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THESE ARE THE DAYS
Every day when I come into work, one of my colleagues greets me and then says what day it is. I don't know if this is a Swedish thing, but I find it very strange. EVERY DAY. I suspect he is saying it for confirmation because he must understand that I KNOW what day it is.

So, in case you weren't aware or don't have access to a calendar or are on vacation and not paying attention: today is Monday.

One of my other colleagues is gone on a business trip this week, so we're short one person, which means that I wasn't able to concentrate on a big presentation I'm working on but kept getting sidetracked by other things that were coming in with URGENT all over them, and questions from people and I really, really hope I can spend a good chunk of concentration time on it tomorrow or I will be completely stressed out by WEDNESDAY.

Today was the AWC meeting and the cookie exchange, which went well, except for the fact that one woman in the nuts group signed up for 2 people (because she was bringing her daughter to the meeting) but only made cookies for herself, so that whole group was expecting cookies from 6 people and only got them from 5. And one person in no-nuts group only put 5 cookies in her sets instead of 6. They WERE big cookies but, still.

We got a new furnace today and it's LOUD. It's humming like a great big loud cat out in the laundry room and it looks rather like a Star Trek beam-me-up machine. The old furnace wasn't working correctly so even though 11 years doesn't seem all that long for a furnace to last, it had to be replaced. Why is it that replacing things is so often cheaper than fixing them??

The guest speaker at our meeting was a life coach who works primarily with expats. He's an American who followed his spouse here after living in Spain for some time. He handed out an exercise on paper that consisted of a wheel divided into sections labeled

Fun & Recreation
Personal Growth
Significant Other / Romance
Money
Career
Family
Friends
Physical Environment
Health

The center of the wheel where all the wedges met was 1 (least happy) and the outside circle was 10 (most happy) and we were supposed to draw a line or fill in or indicate where our happiness level was for each of the wedges.

Overall, I am pretty happy with my life here in Sweden. One of my dreams was to live in Europe, and I'm doing that. Another one was to have a job I love and I have that. Almost all of my wedges were an 8 or a 9, because even though things are pretty great, there is some room for improvement, of course, in all of them. But the one that got the lowest number was FAMILY. Not because I'm not happy with my family; quite the contrary. I have a great family...great kids and a great husband; it's my first family that is bothering me. And not because I'm not happy with them, either, but because they are TOO FAR AWAY.

After nearly 17 years in Sweden, I really miss my family. I hate that I only see my mom once, maybe twice a year if I'm lucky, and that I see my brother less and my sister even less. It makes me sad, but I don't really know what to do about it. It's not like I can just fly to the States or down to Germany whenever I feel like it, and the same goes for them.

I hear other people say that they live in the same town or quite close to their siblings or parents and never see them either, but that wouldn't be the case if I had my druthers. Where are my druthers? What CAN I do about this? We DO call each other, and we DO write emails and they all read this blog and comment, but still. It's not enough. *sigh*

Anyway, I did get some online shopping done today and I'm now feeling pretty good about my to-do list. And my mom IS coming soon, so there's that. Also: COOKIES.
conflicted
mood: conflicted
music: Michael Penn—Evenfall


Comments

Just because of geography I see my brother most often, as he only lives about 20 miles away from my mother so nearly every time we go up to see her, they come over. They will not be there this Thanksgiving though, which has my children kind of bummed out because that means no cousins to hang out with. My two California sisters I only see at Christmas, and my Brooklyn and Philadelphia sisters I usually see if I crash at their places overnight in conjunction with some concert I have traveled to see. None of them come to stay with us. I guess we aren't on the way to anywhere and we don't really have room to comfortably put up whole families.

It's hard for me to imagine that if I lived closer to any of them I wouldn't see them more often. When I lived in Brooklyn I saw my sister who lives there just about every weekend. My mother probably sees my brother at least once every two or three weeks. My two San Francisco sisters see each other pretty regularly too. G's family in Malmö see each other very often too. Maybe those people you know who live in the same towns but don't see their siblings are just not all that close?

Edited at 2013-11-25 10:15 pm (UTC)

Most likely that's the case, but still when someone says that kind of thing I tend to boggle. Family means so much to me, I forget it's not the same for everyone.

(Anonymous)

I think my wheel would look pretty much like yours - except of course, for the significant other pie! I feel the same way as you do about the family being so far apart. Whenever I mention where my kids live- I usually find that most people react with joy about where they live- lucky me to go to such wonderful places- and then many of them realize the distances involved & the lack and in some way feel sorry for me. I try very hard to avoid that feeling and to concentrate on the first reaction! But I miss my kids and grand kids every day. Now I have to go eat a piece of candy! See...I blame my chocolate addiction on the 3 of you! Love, Lizardmom

I miss you every day, too, Mom. And Sarah and John! That part will never stop sucking!

(Anonymous)

Me too! What you said about the first family. Stinks it does! Miss you and you know I love you! Seester

I think my new solution is a full-on hardcore campaign to get you all to move here. What do you think?

Edited at 2013-11-26 09:39 pm (UTC)

From Megsie

I would miss my family too. xo

Oh. And it is Tuesday. FYI.

Re: From Megsie

NOW it's Tuesday. And by the time I see your next comment it will be Wednesday! I am up too late again! Oy!

My job wedge would be pretty low -- it's a good job, just not the right job, is the conclusion I've come to.

I live about an hour away from my parents and two of my siblings, and still only manage to see them a few times a year -- I HATE THAT. But our apartment is so crammed with Stuff that it's impossible to invite people over for a meal or a visit. I would dearly love to spend more time with my mom, doing genealogy stuff and just hanging out. I talk to her every weekend, and to my sister in Iowa likewise, but I really miss them. Looking forward to Thanksgiving, when all the local family will gather at Mom & Dad's house...

An hour away is 30 minutes each...meet for dinner in the middle! Once a month dates!

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