Parenting is all-consuming, at least for me it is. I love it absolitely, but I wish I had more hours in my day to reply to emails, talk to friends, take time out for myself, shower…. but slowly little pockets of time start to combine into a newfound freedom that I’m exhilarated to use and experience. At 6 am on *most* days for the past week, I’ve got a good half an hour to myself. At first I used it to browse Facebook, get connected to the world again in somewhat useless way. Facebook drives me crazy sometimes and I’m quite convinced that no one is truly as they seem there. Anyway, now I write on little personal projects and I’m able to get some quiet happy time. Well as quiet as I can get if only the little boy upstairs would stop dropping his toy from 5am-7am nonstop over my head. Ugh.
But this is not the only improvement in my life; I’ve begun exercising like never before. Trying to get into shape, taking time to myself to feel healthier and better. And I owe it to my girl H over at Pilates Studio Nürnberg! If any of you are in NBG and like pilates/yoga/exercise, go check her out! I’ve had about 5 physical trainers in my life, and she is by far the only one that makes me feel like I can do it. I’m a chubtastic lady, and while I know I always will be, I’d like to shed some of my fluff, not only for health and all that jazz, but because buying clothes in Germany sucks unless you are thin and have normal sized thighs.
Germany is…. ok. It’s weird. On one hand, raising my daughter here is/will be awesome. So many benefits, good education and all that. But on the other, neither the G-Man or I feel like this is our home. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a house we can paint or a garden to run in, or because we just feel like Bavarians are a wee bit cold. It could be all of those reasons and more. But we want to settle down soon and find our little spot in the world. That’s the plan. Find somewhere in Germany to love, and failing that, think of other places to go. I’m hesitant about going back to the US and I know that’s strange. I’m just not sure I can guarantee that O will get as many life goodies there as she does here. Here, she could walk herself to school, travel more, be exposed to all sorts of foreign languages, see her parents more too, and we can afford that life! There, she’ll get an American childhood (which, hey! I had and I’m alright!) that we’d both be working through, and our vacations would dwindle down to what? 2-4 weeks vacation a year? We get like 8-10 weeks here. Cost of living is lower here (where we are now), quality of life is higher, and I can dedicate a lot of time to my own creative pursuits. I’m just so torn about it. There is NOTHING wrong with the US, well there is, but it’s not like Germany is without faults either, you know what I mean?
I just want O to have the best, and I know somewhere inside of me that this isn’t dependent on where we are but rather how we are, but still…. it’s hard to think big long-term when you are making decisions that affect someone else, also known as parenting. I need to feel like I can give her things I never had. Believe me, I’m already succeeding based on the amazing amount of Lego DUPLO littering our floors (those suckers are sharp eh?). But yeah, we were poor growing up. Second hand clothes here and there, rice with butter for dinner, food stamps, welfare…. you name it. It was my mom raising us while harboring a disability from a stroke, and man, she was a strong woman! I’d like to think I’m strong like that, but I doubt it. I need to— I want to, take it easy in life. And when you are given the opportunity to live a life where you can travel 8 weeks a year, you get money to raise your kids regardless of your income, and you feel like the government works for you, it’s hard to turn away from it. But then, will I ever be a working librarian? Wouldn’t she be proud to see me as a librarian working after school? Can I only do that in the US? Achhhh!! Thoughts are driving me crazy. Where is best? What is best?
Gotta think BIG. I have to make decisions! We need to find our home! What do you guys think? Am I just waxing-poetic? Were you lucky to find a place to settle in, and you couldn’t imagine being anywhere else? My dream place would be a village outside of a city, where there are plenty of parks, loads of nice, smiling, friendly people, the sea, good schools, and it’s not too cold! Where is that?!!