Anticipation. It has the potential to make the looked-forward-to moment sweeter or disappointing, depending on how you handle it.
I've been thoroughly enjoying the Christmas-time culture and snowy wonderland of Switzerland in the past few weeks (updates coming!).
But at the same time I have been counting down for weeks to this day, when I get on a plane (in less than an hour!) to head home for Christmas. We'll sadly be minus a few this year (we'll miss you Val and Muigai!), but in a few short hours I'll be hugging my family.
There's nothing sweeter than that :-D
You know the feeling.
You might be in the grocery store, or walking down the street, or driving in the car,
when that song comes on.
The one that you can't not dance to.
Your toes start tapping, you head starts bobbing, and if you're feeling really brave (or if you're alone) the dancing begins.
For me, it's this one:
When I hear those first few beats, I can't help but smile because I know what's coming next. I don't care where I am, I will soon be dancing.
Of course, there's also this guy (thanks, Liz Canby, for sharing!):
He looks like fun.
Now, I'm not a bad dancer. I have a sense of rhythm, I can learn steps, and if it's a partner dance, I can (usually) follow pretty well.
However, I am aware of the fact that often, when I dance, I look like a complete idiot. There might be some flailing of the arms, maybe some fancy footwork. And I take up a lot of space.
I love every second of it.
I had my turning point public display of ridiculousness while traveling in Australia last summer. Encouraged by the awesomeness of the people I was with (we had spent 3 days on a boat with 30 people and very little space) and emboldened by the fact that I was probably never going to see them again, I just went for it, along with a few others who didn't seem to mind people staring at them. I had never had so much fun while trying not to look like an idiot, so I have never looked back.
I don't always look ridiculous while dancing (I hope). However, I have discovered that many of my friends, although chosen for qualities other than dance ability, happen to have a similar dance philosophy:
Go nuts and have fun.
I'm not so sure this is a coincidence.
So here's to everyone who has ever danced ridiculously with me. You know who you are.
(Don't worry, there will be no photos or videos included in this blog post)
Dancing where there is no dance floor
(one of my personal favorites, especially considering that it tends to get strangers involved in the fun)
Dance walking across the room
Dorm room dance parties
Interpretive dance moves
Frank Sinatra and wine while cooking
(a Simple Sunday-worthy post all on its own)
Turning a blizzard into an opportunity for ribbon dancing
(a connection not always obvious to the average person)
Thank you. You make life fun.
OK, a moment of honesty.
As awesome as Switzerland is (think snowy days, travel, chocolate, new friends, and cultural experiences),
living abroad alone is hard.
No one here has known me for more than 4 months (although I have made some great friends!), German is not an easy language to learn, and there are cultural quirks that I just flat-out don't like.
There have been awesome experiences and incredible people, but there are also frustrations and homesickness. Part of the reason that I wanted to live abroad was to experience as much of life as possible in as many places as I could. That is certainly happening. But it can be hard sometimes to fight the tough days and remember the great things about life here.
I am feeling ambitious.
In the spirit of living life to the fullest (and increasing the pathetically few number of posts that I have written so far), I am going to regularly share and celebrate what was the inspiration for this blog in the first place...the simple things in life. The ones that teach you, inspire you, and just plain make you smile. Every Sunday (because, yup, alliteration makes me happy), I will post something new for Simple Sundays, a celebration of life's simple pleasures. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
Starting right now...
1. Cookies that never become cookies
On Friday I announced rather randomly to my coworker that I wanted to make cookies. Having worked with me for a few months now, he is used to my out-of-the-blue outbursts and proclamations, so he just looked up from his computer, nodded, and told me to have fun.
What he didn't know was that behind that random proclamation was an absolute love of baking, and the fact that I haven't baked anything since I've been here because, well, I don't have any baking supplies. I left most things at home or told Katie to take them to Thailand, figuring that I could use the precious little space I had in my luggage for other things (not something I would recommend to anyone moving to Switzerland, by the way, unless you want to spend a small fortune restocking your kitchen). But the time had come.
I longed for my favorite dessert cookbook (also gathering dust somewhere in my parents' house, along with every other cookbook I own...not sure what exactly I was thinking when I packed) but I settled for a peanut butter cookie recipe that I found on Pinterest. Four ingredients. Ten minutes in the oven. Done. Cookies.
However, after the dough was made, I decided to just have one teeny tiny little bite of dough while I was waiting for the oven to finish preheating.
Tasted just like those peanut butter balls that I used to make with my mom as a kid. I'm pretty sure those peanut butter balls started my obsession with peanut butter.
So I took another bite. And another. And before I knew it I had given up on the whole baking idea in lieu of keeping a bowl of peanut butter cookie dough in the fridge to snack on.
An excellent decision.
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.