4 months today since we boarded a plane full of ambition and curiosity. Today we find ourselves settled into a life that now feels like always – it feels as though we’ve been here forever. And yet 4 months is such a short time. Funny how time works that way. Forever and no time at all occupying the same space.
So what do we know having 4 months under our belt?
We know that we are so very lucky to have this experience. We are thankful everyday for this chapter and all it is offering us. We know that by being stretched and challenged we are becoming the best versions of ourselves.
Family is everything. And friends who love like family are the most valuable thing in life.
There is nothing like actual experience to help you understand another perspective. I realized this month that we until now, we have never lived away from family. We’ve always been lucky enough to have family within a matter of just a short drive. We took that for granted. We haven’t had to endure the tearful goodbyes at airports, wondering when we’ll next be together again. We’ve been lucky and now we know just how lucky we’ve been.
We met another Canadian family at hockey this weekend. Here from Montreal, indefinitely. The first thing the mom said said was “has your family come?” Followed very quickly by “isn’t it so hard?”
Indeed, there have been moments we’d describe as hard. But we aren’t looking at this through the eyes of “indefinitely”. That would change our perspective considerably.
Having family visit recently really did make everything so much warmer. And now we know exactly how lucky we’ve always been to have family so close.
We also know that money doesn’t buy happiness but it sure buys peace of mind which counts for a lot. Our financial outlook is so much better than this time last month. Choosing to live in one of the most expensive economies in the world still presents challenges but thankfully with Manolo’s good job, a new tenant back home and my thrifty ways we are no longer gazing into a black hole of debt.
We know that the chance to slow down is precious given today’s busyness and fast paced life. Daily 2 hour school lunch breaks no longer seem like insanity but rather an amazing way to beak up the day and slow down. We’ll miss it when we’re back home.
Lastly we know that Canada does hockey best. Just like at home, much of our winter will be consumed by hockey. We are familiar with traveling over an hour each way to get to the game. But here that involves taking a bus to a train to a trolley to a funicar to ride up a mountain to a hilltop arena.
Thank goodness the arena was worth the trip. This arena was a highly civilized way to be a hockey parent. The “cafeteria” offered wine, beer, proseco & fondue all to be enjoyed while sitting on a sheep skin lined chair, rink side.
The game this weekend was great, hat-trick for Diego – sort of. He scored three goals over the course of 3 back-to-back 30 minute games.
We are still playing on outdoor rinks which we love. But here that means playing in the rain. The pouring rain. The sort of rain that usually causes a game delay. But not here. The Swiss are hearty folk. Playing for 1.5 hours on an arena with a lake on the surface. The water was insane! Every time a player stopped the spray of water was like a water skier carving.
Our days present us with many moments to say “hmmmm” when we marvel at how differently things are done here. That perspective is perhaps one of the richest of all. To know that the world is full of people, all pursuing the same dreams and goals, but in their own unique way. No one way is better than another (said with confidence as the Canadian desperately trying to fake it to make it in this Swiss-way world!) Learning to appreciate and respect the differences of others may just be the best lesson we can take from our time here. Goodness knows we sure hope our Swiss community can appreciate our strange Canadian ways!
And four months in, I confess, I’m still stealing apples. They are going no where near my bra now as it’s just too dang cold. I’m giving the apples a chance to be a part of something bigger, like apple sauce or muffins. A little taste of home from our wee tiny kitchen. If you come visit I’ll have a fresh batch ready!