Not really the salt mines

Back to work today. I am pretty proud of the fact that I managed to not read or respond to work email during the days I took as vacation days. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did read the one that told my Fitbit battery was low and in need of charging but otherwise, I started this morning with 107 unread email messages. Which was pretty good.

I went to see the film “Wild” yesterday with Marianne. It is always good to see how much worse your life could be even if it is just in comparison to a movie character. For example, I am grateful that I have not lost my toenails and had to pull them off myself while hiking in the wilderness. Sort of makes cutting them short for banjo practice seem like no big thing.

Banjo lesson this afternoon. This time, it is at the store instead of my teacher’s house. Luckily it is sunny outside so it will be a nice bike ride over. – slight update – i walked out the door to a rainstorm.  I did wimp out and take the tram instead of my bike. I do have grooves in the tops of my fingers because of how hard I played – extra points for effort! During my lesson, a store customer came up and stared intensely through the glass door into the lesson room. That was unnerving. Perhaps he was compelled to see a banjo being tortured or wondering how Paul, my teacher, has the auditory stamina to listen and play along. Or maybe he just got confused by the glass window and thought he was in another neighborhood in Amsterdam 😉

Off to Switzerland later this month for an interview. I am excited because I took a few extra days before it and will be able to go explore. Rock out  with my inner Heidi you might say. I thought about taking the train for the full European experience but it was 8 hours each way. Whereas a flight into neighboring France was 1 hour and then an hour train ride over the border. So, this way I will still be travelling by train but getting there a little faster! I am looking forward to it!

I’m going back to the nuns next month for more Dutch. It is about time that I pay a little more attention to investing in myself and what brings me happiness rather than trying to do everything for everyone else. Or so my manager said last week in our mid year review. For me, I think I will just relish being somewhere that I can learn full time.

My mom has been with me a lot this past week. I can feel her strength in me and her love for me. I am so grateful that I can feel that still. It is also a grounding into who I am. Which I have needed. One of my favorite Mohawk Nation writers, Taikake Alfred, wrote “How you fight determines who you will become when the battle is over” . I had that as my email signature for many years. In thinking about it again, I realize that is the same teaching I have from my mom. As long as I hold onto that, I am okay.

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