Showing posts with label moving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moving. Show all posts

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today At The DMV

I got pulled over by an officer last Friday, because my registration has expired... in August. Oops. I completely forgot about that one. I paid my taxes and all that good stuff, but the new registration with my sticker just didn't reach me (I guess because of my move) and I didn't even notice. Anyways, the officer was very polite and efficient and all that good stuff and when I show up in court in two weeks, I hopefully get the fine waived when I present my new registration. I'll keep you posted on that one.

To get that out of the way and also to finally get a new driver's license with my new address, I headed over to the DMV (for my German friends: Landratsamt) over lunch. I picked the DMV closest to work and hoped it wouldn't be too busy. Yeah right... A girl can dream right?

I thought about taking my magazines to read during the waiting time, but of course I forgot and since I wasn't occupied with anything, this 18 year old (I know, because he told me) redneck started talking to me.... That was kinda frightening but let me recap. Now I know, why he just getting his license now even though he's already 18. Also he shared with me, why "the man" is bringing you down... This one was a little confusing... There was a reference to the bible, then there were laws and then someone invented the stop sign... At this point I told him "not to go there" which finally shut him up. Then he started talking to the woman next to me and when she wasn't so talkative, he started talking to the girl standing on the other side. I tried to see on his application what box he checked on the question with the mental illnesses... Oh wow...

I got there by 11:58AM and finally made it to one of the counters around 12:30PM. Getting my registration was a two minute deal. Then I asked to get a new driver's license since my address has changed and while I pushed the paperwork over to her, I told her that I am not a U.S. citizen... Out of experience, saying this upfront, speeds up the process... Also in this case, but not as desired. She looked at my paperwork and then asked me if I have proof of citizenship. I showed her my passport with my visa. Then she told me, that she needs proof of naturalization and I didn't know what she was talking about... Once again, I pointed to my passport. Then she asked a co-worker to come over and once again I was told that they need a proof of naturalization, since I need to proof that I am a U.S. citizen. Then I said: "I already proofed that I am NOT a U.S. citizen!" Then the light bulbs went on and I was told, that they cannot issue driver's licenses for non-citizen in this office and that I need to go to the office on the other side of town.

We'll at least I know, what I will do tomorrow for lunch!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Making your Own Reality

Ever heard of the "Law of Attraction"? The bottom line of this law is, that your thoughts and wishes shape your reality. Mostly they talk about your positive thoughts and how you will get anything, if you really really want it. But honestly, I think that also applies to any negative thoughts and fears that linger with you for a longer period of time. This hypothesis is the center piece of the 2006 book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrnes, that I haven't read yet… But a friend of mine did an excellent job on capturing the essence of the book on a canoe trip and so I feel like I got a pretty good picture. This is a highly controversial topic and a lot of very smart people are doing a lot of discussing around this. I think of it more as an aspect how people are able to influence their own reality than a universal law, but that's just my two cents.

Nevertheless I want to share a couple of stories now and let you decide, if our own wishes or fears shaped our reality!

  • A couple of mornings a week, I get up early to get a run or nice walk with the puppy in. In this time of the year, it's still pitch black dark outside by the time I hit the road, so I am outfitted with a headlamp and even put a flashing light on the puppy. The streets in our neighborhood have long stretches of bushes and woods and even though I am not very skittish when it comes to this kind of thing, I still avoid looking into the woods/bushes with my headlamp because I just don't want to see a pair of eyes staring at me. I shared this with my BRR team before we did our night legs and we knew that those routes will go right through the woods. Fortunately, I have never seen glowing pairs of eyes… Until yesterday morning. On my first early morning walk after we were having this conversation and joked about it back and forth, I didn't see one pair of eyes, but two… In different spots. The second pair belonged to a little kitty, the first pair I didn't even investigate, because the eyes were so wide apart that I assumed it was bigger than I wanted to know.
  • Last year BF, the kid and I went to Charleston SC. One day out of the weekend, we spent on the beach. BF has this paranoia about sharks and basically refuses to swim in the ocean. I told him over and over again, that I have been to this area several times and never seen a shark. Sure enough, BF walked along the shoreline and basically just stuck his feet into the ocean, when the lifeguard instructed everyone to get out of the water and then I saw my first living shark outside of an aquarium. It was a small* one and I joked that it probably would just nibble on us a little… Still, it was a shark. This little story actually was the reason why my friend told me about the book.
* updated 9/19: Terry wanted me to correct this statement. According to him, I am largely underestimating the size of this shark.

