Things that are keeping me up at night...
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Money...sadly not actual money like as if I had stuffed my mattress with money and it was poking me when I rolled over...wouldn't that be nice...(the Norsk don't really use cash money anyway much and sliding my bank card under my mattress really isn't the same thing) But now I digress...so money...Living here is a little like living in a pretend world where money does not mean much for example: Liam does not have real ski's yet and this puts him about 2 years behind most children here...he is 4 and I am not kidding kids get real skis at about 2 here...and of course ski boots, the right clothing and lessons. It is just how it is and no one thinks a thing about it. I am also being pressured by the parents of one of Quintessa's friends to get her better skis. Apparently her current skis are slowing her down. She is 8. Everyone having skis is just an example...my doctor was telling me that I need a smart phone because everyone in Norway has a smart phone...and an IPad. The special feature on my phone is a flashlight. Shoes...no one ever has old shoes here. I kid you not! Everywhere you look...new shoes. Oh I could go on and on but the real thing that is keeping me up at night is that we need to buy...
A car! No...make that two cars!!!!!!! and if everyone in Norway has nice skis, nice phones and nice shoes you can imagine about their cars. We went to a used dealer just to get an idea of what we are looking at and he showed us some (as he put it)low end, kind of OK cars for about 170000 krone or about 30,000 USD! EACH! EACH!!!!!! FOR A USED CAR!!!!! Stupid. Just stupid. I can't take it really. Actually, I won't do it. We saw comparable cars on line in the UK for half that amount of money...even cars in Sweden don't cost this much but this is Norway...money isn't real. I have since looked around and think maybe we can cut that price down by getting cars that are somewhat older but we are still talking about, in my opinion, an unreasonable amount of money. Oh and did I mention...
I have to start at the beginning to get a Norwegian drivers license? Yes. I have a valid US drivers license but that does not matter because I have lived here too long for that to be valid here. When I first moved here I could have traded it in easily but I did not sooooo now I am having to go to classes at 600 krone (about 100 bucks) an hour so I can qualify for a Norwegian drivers license. Can't get a car with our a license right? I will have to take the written test and the driving test after taking the required classes. No clue as to if this will happen all in time for us to be able to drive once we move to Ålesund. Patrick is apparently a much better driver than I am because after one session he was released from practice driving and gets to move on to "icy road" driving. I had a session too...
I will be going back on Friday for two more hours of practice driving...needless to say I am a little rusty and made the instructor a little nervous. Did I know I was riding the clutch the whole time? Yes. Could I get myself to stop it? Absolutely not! Did I know that there was no stop sign at the roundabout? Yes. Did I panic and stop anyway? Oh yes! Can I switch my thinking to give people entering traffic from the right the right of way...
What? Huh? Really? The rest of the whole world practically does not have this odd rule but in Norway if you are driving down the road the person on the side street coming from your right has the "right of way"! Makes no sense to me and as much as I keep being told this I keep panicking rather than going with it. Am I ever going to be able to get my drivers license? What if I don't an we have no licenses when we move...
People we work with will have to pick us up or something or I will have to take the one bus that goes once a day in the direction of the hotel and them call for a ride up to the hotel or something and then who knows if the bus even goes when I need it to and what if I miss the bus and how will I get the kids and will Patrick have to live at the hotel for a while if we don't get our driver's licenses on time and I won't be able to work yet if that is the case and then we won't have enough money and we need a kitchen table and a washing machine and have I mentioned that I am vitamin deficient and have been trying to take enough vitamins so my blood work comes back good next week and what if it doesn't you need a physical to get a drivers license and what if being deficient in vitamin D, calcium and iron keeps me from passing the health certificate and what if and what if and what if....
So you see...you got a peek...these are the things...thrown at me one at a time I would be annoyed but I would not panic. I know...I know...one day at a time. One thing at a time. I will get there. Breathe. I can do this...it will become just one more story in my life...like the time the ants built an ant hill in my underwear drawer...a really big ant hill. I survived that. I can survive this.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I am a bit behind on seeing this, but I'm glad I read your next blog first or I'd really be worried! It just takes a bit of practice.... don't you hate it when people say that!?!? Actually remember back to the first out of country move you guys made, then the next and having kids in a foreign country... you have survived and triumphed over much more than just a mountain of ants! Keep your focus and keep the faith, my young friend!
btw - that is a RIDICULOUS amount of $$$ for a used car! Yikes!
1717 days ago
I am so sorry that everything has come at you all at once!! It does seem that when it rains, it pours.
I bet you will do fine on the driving issues - it will just be a matter of practice. As for the rest - just remember, you only can do what you can do. You just continue to take care of your family in the same excellent way you always do and everything will work out.
Sending you lots of hugs!!
1718 days ago
I agree with Iona. You are so creative when it comes to writing . . . as well as a host of many other things! To be quite honest, if I were in your shoes I would be up all night worrying, too. But, on the other hand . . .
We don't need all of the newest and fastest gizmos and gadgets out there. Besides, all the new electronic stuff just makes me realize how ignorant I am when it comes to using them. haha I have to find a 13-year old kid to show me how. We all want the best "things" for our kids, but in reality they manage to survive just fine without them.
You are a strong intelligent woman, and you will pass that driving test! Go get 'em!
You are obviously doing your research, but is it economically feasible to purchase a vehicle in a nearby country and have it transported?
