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Showing posts from June, 2013

App I like

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This App is worth downloading. :)
This quote
is worth practicing every day.

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1. Three little kids to spend the week with2. Over ten years of friendship and amazing times with their mom 3. Being healthy and motivated enough to run twice so far this week 4. Cinnabon coffee creamer, chemicals & all :P (this will not be something I buy at home, it's too good!!) 5. Learning how to paint my own nails, after over 20 yrs if trying unsuccessfully 6. A talented, loving, and wonderful husband who I share this wacky lifestyle with  7. A few STRONG friendships that can withstand REAL LIFE ups and downs 8. Family that would do anything for me, whether I want it or not :P 9. Health. Biggest gift I take for granted 10. Coke slurpees. I can't find any in Quebec...but we found a place near the base

The Big Picture

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I missed Louis a lot today....and still had a fantastic day...and was happy. This is kind of a big deal. 

Grateful In Ginchies

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I'm really struggling to be happy while Louis and I are apart. It's probably harder this time because its been nearly 2.5 months, but I'm really struggling.

I try to keep busy, I try to think of all the amazing things that I've experienced and all the wonderful people in my life, yet...I'm unhappy, which makes appreciating life much harder. I want to change this. I think this takes time and energy, but I forget this. I get impatient with myself, I lose sight of all of my blessings, and then I have some really bad moments/hours/days. 

I'm working hard to change this. I could go on and write out everything that I'm doing, all the steps that I'm taking, which includes a key step of doing nothing because I can't just get "used to" a complete lifestyle change in a month. Or two months. 

Anyway, on to my story. Yesterday was a bad day. I'm not sure where it went wrong, but it went wrong. I ended up staying home while my friend went to watch her…

"This"

I'm having a SUPER good time, but Sunday & today were still harder days. 
Also, right now, I feel so self involved, caring little about what else is going on, reading or watching very little news, not calling any family, possibly being thoughtless or selfish. I don't like that, I don't think it's typically in my nature, but well...I don't know what to say about that at the moment. 


Sunday we were at the beach, I had a lot if fun, but near the end if the afternoon, I started the Sunday Sucks attitude and had a little cry session for a few minutes with my friend. I have no way to explain what I'm feeling other than confused. 

The tears were unrelated to the event, but came after we went and got groceries. I thought I had conquered the grocery shopping anxiety. It's a mix of over-stimulation and...I don't know, anxiety. Stef asked me some kind if question about what mix to get and I put my hands over my face and just said, I don't know? I can't pr…

Today was a happy day <3

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This makes me so happy. It's been too long since I've seen these goofballs & their ma. 

Airport Bitching

I was up before 05h00 because I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!
I'm off to see the best friend in the whole world and her family! Three of the cutest and funniest kids EVER that I haven't seen since LAST JUNE! That seems ridiculous!!!!
I was being all nervous about the car drop off, getting a taxi on time, & then I just said (in my head), "Screw it. You've done this a million times before in different countries, quit worrying!" which is like a big step for me! (I wish I was being sarcastic....
I'm dropping the car off at the girls' place for Laurie to have for the week and also because the taxi fare is $25 less from their place. I would have asked her for a ride...but at 06h30 on a Sunday morning the day after her graduation ball, well...maybe next time. 
The taxi receptionist was a super jerk, pissed off at me because I didn't know that they lived in a specific neighbourhood. I gave him the address...what more does he need? I told him I could give him the post…

Today was okay

Or, maybe I should write, "Today was okay!" 
I was insanely lazy, but I do remember saying a few months ago that I needed a break. 
I finally went out for breakfast and consumed probably my entire caloric requirements in that one meal, but whatevs. (I am back on track with tracking points on Weight Watchers, as of Wednesday, I'm up 3lbs still from my last MG weigh in {which I'm completely ok with for now}. I like the tracking part if WW because at least it lets you see what you eat in a day or week and I've lost 0.8 lbs this week).
I was less lonely but more anxious. It's rainy here and I was too tired/lazy to go for a walk. 
So that's it....
If I think back to my first six months, there was a lot of loneliness and anxiety. For some reason I find that comforting since I'm going through milder but similar reactions in a similar (sort of) situation. Man, it sure would help if I could just feel what I feel...instead of freaking out about any negative emotion!

