What is your word?
I'm a bit behind on a post that I've been wanting to write for the beginning of 2018. The end of December and January brought about some obstacles, from a last minute trip to the USA, to hosting at our new home, a trip to Spain and being held down by sickness.
As 2018 approached I was really lamenting on what 2017 brought and how to sum it all up. One of my favorite books is "Eat, Pray, Love" written by Elizabeth Gilbert. The author, Elizabeth, is living her lifelong dream to adventure in Italy, India and Bali. While in Italy she gets into a conversation with some of her friends about a recent trip to Rome.
I love this except in the book and think about "finding my word" often. For me, my "word" changes often as I ebb and flow through the different chapters of life. I thought of our past year and all that it embodied and signified for us and knew there was a word for the year. Immediately the word came to me. It was a word that embodied our past year completely. The whole year seemed to envelop both Ara and I into a sense of awaiting.
We started the year awaiting news of where we would find ourselves for Ara's next military assignment. There were certain weeks that Ara would come home with several different scenarios of potential next jobs that we would discuss at dinner. For months we awaited the news to find out where our next "home" would be. April brought us the news that we would moving to Ramstein, Germany for Ara's next job and before we knew it lists were being made, google searches were starting and it was time to close our chapter in Tacoma. For the next few months, we tried our hardest to savor every moment with friends, every coffee and local microbrew sipped at our favorite spots and every last event with Metro Parks as our days drew to a close in Washington. Once June 1 arrived on the calendar it seemed like the anticipation only grew to an equally fast and wretched slow pace of awaiting as all the items that needed accomplished before our move in July kept piling up. I think back now as we are finally settled into our home and new location how much brave endurance it took for this last move of ours.
Once we arrived to Germany we felt ourselves patiently (and sometimes very impatiently) awaiting...
- A house to call home
- A sense of "home" while severely missing Tacoma
- Our household goods to fill our home
- Friends who feel like family
2017 proved to be a year of learning, challenges I never expected and also a lot of overcoming the challenges we faced as we awaited. I read an article once about the top five stressful situations that you can face and two of those include changing jobs and moving. This is something that we do almost every three years as we move with the military and jobs change for the both of us. The heaviness of the situation sat differently with me this time for some reason.
Instead of waiting until the end of 2018, I decided that I wanted to brand the year at the beginning in anticipation and to be intentional for what is to come. In the past, Ara and I have had a few things planned out or ideas brewing in our head for what we would do in a year. But now that we are living abroad, we both knew we wanted to get the most out of our time spent in Europe.
I feel that 2018 will truly be a year for exploration.
- The obvious: We sat down in late December and mapped out all our travel plans until July. There are several places that Ara and I have on our "must see" list while living in Europe and definitely made those a priority this year. I can't wait to explore the places and countries that we have mapped out to visit this year. Each time we travel a new place and enrich ourselves with a new culture I feel my cup filling up and overflowing.
- Finding ways to have a functional-fit lifestyle: We aren't getting any younger and are making an intentional effort to stay healthy and fit. Between making better choices for weeknight meals (missing our Blue Apron days) and cheering each other on as we both strive for a more constant and active body.
- Cultivating the friendships we have made and exploring new depths: We were thankful to have found some great friends within our first couple months of living here in Germany. One of the hardest things about moving every few years is finding friends and wishing you could just jump into the phase where you have known each other for years. I'm looking forward to strengthening and deepening relationships we have made with new friends at our new home.