Happy Feelings!

Hehe – this is what I always exclaim when I’m watching a show or movie with Andras and the couple in the spotlight finally have their first kiss, or share a sweet moment. You know, the butterflies in your stomach, ridiculous smile stretched out across your face, can’t even take a breath feeling…

That’s kind of how January has been for me. I’m almost uncomfortably happy right now, which sounds a little weird, but let me explain: As some of you know, my life has been full of change for the last 4-5 years. How can things be so simple now? I finally have a home – no roommates! And Andras and I just love staying home, cooking, hanging out, not really doing too much of anything. That should be boring right? NOT! It is gloriously simple, refreshing and wonderful.

The other reason it’s uncomfortable is because my mom has struggled with depression my whole life, and was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so whenever I feel really great, I wonder, “Am I just happy or could I be manic?” I’m certain that’s not the case because I’ve read enough about bipolar disorder, and have a friend who is an excellent resource – check out her blog! – but it’s still a paranoia of mine.

I made so many changes this month and the last few, that’s it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is bringing me such happiness. Since the blog is a great place to reflect, here I go:

  1. Routines. You already know about my obsession with those, so I’ll spare you this time. 😉 The most important one I’ve stuck to lately is getting enough sleep. It makes SUCH a difference. I have a nighttime routine now that starts at 8:30, and it’s lights out at 9:30, which makes waking up at 5:30 so much easier.
  2. Whole30 – no dairy, grains, legumes, soy, added sugar or alcohol for 30 days. We finish on January 30, and at that point I will add in small amounts of dairy (mostly as a seasoning) wine, and a sweet day – I mean a cheat day.
  3. No coffee! I sort of unexpectedly gave this one up a couple of weeks ago. As much as it feels  like I need it, I just don’t. It only leads me closer to anxiety, and I’ve noticed I now sleep much better.
  4. Yoga! 3x a week or more. Making that special time for just me is so important. When I don’t go, I at least meditate at home.
  5. Drinking enough water. I have a 24 oz water bottle, and I try to fill and drink it 3x a day.
  6. At work, my after school clubs haven’t started up. They will start up this week, so I need to do everything I can to plan carefully so that I don’t feel overwhelmed by them. They are supposed to fun extracurricular activities, something that the kids enjoy and are proud of. And that’s it. As soon as I make it more than that, it becomes stressful for me, and too much for them.

It will be interesting to see how the after school clubs, entering competition season, and modifying my diet slightly affect my happiness. Hopefully, if I keep up all of the other structure that’s making so much room for joy, I’ll stay in this lovely zone.

And when shit hits the fan, as it always does, I’ll just try to remember to breathe and laugh.

Almost nothing is ever as big as it seems.

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Moving Abroad

Andras and I have been talking more seriously about not spending the rest of our lives in the great state of Texas. The truth is, while Texas is great and yes, my family is here, if you’ve been following closely, you know this isn’t really my home. It’s taken me a while to understand, but I do recognize that I could find fulfillment anywhere if I was true to my awesome self. I don’t have to live in a some magical place in order to find that. I know it’s all up to me.

But being away from my home town, getting some space between me and my family, would certainly help. I’ve already distanced myself from certain friends that I struggle being myself around.

But why leave the country? I love and feel very comfortable in most of the European countries I’ve visited. I also click more easily with the Europeans I’ve met than I do with Americans. A LOT more easily. But honestly, this one comes down to Andras. He’s just not happy here. He’s not the same, confident energized guy here. He’s depressed here and it’s affected all aspects of his life and many aspects of our life together.

So, we’ve done more than just talk about it. We’ve set goals for what we each want to accomplish, listed what we need to accomplish/do together before we can make the big move. Right now we’re thinking Rotterdam, The Netherlands where Andras did a student exchange. A place with some of the best architecture in the world, mild, rainy weather year-round, tolerant people, and bike lanes galore. 🙂 I should probably visit first though. Don’t worry! That’s on list too. It’s looking like a 5-year plan right now. We also have a couple USA cities to visit too, just to keep our options open.

So, what made me share all of this? I’m waiting for Andras to finish up a meeting, and I found a coffee shop next door. (Actually a espresso / gelato specialty place – man I wish my digestive system wasn’t so angry!) Being in this new place, all by myself, a few people speaking a different language, is taking me back to that feeling of being in a new place. A place where no one knows me, and I can just be.

I know I can always just be, but since it’s a constant struggle for me, I appreciate the chance for it to be easier than usual.

I’m looking forward to this future with Andras, and I’m also happy to be reminded of what it’s like to travel somewhere alone. It is so quiet, so liberating. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. And I’m grateful for that.

Time is Funny

Time is a funny thing. As I get have more experiences, (aka, get older!) I realize that experiences can simultaneously feel like yesterday and years ago. I thought these three weeks in Hungary would fly by, and in many ways they did, and in other ways it feels like exactly three weeks, and in one way, it feels like even more.

Meet Bartley

Meet Bartley

This is Bartley. I think I mentioned in my last post that he’s at home with a dear friend who is taking care of him while we’re gone. He did great for the first week and half or so, but now he’s not really eating, and not playing with her dogs. It really makes me wonder – what’s more stressful, flying with him, or leaving him at home?

I think he’s worrying so much because the year I studied abroad in Hungary, I had to leave him with a friend as well. This is the longest I’ve been gone since then. He’s also a rescue dog, so he’s gone through many periods of thinking he’s found home, only to be uprooted again. (i.e. going from one foster home to another, being in a shelter, etc) I’m feeling pretty guilty…

Here are some more cute pics of him. 🙂

Squeaky toys are the best!

Squeaky toys are the best!

:)

🙂

So, there are two great things about going home on Wednesday: being able to be with Bartley again, and for András and I to have our own space again, so we can have more time for just us, as a couple, and as individuals.

But that’s pretty much it.

Emotions are starting to well up as I walk around the city for what feels like the last time, as I look at the different architecture, hear the beautiful language, feel like myself.

What will it be like to say good-bye to his parents? As much as they love me, I’m the reason their son spends most of his time so far away. What will it be like to go back to my life in Austin? Fit back into my not-at-all European routine?

How can I make my home feel more like home? Logically, I believe the answer to be entirely within myself, but experience doesn’t show that to be true.

I guess we’ll see!

Yesterday was a 1-point day. Today, so far is a 3-point day! Just have to meditate to make it 4.