“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.”
― Neil Gaiman
New Year’s Resolutions 2017
This Neil Gaiman quote really resonates with me this New Year as a few mistakes were definitely made in 2016 and I hope to make a few even bigger ones this year!
Such is life.
We learn. We fall.
We pick ourselves up. And then we grow.
Through this process somehow we manage to elevate our experience toward becoming well developed human beings.
I am truly sorry if I hurt anyone this past year and I am also equally sorry you don’t know me well enough to know that it was not intentional.
Such is life… but time does heal all wounds.
Get over it! lol
Starting a new year means it is time to make some resolutions!
Make a list, and stick to it!
Why do I do it?
Well that’s easy, because for me making a set of goals every year works!
It allows me to check back to what is important to me, what my long term and short term goals are… and those stubborn items that keep turning up year after year, keeps me in check, like losing a few pounds or finally publishing my book… I know I will eventually get there…
New Year’s Resolution List 2017
#1 Grow A Thick Skin!
I am a sensitive human being that absorbs my environment, who feels the way through every situation.
I find myself crying at Christmas concerts, empathetic to a fault I relive minimal situations over and over again in my mind trying to find the moment where it all went wrong…
I often wish I could turn off my emotions and feel nothing.
Most likely that will only happen when I die, so perhaps it is time I grown a thicker skin.
A friend gave me a solution, to try to visualise a protective bubble around myself acting as a shield that keeps out the emotions of others. It often works, but sometimes, even in my Polly Anna perfect world where I like to give all people the benefit of the doubt, some jerks manage to get to me, to pick my ass through my bubble! I never thought I would hear myself say that, but what a visual!
I am human after all. And although I try very hard to please everyone in the universe, I always play nice; not everyone likes me. I know shocking right?
This year I plan to be an asshole back! I am not kidding! I will not let the losers of the world get under my skin. SO watch out bullies, I plan to lash out and defend myself. You will not see me fall apart ever again!
This is my promise to myself 2017!
Yup, if YOU are reading this, I am definitely talking about you! YOU know who YOU are! And yes you are the insensitive person that I am speaking of, who is so insecure in your life that lashing out at me felt glorious. It made you feel like the big man for a few weeks. I hope it was worth it.
Because trust me, in the long run, this was a mistake. Not to me, but to yourself.
And I know you are so much more than this one act. Maybe you too can grow from this mistake.
In the end, I know who I am. And if I was somehow insensitive or made a mistake, then we should have talked about it, right, like grown ups and sorted it out. We are all equals on this beautiful planet we call home. No One is superior, nobody is better, we are all on the same journey, breathing the same air, trying to live and be happy.
And Karma is a bitch! I have a feeling this is not your first rodeo! And I believe Karma will bite you in the ass everytime. Not because I want it to, but because that’s how it works.
Good attracts good. Happy attracts happy. Sad attracts sad, and love attracts love. Eh voila!
#2 Not Get Bored
I am a fickel human with the attentionspam of a squirrel. It is true. I lose interest and move onto something else just like a crow that collects shiny things in the woods; I collect occupations, hobbies, people, and all things interesting…
There are some things that hold my interest for longer than a nanosecond. Things like singing, writing, teaching, but things like work, and jobs, well I like to switch it up and challenge myself by learning a new skill set.
I used to think it was ambition. After all it explain it. But now I think I am a seeker of information; joyously experiencing the world around me through tactile measures with great enthusiasm.
I love learning.
I love people. And it always interests me how people make a living and how they find balance to aim at living happy lives.
It is all very fascinating.
Once I was told that my hunger for change and experience is because I am a new spirit; my first time around planet Earth. So I try to cram is as much as humanly possible into one lifetime.
As opposed to a reincarnated old soul circulating for centuries, generation after generation, a little bored of life.
I guess they might be right, who am I to say they are wrong, but perhaps each time around we should be grasping at every experience with wonderment because we don’t know we if get another chance around, or worse next time I may be a rock or a single blade of grass.
Doesn’t that get you motivated?
My goal this year is to stay content, find the little things that hold my interest for the entire year. I don’t want to wake up one morning and feel like I don’t want to go to work, that I need a new new country, and another fresh start.
I want peace, and calm.
I want to love it here.
I am committed and I will do my very best at making a life I can get excited about!
I hope this career stays fulfilling.
Up until now I was certain I would never find a job that ties in all my interests. I am hopeful. And perhaps with a little luck I will make a few friends too…
#3 Promote Business
I have a passion for teaching kids and from that LivEnglish was born. I want to share my knowledge of working in the linguistic sejour industry with others to help make Hungary more fluent one child at a time!
I hope to promote the idea of our homestay program throughout Hungary and to start hosting here in Solymar come summer.
We have the two extra rooms with extra bed to host four kids at once. The program this year will focus on dialogues and stories, writing challenges to help these student reach fluency.
I am stoked!
#4 Promote New Life through House Hunters International
We have another opportunity to film reality TV and we are taking it!
Shoot dates are Spring Break 2017!
Here we go again sharing our expat life on uber popular American TV! House Hunters International has been coming along for the ride from Canada to France and now from France to Hungary!