When I have a problem or issue that I am worrying about, I have to keep telling myself that everything is going to work out and that this problem is a blessing in disguise. Something good is going to come out of it; I just don't know what it is yet.
You certainly have a lot on your plate so to speak. Remember to take time to be good to yourself. Take care, sweet Ronna, and I'll say a prayer for you and your family.
1718 days ago
Yeah, that's a lot of stress. It will work out. I would try to stay strong and not succumb to the pressure to buy new stuff all the time. I know it's hard. You should see the stuff people wear here! We were at the embassy yesterday to renew kid's passport, and there was a woman in there in head-to-toe designer clothes, and so was her kid - who couldn't have been a year old. I mean, designer skinny jeans, Lauren polo shirt, etc. ON THE BABY. Oy...
Hang in there.
1719 days ago
Yeah, I'd be lying awake all night with all that too!
They yield to cars coming from the right in Finland as well unless you're on a larger road that has right of way. It took me a while to get used to that (never did get a Finnish license) and then it took me a while to forget it when I moved back to the states.
I suggest that you all go take a vacation to Sweden or Denmark and drive yourselves home in a used car. I guess you'd have to take two vacations.
1719 days ago
Comment edited on: 2/1/2013 2:43:08 AM
Driving in Europe is a lot different! I'm not sure I could pass a UK driver's license, so I hope I never have to!
Hang in there, one thing at a time... :)
1719 days ago
You will find this amusing - I first read this post at 2 am! I was awake from a situation I am dealing with here at work so I completely relate to issues that keep one up at night.
Someone once said we need more reminding than we do informing, so here goes.
Reminders for Ronna:
1. You are strong!
2. You are determined!
3. You have far less to fear than you think!
4. You know how to make wise decisions.
5. The house will get packed :)
6. Your kids are amazing, whether they have new skis or not.
7. Patrick will make sure you have the right cars.
Hope that sharing your heart was helpful. We love supporting you! Look at these great responses!
1719 days ago
Oh, so sorry to hear that you have been hit with all of this at this time.
You are a bright, resourceful woman. I know you will make it to the other side.
Keep your sense of humor. Your ant hill ending did make me smile. You can do it!
1719 days ago
I can totally relate as I prepare for my move. I was supposed to move today, but high winds resulted in all ferries being cancelled. Nothing is going as planned. I think we both need to take deep breaths and try hard to relax.
1719 days ago
Yikes! How do you sleep at all? That's enough worries for couple of years let alone this month!
I wish I had a magic wand and could make it better. I know things will work out, somehow they always do but I know that doesn't stop you from worrying.
It must be very frustrating trying to "keep up with the proverbial Joneses" ( I wish I knew the equivalent of that last name in Norwegian.) Two of the statements that stood out for me in your blog......that your doctor told you that you need a smart phone and that Quin's friend's mother told you Quin needed new skis. Again, yikes! I would be in a panic too!
Keeping you in my thoughts.
1719 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 10:58:30 AM
Oh my goodness. You poor thing. This is all insane. I agree with you 100%. AND it is potentially too much at once. You are also right thought... one thing at a time. Do your DH have any profound input to all of this?
Regarding the ski's and so forth and so on. I also agree (easy for me to say) but I do not think children or parents for that matter need the lastest and greatest version of everything (ski's phone and so on).
Your health is most important. Please try to ask for help if you need help or just need a friend/DH to listen. We/I am here for you. I so wish I had something profound to say. It sounds like an aweful lot to deal with. Do the people that hired you potentially have any insight to the difficulties you might run into. Someone there may have some unique insights.
HUGS 2 U!
Just glanced at FITMARY's response. In my most difficult times, I have considered teh worst case scenario and then how I would deal with it. It helped me a great deal.
1719 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 9:13:53 AM
Oh, boy, this sounds very familiar! Not the details (and I agree with Iona72---they are worth writing down and collecting!), but the late-night worry sessions, where your mind is racing and not giving you a moment's peace! GRRR!
Maybe it would help to imagine the very, very worst-case scenario and then trying to make peace with that? Okay, so imagine that you refuse to get Liam skis and "poor" Quintessa has to stick with the "bad" ones. On top of that, you will not buy cars and that's fine because there is NO WAY you are going to pass that test. What will happen?
Well, maybe, just maybe, Liam will muddle through without them or someone will have some hand-me-downs that work okay or... As for Quintessa, maybe she will overcome the "handicap" with which you "cruelly" saddled her and doing that will make her stronger? And since you refuse to buy the car, you have to take the bus and that's where you meet the eccentric Norwegian millionaire who takes an interest and decides to provide financial backing for your new world-wide pastry business. BTW walking from the bus stop to the hotel is exactly what helped you overcome your vitamin deficiency!
I mean, of course, that we never know in advance how it will all work out and imagining all the good possibilities is just as easy as thinking up those bad ones. And it's a lot better for getting to sleep. This kind of "overcoming the disaster" exercise sometimes helps me. Maybe it will work for you too? In any case, good luck! Hang in there!
1719 days ago
CAN LIAM USE QUINTESSA'S SKIS AND THEN YOU WOULD ONLY NEED 1 PAIR?
1720 days ago
I feel for you.....but you do tell a good story. I keep telling you, you should be a writer, then you can work from home!!
I hope things work out for you as I'm sure they will, and you can look back and smile at this blog before too long.
1720 days ago
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