Today Didn't Suck

Well, today didn't suck.

I'm not sure how many days I can say that this week...and I'm not going to look back, but I'm happy that today didn't suck.

I want to have less negativity on my blog...I want be thankful for the many blessings that I do have (starting with a dry home), I want to be more content with my current situation. But I have to learn how to not want all of that RIGHT THIS SECOND.

I say that I want to stimulate my brain, but then complain that I missed the University registration deadlines. Why not start an outline for a book to write about my experiences? I've started to write a gazillion times, but then never continued. I didn't want my outlet/hobby to start being work. But now that I'm...not working, and missing the feeling that comes with working...why not give it a try? I don't need to make a living out of it, and even if only three people get a copy, I'll still have something to look back on for the rest of my life.

I also …

Sucking Less

Ahhhh, mood swings.

Still lonely. Still sad. I've cried. 

But just a couple hours later, and I'm less of a "talk me off of the ledge" kinda mood than I was at.

Maybe I need to start writing a Guide: Dealing with Reverse Culture Shock While Living In Quebec Where You Don't Have Any Family/Friends And While Your Spouse Lives On A Different Continent.

Chapter One: Yes, crazy is your new normal.
Chapter Two: Don't eat too many fruits/veggies because you're excited that you finally get a selection
Chapter Three: It's okay to talk to yourself...or sing to the dog
Chapter Four: QUEBEC: You can't turn right on a red light. Just deal with it.
Chapter Five: QUEBEC: How to smile and nod as every person over the age of 50 tells you that you speak great French and that it's so nice that you make the effort (this happens like...MINIMUM twice a week)
Chapter Six: Your Cell Phone Bill: Be prepared for an ugly number.
Chapter Seven: Your Spouse: He's w…

This sucks.

I blabber on about perspective and how it makes such a big difference, but right now, everything pretty much sucks.

Nights suck.

I guess they are a little easier when I take a gym class...so I guess I'm taking a gym class every night.
I didn't take one tonight because spinning last night knocked me out.

On top of it, Louis doesn't have internet in the camp at the moment, so we haven't seen each other's face in awhile, and his work is ridiculously, crazy busy.

So I'm here. No friends. No family. A borrowed dog for the week that is ridiculously high maintenance.

I've tried to find a continuing education course I can sign up for, but I quit because my computer crashes non-stop. I thought I'd get a head start and register for something before I leave for Borden on Sunday, but I think I'm way behind because I should have registered in May...but I wasn't thinking about that at the time.

When I'm back from Borden, I can find a day-time yoga cl…

Non-Moody Related Post :)

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Hey there!

Wanna read about something other than my moods? 'Cause I'm kinda sick of hearing about them myself.

While I was in Luxembourg, my friend asked me if I cooked and what kind of stuff I make at home.
I couldn't think of anything... I mean, I know I cook, because we don't eat out that often and Louis isn't anything special (except for special) in the kitchen. I've eaten out twice while in Montreal, both this week consisting of McDonalds and a thing of poutine. I'm not really interested in eating out, for two reasons:
1. We had our food prepared for us day in and day out and it was none of the stuff that I liked and it was often inedible....
2. I'm so overwhelmed by the menu that I CAN'T decide. I can't focus enough to think about what I want to eat. If it's a restaurant I've been to before, I usually just order what I had last time. But it's always a very long, painful process. (OH! But I really want to go to Cora's for br…

Tuesday

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Alright, yesterday things were a little bleak. Actually, until the afternoon, things didn't seem that much better...

But I didn't feel like being sad, and I knew that if I did one of the things I set out to do on today's To-Do-List, that I'd probably feel better...

Buy dog foodgrocery shopfollow up on a few job leads Let's just start with the dog food. Oh my. Driving is seriously something that brings me no enjoyment. Thank goodness for my little GPS...or I'd go crazy. Actually, it drives me a little crazy because it talks in English and reads all of the French signs phonetically...but moving on...