I am proud to be part of such an amazing television show which promotes travel, expat living, new experiences and shares different cultures and traditions from around the world. It show the world as a more friendly place than the news, it gives inspiration to so many people and I love being part of something so positive.
I hope that this new house hunting experience is just as interesting to our family and friends back home as France was. But I have a feeling maybe it will be more interesting as most people have never been to my beloved Hungary before! I want to show the world a different side to Hungary, one different than the media splashes across the news real.
I am crossing my fingers that we can share what we love so much about our homeland. Although this is my first time living here, I am endlessly grateful for the experience.
#5 Diet until shoot
I want to look great for American TV and have decided to diet until Spring Break! I know diets never work, and right after I will drink and eat excessively to make up for all the yummy things I didn’t get to eat, but, I have a specific date, and will starve myself if need be!
I want to buy a new dress that shows the world how hot this mamma is at 43!
Well I can dream!!
And I will certainly try!
#6 Get My Degree via Correspondence
It seems to be the thorn in my side, the thing I regret most as it keeps coming up in my life. I know I don’t need it, but I want it!
I am looking into correspondence and perhaps I will finally conform and have a little piece of paper saying I went through the process of being educated. (edgimication)
I was looking at either an IT, computer or a finance degree. They have a lovely little course at Acadia Distance learning called Business & Computing. Maybe 2017 will be the year I get started!
#7 Finish decorating the house
One day was dedicated to lighting, another door handles, paint samples, and beds. We have been to IKEA more times in our lives than anyone I know and this time it was not for the meatballs!
I am always hopeful that this house might be our forever home. So I am furnishing our home with longevity in mind.
The children are older and less destructive, so buying a few pieces that withstand the test of time are definitely in the equation when we are buying.
Lighting: I would like to find something pretty and interesting looking for above the dining table, after all we are always together at the table for meals. Something inspirational and not too formal. Of course one day I dream of a crystal chandelier but for today and our style, how about 5 little hanging lanterns with LED bulbs inside, all different, maybe on the rustic side. Cute, functional with a little pizazz! I saw it a KIKA, but it was an employee’s design, so I would have to piece it together and maybe even make it ourselves.
Paint: I picked a simple soft yellow for the walls. A neutral colour to add a bit a warmth to the large space and high ceilings. With the dark wood furniture and the warm and cozy earth tones, the pairing seems right. Not too offensive, not to ordinary, just a little something until we decide what colours would be best suited for each room.
Furniture: For the main room we picked a dark leather sectional. It is a big space and filling it up with seating makes sense. It goes with the wood top table, and carries the colours into the kitchen.
Kitchen: I couldn’t be more pleased with the kitchen. The tiled mach wood floors, the Bianca granite counter tops with tiny red stones, the custom white and dark contrasting cabinets, white subway tile back splash and the iron handles; all make for the perfect place to prepare meals. The organized drawers and shelves, the pull out cupboards, make food preparation a breeze. And the best part? A separate cold room for all the food products organized with a pine shelving unit that nearly reaches the ceiling. The smell of fresh spices and freshly cut wood hits your nose when you open the door.
Yup, my dream Speisekammer or Speise as we call it, a word that my Nagymama carried forward from her childhood.
What’s left? The million little things that make a house a home after years of living in it!
The downstairs has tiling remaining, a toilet still needs to go in, more paint in the spare room, coat hangers and lighting for the entrance, welcome mat, bench, shoe racks, a big laundry sink…. the list goes on and on.
Slowly, ever so slowly we will get there, and hopefully in time for the filming of our episode. Crossing my fingers.
Among the happiest times of my life, yoga always seems to be a part. I remember the comfort I found in breathing. Something as simple as knowing how to take in a full breath and the relaxation and zen I found from this single act.
For a person, like myself, that keeps getting threatened by doctors to have the back operation, something like yoga will keep me off the operating table for as long as possible.
Chronic back pain paired from slipped discs, pinched nerves, degeneration of cartilage and bone on bone rubbing can be enough for most to start the cutting. However, I have seen too many people in more pain after the intervention who spend years recovering from the procedure itself. Physiotherapy, hypnosis, nerve cutting, chiropractors… not for me!
I have had an ongoing issue with pain my whole life, and yoga seems to be my answer when paired with keeping my weight down.
And who knows, maybe one day I will become a yogi!
SHUT UP, stop laughing! haha
Oh why not? Life is long and we can do whatever we want. I can add another slash to my title /yogi! Has a nice ring to it really, wouldn’t you say? I could travel to California or India to get certified. It would be a breeze…
you’re laughing now, but you wait and see!
#9 Making Hungarian Duck like Ili Neni
My Ili Neni makes the best duck on the planet, very much like the French style confit which is slowly cooked in its own juices. I want to learn how to make this delectable dish!
So this year I plan to visit my family alone. I want to travel by train and have hubby and kids meet us on the Sunday to a meal that I prepared with my Aunt. Red cabbage, duck, and roasted potatoes… yum!
#10 Not cut my hair for the entire year! Starting after my hair cut today!
I have hair envy. I dream of a lustrous flow of thick hair dangle to my waist, but for some reason, my hair just doesn’t grow.
