Ready for the world…

Tomorrow is the first day in the new job. I am not sure I am ready for this yet but I imagine that like most things, I will learn by doing and by not giving up. This will work as long as I don’t let the voices in my head speak up too often or too loudly.

This week off was a really great one, not quite long enough to do all of the things I had planned to do. Then again, learning not to do everything on my list of things to do during a week of no work is an important development area for me 😉

On Monday, I went to the Amsterdam Museum which is housed in the building that served as the municipal orphanage from 1580 to 1960. The museum was fascinating. My only disappointment was that to go in the exhibit titled “The Little Orphanage” you had to have a kid to gain admission. Next time, I’ll borrow one.

Tuesday, Little C and I took the dogs and headed off to the Noordoostpolder – which is where the tulips all grow in field after field. We spent 7 hours touring around Friesland, stopping to look at a church that was for sale (mysteriously right after I had said to her Ï have always wanted to live in a church” and there it suddenly was)  and making a list of various other places we also needed to go and visit. We stopped in some woods along the way to let the dogs run and after that, it was pretty much three small dogs snoring in the backseat of Astrid for the rest of the way.

Wednesday, we loaded up the car again, this time with GG and drove to her childhood home. Her mother’s birthday was Wednesday and it was time to meet the aunts and uncles. GG and her sister told me that I should feel fine about my own Dutch since they have a German uncle who really has a terrible accent. He’s even named Wolfgang. It was a good evening, interesting to be around so many people who have known GG all her life. They were definitely curious about this American. I had asked GG to give me a list of each of her relatives, along with a distinguishing physical characteristic so I wouldn’t get the names wrong. I managed not to mess up any names. And, yes, my Dutch accent was pretty good 😉

Thursday was King’s Day. Amsterdam in particular turns orange. We had a pretty mellow version of it until the evening where the celebrations were lots of fun but left me with 12 hours of unbelievable hangover. As GG says “we’re not 18 any more”. That meant I missed lunch with a friend on Friday and had to skip Happy Hour at the Van Gogh Museum. The idea of going anywhere near anything with an alchoholic content is vastly unappealing at the moment.

Saturday I made up for the lunch I missed on Friday, much to the amusement of my friend Sabine. We went to the north of Amsterdam and spent our time exploring tiny alleys along the dikes, where there are houses built on the top of them. I am not sure where my next move will take me but an old brick house on top of a dike overlooking the river has a great deal of appeal. From a practical perspective, probably a better idea than a church in Friesland.

As for today, it was tackle the garden day. The grass got mowed (weed whacked) for the first time ever, the flowerboxes replanted, the lounge furniture cleaned up and placed for sale – so as to make room for something else, the windows washed and all of the left over beer bottles from the family visit in December finally returned for their deposit. 6 euro and 80 cents worth of beer bottles!

I also managed it through most of the week to not look at my email and not think too much about work. I read four books and genuinely tried to be a little bit more chill.

I am excited about tomorrow, nervous too.

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