My second week alone was much better than week one. My cold and eye infection cleared up, I went back to the gym, I made an effort to get more protein in my diet, and I got a few projects started at the new house. My husband got our personal possessions in our storage unit in Hawaii loaded in a container and it’s on the way to Amsterdam via Seoul, Korea. With any luck we’ll see our things in about 2 months. The weather has been cold but I’ve gotten out and walked and even rode my new bike—I’m learning how to dress for winter and it’s been fine. I’m actually enjoying experiencing seasons, something new for me.
A reader of this blog made a suggestion that I keep some chicken meat handy to because I wasn’t getting any protein—and I did just that! I bought a cooked chicken and made some chicken salad with some of it, I also cut some up and put it on a green salad and I made some chicken soup. Such a simple thing, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but thank you Amy! It made a huge difference and reminded me once again what a great resource the vertical sleeve forum has been for me and how helpful it is to have the support of others.
I had my first ‘couch surfer’ this week. Just as verticalsleevetalk.com is a great resource for those of us going through WLS, couchsurfing.org is a wonderful resource for traveling. It now has over 5 million members (wow, when I joined they didn’t even have a million!) in over 97,000 cities! Basically, the website connects travelers and locals who who have an extra bedroom (or couch!). Travelers stay for free and the idea is to share cultures, hospitality and adventures. Even if you don’t have space for people to stay, you can offer to show them around or meet them for coffee. Opening up my home to others has always enriched and added some balance in my life; it reinforces the belief that I have that people are good and everyone has an interesting story. Of course, if you’re the guest it’s a great way to meet people and save money when you travel; you just can’t be too picky. Because we are in such a central location in Amsterdam, once I said we were available I must have gotten 10 requests in one week. I hosted a very interesting young lady (a graphic designer) who is originally from Austria but has been living in NYC for the last 5 years. She was evacuated from her 51-story high-rise in the financial district due to Hurricane Sandy and can’t get back in until March, so in typical European fashion she looked at it as an opportunity to travel. She was delightful and I really enjoyed her company. Although I didn’t tell her I had surgery, I did tell her I had lost a lot of weight in the past year; she saw a ‘BEFORE’ photo of me and asked me about it. As she left she told me I inspired her to lose some weight—something I have actually heard from a number of friends—and then I feel guilty, of course, knowing that they will have to do the whole diet routine.
Given the tragedy that just occurred in Connecticut, it seems so trivial to be writing about my week—it just doesn’t seem right to be talking about my life when so many lives have been shattered. There’s no way to make any sense of acts of violence like this, especially during a season when we try to remember to be thankful and grateful for the good things in our lives. It doesn’t matter that I am living in a different country on another continent, this kind of sadness has no borders.
Many years ago I lost my 22-year-old niece in a senseless death right before the holidays (coincidentally, she died in Connecticut) and it’s something that casts a long shadow—one that makes you question life’s priorities.
So let me just end with this: one of the reasons we all go through this surgery is to become healthier and live a longer, more full life with those we love. Maybe what happened this past week is a reminder to tell and show those we love how much they mean to us every time they walk out the door, because you never know what might happen and how our life can change in moments.
Tot volgende week, blijf veilig (until next week, be safe…)
QUEEN OF CROP