There is a ridiculous amount of road construction, and poor little GPS isn't always up to date. So I heard the stupid, "RECALCULATING" message, at least three times...and yes, there was a lot of swearing and talking to myself. At one point, I was confused which exit to take, so I was going ten km less than the speed limit and I got honked at twice and gi…

Perspective

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It almost seems like Sunday afternoon/evenings and Mondays are becoming a trend. They suck.

I remember wayyyy back when I first started in Madagascar...I think I consistently had like awful....Tuesdays, was it? I can't remember, but I know it was always the same day in the week.

There's nothing special why Sunday was different. Louis had to work, which meant we couldn't talk as much...but the time we spend talking to one another has always varied. We don't have the same schedules day in and day out...so that's normal. But I got into a major crying spell, which then leads me to fall incredibly insecure about everything, which isn't a fun place to be. I ended up staying up  late so that I could call Louis first thing in the morning...which I'm sure isn't a fun thing to do in the morning...I guess I just wanted to know that we are okay.

We're always ok, but the distance REALLY gets to me some days. If I was travelling, or in Edmonton, or here...it'…

Back Home (term losely defined :P)

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I'm back in Quebec and it kind of feels nice!

I was a little up and down yesterday, but...I have like, the perfect solution to any crankiness:
This creature.

She's cute and funny and quirky...and....can drive you absolutely crazy.

She has these little spazz sessions in her bed, and that's how she pets herself.
She barks to ask permission to go into her cage (where she eats and sleeps).
She refuses to drink her water if there is any tiny, little thing in there. Like a hair.
She is scared of going up stairs (I need to get a video of this because it's quite funny).

Yesterday my luggage came from Air Canada (it's a very long story that resulted in me barely not yelling and swearing at the delivery man...I am so not impressed and a letter will be written), and I was super annoyed, but then I had this crazy beast trying to get me to play with her.

Yesterday Maggie and I had a fight, because I was determined to break this, "Replace my water, there's something i…

Adjustment Process

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Oh yeah....EVERYONE told me this would happen....I kinda forgot... image source

Click here to find an article I really enjoyed reading.

"Expats returning home can expect their top re-entry challenges being:

- Boredom
- No one wants to listen
- You can’t explain
- Reverse homesickness
- Relationships have changed
- People see “wrong” changes
- People misunderstand you
- Feelings of alienation
- Inability to apply new knowledge and skills
- Loss/compartmentalization of experience
(according to Dr. Bruce La Brack from the School of International Studies at University of the Pacific)"

I especially enjoyed this analogy:
“Re-entry shock is when you feel like you are wearing contact lenses in the wrong eyes. Everything looks almost right.”

So true. Everything is the same...but so different.

Gotta keep this in mind....

Purple jumped; car the dishwater/frog Armenian drove!

I'm going through a lot right now. And I'm not sure if I can properly explain it so that it makes any sense (thus the title of the post...) (or if the title of the post will just make me sound crazier. But at work I'd often get emails that make as much sense as the title of this post....)

I'm not saying that in a Please pity me or as an excuse for any behavior. But I forget that I'm going through a lot. Or that there are a lot of changes and uncertainty in my life right now.

And I had an experience about a month ago, that kind of added to the "a lot". It started to slowly skew my perception how relationships work. And while I knew it was kind of lingering in the background, and that I had to deal with it eventually, I guess I didn't know how prevalent it was until this morning...while I sat in the most amazing jet tub that I have ever come across, followed by a fantastic massage.