Hmmm… All my examples are out of the animal kingdom, but I think that just shows how outdoorsy we are! :-)

  • To also have a positive example for this theory, here is one more: After I came back from by internship in England in 2000, I always said, that I want to go abroad for a longer period of time. I was sharing this desire with my family and friends, mentioned it in my job interviews, when it came to my goals and the "where do you wanna be in 5 years" type of questions, kept my English skills up to date and in general an open mind… At least that's what I want to believe. Only one year after I started with the company, a position opened up in our U.S. subsidiary and people remembered the statement I made in my interview and half a year later, I had my first day here. What I am saying is, that I never actively pursued this, but was just rather going with the flow and it positioned me in the right spot.

When you read information about racing, they also give you the advice to envision yourself crossing the finish line and what kind of feeling that this is going to give you (example here). They say that doing so, will help you stay motivated and focused in your training and eventually will help you with the mental challenges of completing a race. Once again this doesn't only apply to your athletic career, but also your professional life. It holds true to the fact that you have to work hard, stay dedicated and focused in order to succeed with any goal that you set in your life. Whatever attitude you have will shape your reality and therefore let's all try to be as positive as we can and surround ourselves with other people that have a positive vibe.

While I am writing this, I also have to give myself a little kick in the butt. Right now, I am still in the process of settling in at my BF's house. The move is just three weeks ago and of course, there are still boxes sitting around unpacked…. And of course moving in together is a whole lot of change for everyone involved that just needs some getting used to and also some time for all of us to establish a new routine. These days, I catch myself focusing on the negative a lot, like the longer commute, the increased household responsibility, the decreased privacy (I was used to live on my own for a long time) and other stuff, that I don't even what to go in detail here. Instead, I should focus on the many positive things that came with this move like, that I am able to spend a lot more time with the person I love, that we live in an area with almost endless outdoor possibilities, that the house is big enough to hold every one's stuff without the feeling to suffocate and tons and tons of other things. I guess, I have my marching orders now… I will focus on the positive changes, this move has brought into my life and that is going to help me to work through the not-so-positive ones and I believe that this is really going to make a difference in how the settling in process is going to proceed for me.

When I started this post, I really wasn't sure, what my point is going to be in the end. But while I was going with the flow, I think I found it on the way! :-)

PS: It's FRIDAY and guess what was sitting on one of the cabinets at work this morning? Of course… DONUTS!... AND…. CAKE…. I know, sometimes we go a little overboard around here!

Friday, August 28, 2009

"HAPPINESS"-Balance and Moving-"Ease"

Like anywhere else, food is readily available in my office and my co-workers are eager to ensure that we meet our daily calorie needs and beyond. I sometimes use the word sabotage in that context, especially when a race is coming up, but that's a post all by itself.

So, this morning I get to the office with a nice Dunkin' Donuts box sitting on the cabinet with pretty much the same content the DD box from last Friday had… Do you see the pattern?? Last week, I had enough willpower to withstand the temptation (really only because I knew, that there is going to be homemade birthday cake), but this morning I was weak. Packing boxes until 12.30AM last night and little sleep just made my willpower take a nap. So I had the donut (filled with chocolate mousse and covered with powdered sugar ) and it was YUMMIE.

