Monday, December 31, 2012
I'm back in blustery, grey Antwerp after a fantastic holiday in the sun. We had a great time and all came back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated - well, apart from the jetlag. We visited all the Disney parks - what a vision that man had, although I couldn't help wondering what he would have made of the excessive crowds over the Christmas period and the high pricing of low quality food....(I'm allowed to be a bit "Grumpy Old Woman"ish, I have a Big Birthday looming). We also enjoyed exploring the local area and relaxing back at the house we'd rented. Best of all, it was lovely to spend quality time together as a family, with no interruptions from work/school/life.
So we find ourselves at New Year's Eve, traditionally a time for navel gazing. A time for looking back at our accomplishments and looking forward to future goals. Suffice it to say, 2012 has been another good year for me, I feel very blessed to live the life I live. I have one or two big fitness goals to aim for in 2013, it's good to have a focus. I'm planning to do the Brussels 20K in May and the Dodentocht (Death March) 100K in August. Tonight we will be going into Antwerp to see the new year in with the annual fireworks display over the River Schelde.
Wishing all my friends in Sparkland a very happy and healthy 2013, may all your dreams come true. See you on the other side!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Sat here in the sun listening to Christmas songs on the radio, somehow it doesn't feel like Christmas Eve. We're having a lovely holiday but Christmas has taken a back seat. Yes, there are decorations up and we're being wished "happy holidays" wherever we go. (Strange in itself, is it politically incorrect to wish someone a happy Christmas? We lived in the Middle East for 3 years where Christmas was very definitely not celebrated. We were, however, wished Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mubarak during their celebrations and took it with a smile in the spirit it was intended.)
My daughter announced at breakfast that she isn't excited this year as she knew she wasn't getting a sack of surprises tomorrow. We decided to exchange one small gift each (small enough to fit in a suitcase) and we have a few presents under the tree to open when we return home. But it's a very scaled-down version of our usual Christmas splurge.
I need to have a gentle chat with her. I want her to appreciate Christmas presence rather than Christmas presents. She already has everything she could possibly need or want. I want her to realise that we are so lucky. We have good friends who love and support us, we are blessed with our health and have excellent healthcare when we need it, we have no money worries and can afford to take expensive foreign holidays, we have the most wonderful loving family. I want her to realise how lucky we are to live the life we live.
I saw this quote a few days ago. Sums it up nicely.
“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I'm having a lovely holiday. I'm enjoying the warmth of the sun, it's great to be back in Tshirts and sandals. I have friends back in Belgium who thought we were bonkers going to the sun for the holiday - that somehow, it isn't Christmas unless you're shivering in the snow! I'm spending precious time with my family, something I don't get to do often enough these days. The house we've rented is lovely. All in all, we're relaxing and unwinding and having fun.
As far as sticking to my new healthy lifestyle is concerned, well I'm walking plenty! Even the kids were complaining this evening that their feet were aching! I've decided to deploy "damage limitation" as far as food is concerned. If I lived here, I'm sure I'd weigh 300lbs. Surrounded by temptation, so much choice, so cheap compared to Europe. I'd be fooling myself if I thought I was going to lose weight on holiday over Christmas. So I shall aim to not put more than a pound or two on. Usually, I pack on a good 7lbs plus on a 2 week holiday.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Tomorrow we will travel up to my husband's apartment in Haarlem, ready to catch our flight from Amsterdam to the USA on Monday morning.
I'm excited but also a little nervous - fear of the unknown! I'm not scared of flying but don't particularly enjoy it. The thought of hours spent in airports doesn't fill me with glee. I hate all the security procedures (although I totally understand WHY they are necessary), I end up feeling terribly guilty although I know I've done nothing wrong.... I think I've watched too many films.
Then there's the arrival stresses through immigration and the "what if's" - what if there's something wrong with the paperwork, what if the hire car isn't ready, what if we get lost, what if we can't find the housekeys....
By Monday bedtime, if I haven't been arrested at the airport, we should be in our holiday villa in Florida. That's when I'll finally relax and start to enjoy the fun!
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