I was so relaxed in the tub that I had to prop my leg up on the edge, …

Too Many Places At Once

I'm having a lot of cool Edmonton experiences while I'm here!
First, seeing my grandpa, in much better condition that in January, was great. He's still ill, and they'll still have a lot if bad days, but he's at home, and everyone is trying their best. 
Next, it was the small little things. Like going to Mac's for a slurpee (I can't find any near us in Quebec). Or spending the day with my cousin. Or going out with friends that I don't get to see enough. Or going to IHop to eat an entire day's worth of calories in one sitting :S
But I'm overwhelmed by it all. I want to take it all in, but I have a hard time because Louis and I will have a long distance relationship for awhile, and because I've chosen to make Quebec my home. 
I feel guilty for not being here. For missing out on the lives of my friends and family. It's been awhile since I've struggled with moving from Alberta, but now I'm really feeling it. 
I miss Louis, but I miss the r…

Family Supper Night

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I know my last last post was me being a little sad, but I did really have a good evening last night.
I picked up Louis' girls from school, 
{I'm  not sure why sending this text made me so happy, but it did :)}
(OHHHHH MYYYY, school parking lots with idiot parent drivers!!!)
and then we want to Sears to get the watch I found in Amsterdam for Claudie's birthday sized. (I kinda wanted her to hate the watch so that I could keep it...I nearly wore it out one night!!)
Then it was back home to make supper. And everything fell into the same routine, I'll cook, Laurie makes the salad, Claudie sets the table while we chat and listen to the radio. 
I have to admit that I was a little nervous because its the first time we've hung out while Louis' been out of the country, so it was so nice that everything was just the same as before! I'm not sure why it would be any different...but I guess I'm never sure of my role and ( given my own experiences....) I'm super sensiti…

Missesing

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Must have jinxed myself yesterday. 
I had such a fun good day and a super awesome evening. 
But sometimes the nights are so, so hard. And even though we stay connected multiple times throughout the day, at night I just want to see and hug this:
in person. 
(Ok, I admit, the photo montage may be a bit dramatic...)

A Quick Walk

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I needed some BBQ sauce so I decided to walk to the grocery store. Including shopping steps, it's only 1.5km there and back.

I live to walk and listen to music on my iPhone, occasionally throwing a dance move or two in the mix.
Before: My runs in camp were completely in the dark, so it was pretty hard for anyone to see my goofiness.
Now: Uhhh, oh, who cares. I look like a goof, but I do try to minimize the dancing when I know people can obviously see me. 
It's also soooo amazing to see the trees, grass, flowers, etc. We had them in the camp, but everything seems so much brighter here. I couldn't stop taking pictures of flowers! 

I can't get over how surreal everything feels!

{And I just looked back and saw that I'm making progress!! I can talk to Louis at nighttime and I'm not weepy, like how I was up until a few weeks ago! Yay!}


Settling in. Whatever that means?

Alright I need to just slow things down a little bit here....

I have about nineteen million things on the brain and want to accomplish everything NOW, including finding a job.

I had this plan, that I would go to this café for three hours every second day, so that job-hunting would be done out of the house, and I wouldn't get all stressed like I normally do when I job hunt.

That didn't work yesterday. I went to the café, and it was sooooo busy, and I had zero desire to job hunt.

So I did it later on in the day, at home, in my pjs, and guess what, it worked just as well. I'm not sure why I didn't realize that I really want to find a job, so I'm not about to be a slacker about it and I don't need to schedule it in my day at a special location.

Oh. I've taken a breath.

My welcome back to Montreal was not so welcoming. I arrived back at Louis' (our?) place to find that the internet wasn't working. I also don't know how to work the TV or which chann…

What a trip

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This vacation started with an already booked cycling vacation in the Czech Republic. It grew and grew. It was became nearly SEVEN weeks. Wow.

It started out with a little hiccup. I had badly scratched my eye, and wasn't really able to tour much of Cape Town because my eyes were too light sensitive. I still had a nice time, actually. 

Then came the massive freak-out about the yoga trip, followed by a beautiful three hour drive to Swendellam, with a very lovely lady.
Then came the massive coughing/sickfest, which totally sucked. Yet, I still feel it was exactly what I needed. I needed sleep, and rest, and good, healthy food. And maybe someone to take care if me, which I had plenty of. I guess there was a bad cough going around the other expats in Madagascar, so maybe it was something I picked up before I left, we'll never know. 
(I love how my grey face matches my grey shirt).
Prague remains one of my most favourite times. Even though I was alone and sick or trying to rest a lot of t…