How does a donut fit in my nutrition plan? Not at all, but I like deserts and sweets. It's not a coincidence that the name of this blog contains the names of two deserts. Sometimes it's very easy for me to avoid those foods all together and sometimes it isn't. Normally, I find a healthy balance between tons of good foods, some bad foods and exercise, that enables me to maintain my current weight and health…. And while we were joking this morning in the office about donuts, sabotage and trans fat, I named this healthy balance my "HAPPINESS"-Balance and that's how it works.
In the example of this morning, we had the negative influence that trans fat in a donut has on your LDL, offset by the positive influence the endorphins have, that are produced while consuming the donut. So we have a "HAPPINESS"-Balance. BUT this is only a short-term state, because if you repeat the donut-eating-process frequently enough, all the endorphins produced can not offset the negative influence your guilt has on your mood, when you don't fit in your favourite pair of jeans anymore. Obviously my observations are far from being scientific in any way, but the truth is, you have to treat yourself every now and then… Live a little, as they say. Life isn't any fun, if you can't indulge in things you like every now and then.

Speaking of trans fat, here is some interesting information. According to FDA labeling rules, manufacturers are allowed to write 0 grams of trans fat on their boxes, if there is up to 0.49 grams of trans fat contained per serving. Considering that the serving sizes are getting smaller and smaller to make the impression on the consumer that they are about to buy healthy foods, those 0.49 grams per serving can add up to quite some. Especially, because you should avoid trans fat in your diet completely due to the negative impact on your health.

The status on the moving front is, that we are done. As mentioned previously, I got all the boxes packed last night, it took me longer than expected, but I got it done with not a box to spare. The boys loaded the stuff up and my apartment is completely empty now. My original plan was to start unpacking tonight right away, but I will give myself a little break. I still can't believe, that this is it! A pleasant surprise was the ease in which it is possible to cancel phone/
Internet and cable service. You call and get disconnected the very same day. In Germany, you have to give the companies a three months notice to get service disconnected or moved... You have to give your landlord the same amount of time. Much easier around here... SWEET!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shouldn't you be packing boxes or something?

Yes, I should!

Tomorrow BF and buddy are getting all the stuff, that I can possibly box up, and move it to the house. But I don't pack stuff right now, I write the first post for a blog that I just created today. My conscience is almost clean when it comes to the moving activities: 1) I made good progress over the last couple of days, 2) I am capable of pulling an all-nighter if I have to, but honestly think I will be running out of boxes by 12AM and 3) my lease is not up until 8/31 and whatever is left over tomorrow afternoon will be taken care of over the weekend.

The reason for me to sit here in front of my laptop instead of finishing the obvious task at hand is simple: I am terrified.

When it comes to moving, I am a pro. Including this one, I moved 11 times in almost 11 years. Out of those 11 years, I spent 4 years in the apartment that I am currently preparing to move out of. That leaves me with an average of 1.4 moves/year prior to "coming to America"… Pro status or not, I am still terrified. Change is always difficult, especially for a control freak such as myself. Still, I am also head controlled enough to decide on change (if I have a choice in the first place) based on a logical evaluation and then try to deal with the freaking out later. I guess, I am in the dealing stage now.

The things that are going to change are mostly: 1) living together with other people again, 2) keep a happy relationship happy, eventhough we are going to live together, 3) live in a household with a kid, 4) trying to squeeze in my regular training hours despite adding 1.5 hours to my daily communte, 5) having to rearrange my routine completely and 6) having a complete "house"hold rather than just having an "apartment"hold…. I know things are going to work out one thing at the time and until that happens, I just have to pluck along and try my best.
You might think I could have chosen a better time to start a blog and I think this is the best time ever to start a blog. I will open a new chapter in my life with this move (I know it sounds dramatic, but that's how I feel) and somehow that needs to be documented. Also, I have been more than sloppy when it comes to keeping friends and family back in Germany in the loop. I used to do send them epic e-mails summarizing several months at the time with the result, that people got so overwhelmed by the amount of information, that all they ended up looking at where the pictures attached. By upgrading to web 2.0 communication, I will give people a choice to check in with me on their schedule. It also presents the possibility to see the small stuff and not only the major events that I hammered into those e-mails.

The idea of having my own blog bounced around in my head for a while and time will tell how good I am to keep it up. And now I guess, it's finally time to get back to packing boxes.