I am alive

You haven’t heard from me in ages and I am very sorry! There was so much going on in my life in the past months and I wasn’t able to concentrate on blogging about it while still amidst all the things. Right now I feel a bit more in control and reflected about it and know it’s time to share it with you.

I think this new season of my life began back in May right before Daniel’s family came to visit us for two weeks.  A few weeks before their arrival I started preparing the apartment and mainly that meant creating space for four additional people. I was aiming to create space in the dressers and the closet we have in our spare bedroom so that Daniel’s family can store their things away. I wanted that they don’t have to live out of their suitcases, but also that their suitcases would not be laying around and that mess could start to spread. You must know (if you not already do) that I am a lover of organization and tidiness in my own space. Clutter and mess creates physical and emotional pain in me and that’s why it is usually always quite tidy in our apartment. Not in a OCD way (at least I hope not), but in a „everything has a place to go“ kind of way.

So I began my wandering through the different closets and cupboards in the apartment to figure out what would be the things we never use and that we don’t need to keep. Just the items that popped to my eyes like my old student China that we never used and just brought to New York for those „just in case“ moments that actually never occurred in the past two years, because our wedding China is totally enough. The same with student silverware, camping towels (because we never go camping), books, DVDs, CDs, decor items, Halloween costumes etc. I brought all these items into the spare bedroom and they filled the space of three big folding tables! I was surprised and shocked that we had so many things that we clearly not needed at all. I made it then my daily aim to sell or give away as many of these things as I could before Daniel’s family would arrive. These were some very stressful weeks, as it obviously isn’t as easy to sell stuff than to buy stuff. But I was able to sell most of it and the rest I piled it like you would in Tetris in the guest room closet with enough space to use the hanger section for Daniel’s family. Although I wasn’t as successful in the closet I was very successful with emptying the two dressers: four out of six drawers were now emptied and ready for suitcase contents.

Then Daniel’s parents and his sister and brother arrived and my declutter process came to an end, at least in a practical way, even though I knew in my mind that the war wasn’t over. This first battle was fought and I knew I could do it, but the next battle would come after I was back all by myself everyday.

The time with Daniel’s family was very precious. I don’t want to paint a perfect picture, because as you know life isn’t perfect. More precisely I am not perfect, and this is the problem: not that I am not perfect, because nobody is perfect, but that I think I should be - that I must be perfect. And this specific part of my personality doesn’t serve me or others around me very well. Of course I wanted to be the perfect host. My expectations of myself were very high and I desperately didn’t want to disappoint the people I love and care for. With this perfectionism drawing healthy boundaries is hardly possible. I want to please others so badly that I am completely losing track of my own needs and just worrying about others around me and eventually getting sick. In a literal way I get sick with a bad cold and fever and can’t serve anybody but stay in bed with real rest (no Netflix, no audio books, no cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry etc.). And that is what happened after the first week they were here. And I think it was ok that they had to do sightseeing by themselves, because they are all adults and we had taught them how to use the subway and navigate in NYC. But although I felt miserable I got up every morning and created lists and maps for them so they would find their way through the big city jungle and find the cheapest and best restaurants and cool sights. Again I lost my boundaries and exhausted my already weak body too much but then the four of them were gone (Daniel was at work anyways) to explore the city and I was all by myself again. Sleeping an exhausted sleep and in some moments of feeling weak but not sleepy anymore listening to Harry Potter audio books.

Gladly my strength came back gradually and at the end of their stay I could do some more fun things with them closer to our apartment.  I wasn’t strong enough for the twotimes one and a half hours commute to the city, but walking for dinner and ice cream in our neighborhood was fine and playing board games together worked as well. And to tell you the truth that was all that was important! I wanted to spend time with Daniel’s family, more precisely quality time. And if I would have gone with them to show them around the city it wouldn’t be so much quality time but me trying to be the perfect tour guide instead of letting them learn by themselves how to navigate in the city.

Before the four of them came I thought „How can we manage to have six people in this apartment?!“ and while they were here it actually worked really well. Of course I had my moments when clutter bothered me, but I was proud that I was able to host four guests. That Daniel could borrow two additional air mattresses and that I had organized enough blankets, pillows, sheets and towels.

I was so grateful that I was healthy in the first week when Daniel had taken time off work and we explored the city together on their first full day and then made a trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto for four days. We made beautiful memories in these days and a few moments I want to share with you with pictures.

Click on to the pictures and they will expand and you can read some more infos about each picture.

And this is also how I want to end this blog post. With the joyful moments. Because (my) life hasalways ups and downs. There are moments of excitement and joy and then moments in which I didn’t realize that it would have been wiser to set a boundary in advance, and then moments to live with the consequences and be wiser the next time. I am 34 years old, but I am still in this big life-learning-process and often I feel so different. Other 30 something people have their houses, cars, children etc. and I don’t have any of that. All the „grown up stuff“ like owning a car, paying a mortgage, being a parent. In my mind I feel very often like a little child or like a confused teenager not knowing what life is about and where it goes. And I think I am the only 30ish person that feels and thinks like that. Daniel is so different from me. Such a logical and hard working, steady, reliable person. He is such an alien to me compared to all my emotional turmoil. And it is ok that he is different! That’s why we make a good team and can learn from each other.

I am grateful for Daniel and maybe even more (sorry honey) for all my girl friends out there that are more similar to how I function. There are some that actually own cars, but still haven’t figured out all the rest and I feel with them. There might even exist men that feel like this, but I honestly don’t know because most men I know are more like Daniel - part human, part robot. ;-)

Thank you so much for your attention! Wishing you a very blessed weekend!

Many greetings, Kati

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