas and goals, and I didn’t really believe in myself or think I could accomplish this major feat. It took a while to figure out how to go about this huge project. But once started, there was no turning back!

May 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm 2 comments


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