It is Saturday morning, just before 10AM. Lientje has returned from her breakfast and the boys are still under the covers, making elephant like noises. As for me, I am drinking coffee and mentally organizing myself. However, first, I am appreciating that this morning I woke up on my own speed, instead of to the sound of the contractors next door – who during the week tend to arrive at 0630 and have no problem using all their outdoor voices and tools.
Knowing that this will be going on until March doesn’t make me like my new neighbors very much. The entire house was gutted and then they are also building out. Since the houses here are attached to each other and share common walls, you can imagine that I am far more involved in their renovations than I want to be. The neighbors themselves aren’t here, they live in the peace and quiet of Amstelveen. They put a note through our mail slots telling us the timeline and that they hoped we were not inconvenienced. But without any contact information so it is a rather passive aggressive way of not saying anything at all.
The houses here are old and there’s the Dutch habit of when you move you take everything with you, even the floor. You can imagine then that there are lots of renovation projects. I can’t quite understand it because I think it is rather wasteful. Renovating every time you move. When I move from this house, you can rest assured I am leaving the floor behind. Along with the appliances and the kitchen. 😉
Thursday morning, little C and I had our weekly date. I was sporting a mild hangover and so I went to the hospital wearing my yoga pants and my Cure t-shirt. Luckily, in a hospital people are wearing all manners of different clothing, so no one really looks twice except to wonder if my ankles aren’t cold (they are not full length yoga pants). This time we were relatively calm, no dancing with the IV poles. They give her a new medicine now which makes her really tired. We think that’s not the real goal, but rather to keep us in a state of good behavior…
We had a really interesting discussion, even if not accompanied by pole dancing. This time, we talked about introvert behavior, parents and children, cultural practices and the nuances of coffee service. I also needed to share some news with little C. Thursday afternoon, I had my first interview with another company. I needed her common sense input.
I passed the first round and will have the second round Tuesday evening. With next week being Thanksgiving in the US, I think they were in a hurry to get it scheduled. At the moment I am not nervous, I am trying not to get too excited. Culturally, they are very different and a great deal smaller.
At the same time, emotionally, I am having a little trouble with the fact that I am doing this. I think this is normal. I love my manager, like I mean, I love her. And I love the company I work for, I just don’t love the local version of it. I know that one of the things that bothers me most is the fixed culture and I know that I am one of the exceptions to it, which is partly why I have some difficulty. I know that by leaving, the monoculture will have gotten one person stronger. I don’t want to leave my fellow exceptions to the rule, knowing that it makes it harder for them. However, I also don’t want to wait another 7 years for the monoculture to shift significantly.
In my head, I have already made the decision to go. In my heart, that’s the catch. From the analytical perspective, I know all the reasons why I am looking and what I am looking for. The heart says “Don’t let them push you out. You can outlast them, just keep going. We have been through things that required our endurance before.” This is true, before I would keep going, no matter what. The difference now is that I’ve learned that endurance is not always what it is cracked up to be. There have been things I have held onto and kept doing that I should have been smarter about earlier.
I have decided to redirect my endurance. I do like that fact about myself, that it is a character trait that I have. I am redirecting my endurance to making sure that I am always doing things with and for purpose. In this case, finding a company that I can have more impact in because culturally it is open to that. If it is not this company that I am now interviewing with, then it will be another.
Last night, Rupert called me with some exciting news. He and Meredith are coming at the end of December for 10 days! I am so excited I want to leave for Schiphol now and start waiting for them. I won’t though, I will wait until December at least starts 😉 I can’t wait to see them. I am trying to get Cedric and Dylan here as well but as with all family things, that remains an effort. However, I am going to email them now as a reminder.
We were supposed to go to Prague for Thanksgiving weekend. However, GG has a super amazing life changing interview on Cyber Monday so we’ll be staying in the low lands. I figure Prague will still be there in the spring 🙂 That means that I have only visited two new countries this year. I am going to have to up my game in 2017.
I’ve been typing for an hour and I think I have my head in order for the rest of the day. It is time to officially wake the boys up and get to the park before it starts raining again. Here’s hoping that your weekend is a good one 🙂