It seems hard to believe, but 2011 has already arrived. And with the arrival of the new year, I’ve been reflecting on all that we experienced in 2010.
2010 was a year of some pretty big changes for us. In February, we both quit jobs and moved from Scotland to Germany where the Mr. took up a new position. Mia took her first (that I know of) international flight and became a much more shy, more easily spooked kitty from the stress of the move (but also happier, I think, in her new home with huge windows.) We finally found a flat, which sadly still isn’t totally unpacked and lacks an oven, a cooker, a dishwasher and kitchen cabinets, but fingers crossed that 2011 sees us fully moved in and settled! I spent more time staying with my parents in Indiana than I had since before college, taking advantage of not having a job for the first time in a long time. And we’ve been able to spend considerably more time than with the Mr.’s family, too, now able to join in on the holidays and spur-of-the-moment get-togethers. Not everything that happened in 2010 was great (The Mr.’s appendix decided it didn’t like him anymore and had to go), but the good definitely outweighed the bad and I’m grateful for all of the wonderful things 2010 did bring to us.
Edinburgh has been on mind a lot, too. Yesterday, at midnight, I had hoped one of the radio stations might play a rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight. When I couldn’t find it, I turned off the radio and sang it instead.
In some ways, because of all that we’ve experienced, Edinburgh feels like another lifetime ago. And in other ways, it feels like we left only yesterday and that being here in Germany is only an extended vacation that has yet to end. I still think of our flat there as “our flat,” and cannot imagine it empty of our things, or (stranger still) with other people living inside. I miss my favorite shops and cafes, and being able to text a friend and get together to do something. There’s a sort of nostalgic sadness that lingers when I think of Edinburgh, but if I think hard enough I can also remember that our life there had its drawbacks, too. There were reasons we took up the job opportunity here in Germany, and they were good ones. And I have to admit – life here IS pretty darn good. Our day-to-day quality of living is much better for both of us for a number of reasons, so apart from missing friends, there’s little to complain about. In fact, despite the fact that there are people and things I miss back in Edinburgh, I’ve reached the point where I can say that moving here was the right choice.
What does 2011 have in store for us? Well, I’m not sure if it counts as a New Year’s resolution since I’ve already resolved to do it, but I’m kicking off the new year by beginning a German language course which I hope will help me feel more at home and confident in everyday life. And there’s talk we might try – kitchen expenses allowing – to fit in a bigger trip somewhere this year. The “big trip” was the carrot the Mr. dangled as incentive for leaving Edinburgh, so we’re working out what and where that might be. I’m pushing for Japan, but apparently the exchange rate right now is dreadful so that might not be the wisest trip financially. So who knows. More than anything else, I just hope that 2011 is as good to us as 2010 was.
Update: In a strange coincidence, after writing this last night, I went into the office where the Mr. was looking up property to buy in Edinburgh. (He just likes to look as a sort of hobby, mostly so that he can exclaim how crazily inflated the prices are there.) Anyway, at one point, I hear him gasp. Our former flat is on the market to sell. We looked at the photos they had with the listing, and it was so…weird. Apparently the only renovation they did was installing new laminate in the kitchen. Otherwise, it looks just like our flat, complete with the heaters, kettle and dish rack we left behind. We had a good laugh over the description as they always try to make it sound better than it really is, but seeing it again – empty except for a few of our things – made us feel a little sad.