Here in Hungary I found a remarkable new shampoo from Yves Rocher that doesn’t have chemicals in it that doesn’t lather up like other shampoos.
My hair seems to be growing better than ever before.
I am optimistic! I want to grow my hair out one last time before I reach fifty years old! That’s a seven year goal! I can do it!
If not, well there are always hair extension again!
#11 Take the Hungarian proficiency test
If I have time I will take my A levels in oral comprehension. I am sure I have them already but you know how much people love the proof!
In a world of degrees and paper trails, conformation, and assimilation; people like us to show your work!
Alfonz took his C levels earlier this year and made me so very proud.
I wish to follow in his footsteps and master something instead of half-assing it. Yes I made up a new verb there!
#12 Learn how to play chess!
I have always thought I have a good mind for strategy, after all I am a woman! Our brains seem to be wired for complex problems and multi levels of warfare!
There are a number of benefits to learning chess from raising IQ, learning vital problem solving skills, to building your memory, planning and foresight and even helping to prevent Alzheimer’s!
2017 I will master the game of chess or at least learn the names of the pieces and where they go. Whichever.
#13 Be Happy
Being happy is a decision you make when you get up in the morning, a muscle you use everyday. It is not a state you get in because everything goes your way, the sun is shining and luck has it.
No. Absolutely not, because then happiness is in the hands of everyone else. When in reality it is in your hands.
It is a frame of mind that come from the conscious effort each day to change your mind to be positive no matter what.
Somedays I feel so much pain that just getting out of bed is utter agony.
Other days I wake up feeling lonely and sad being away from my family.
However I am still breathing. Not everyone is.
I have so much adventure left in me, that I take on each day with a vengeance, conquering new experiencing, and finding the wonderment in every moment.
If I can give you one piece of advice, it is to simply decide that today life is going to get better. Magically it will. Maybe not over night but it will happen.
You have to figure out what little things will get you through the tough times, and hang on to them, relive these moments, hold on to them tightly, and find that comfort in the not so shiny moments life throws your way.
Sometimes it can be hard, even for me who has taken part in this mind exercise for over two decades, but what I find is that if you think it, it will happen. So if you are churn over the bad events in your head day in and out; the jealousy, the envy, the hate; then life will bring it back to you over and again.
If you focus on the love, the good, the energy, the happiness, the health, the gratefulness; then life will bring it to you, and even faster than you can ever imagine.
New Year’s Resolutions 2016
√#1 Wear makeup everyday and do my hair!
Our unexpected sale and move to Budapest prompted me to take this resolution more seriously. Once I got a job with other adults in a school setting, I felt it was just that much more important to take some extra time on my appearance. So many people see me every day, that I actually care.
The latest evolution is that I actually enjoy buying clothes and makeup where once I hated even the thought of going into a mall to shop for myself. I guess knowing what looks good on your body comes with age, and perhaps at 43, I may even have my own style.
Even though it is loose and comfortable, I manage to throw in a few pretty pieces and there I am! Style description: urban comfort, mixed with colour. Eh voila, that’s me!
√#2 Keep at the French everyday!
Again my new job makes it impossible to go even a few hours without speaking French. I am taking an hour each day to learn in some fashion and feel I am getting better every day. Also Duolingo is my friend, and I am working very hard at my third language. Not so easy at my age, but I will prevail! I am confident that I will be speaking French for the rest of my life.
X #3 Take the language proficiency test in Hungarian
No time but maybe next year!
√ #4 My Expat Life Book Publish Online, Continue the Series and Promote
I am continuing the series and promoting wherever I can. Three other sites have published the series My Expat Life Series, so that’s a big step!
√ #5 Travel Goals
I made it to Canada, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary this year. Canada was a big deal, I really needed to see my mother and family. It was a fabulous trip!
√ #6 Back off watching the News
Not a drop of news since September! Yay!
√ #7 Energy, Vitamins and Weight Loss
I am on the right track, super active, always walking everywhere and my weight is down. To keep it up, in the new house I plan to join a gym and to become a ‘gym person’ again! I miss those days!
√ #8 Try to write in French as often as possible
I have been finding ways to write in French here and there, and take each opportunity to switch to French whenever I can. I ask for help often, but I am improving!
√#9 Find a way to get a loan in France
We did manage to get loans in France, but by then it was too late, we had already made up our minds to move to Budapest!
X #10 Learn How To Play Chess!
My students tried to teach me! Corentin is coming during the winter break, so I think he will teach me! Ok?!
√#11 To make ‘That’s Hamori’ more appealing
I had the help of a fabulous person, Annette Morris, who helped me optimize my website, and clean it up. It looks beautiful and I am very pleased at the result!
√ #12 Continue volunteering
It is funny that I often volunteered in France and I have already found a way to help my community in Budapest too! I have 10 tutees during school time to help them improve their grades!
And just one final thought. I make mistakes, often and many… but I do feel that learning and growing into whoever we are supposed to become takes time, exploration, courage adventure in whatever direction. It is through my own mistakes that i find peace and happiness. I wish this for you too. Now go make some mistakes!