Saturday, March 13, 2010

Times, they are a'changin'

The mornings are getting lighter, and although the cold air is still here, I can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Spring is on it's way. However, like any other weather in this country, it may be muted and stifled by a cold snap and a days upon days of damp, wet rain.

I'm starting a new job on Monday, something totally unexpected but not surprising. I have to admit I'm genuinely proud of myself for accomplishing what I have in the past nine month. As ever, I am still looking ahead and planning what I need to do next. I can never sit still and relax, my mind is always on the next task. I am getting better though, but change doesn't happen over night.

I'm fighting the remnants of a cold, ironically I'm adding Florence and the Machine's CD entitled Lungs to my itunes as I hack up my own lungs. Yes, I tell it like it is.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Beat the January Blues

Or, how a Florida girl can survive without any sunlight...

As January finally dies a slow death, I thought it was appropriate to take note of what I need to do at the beginning of every year to beat the listlessness of a grey and cold start of the year in England.

1. Eat all remaining Christmas chocolate, including random Christmas recipe ingredients that never made the final cut.

2. Drink copious amounts of coffee, both normal and luxury Starbucks to ensure energy levels are always high.

3. Spend time working on your challenging situations and delight in little triumphs.

4. Have some quality time with people you like, mainly this includes the husband.

5. Slap a smile on your face and try to ignore negative comments from the people you don't like. This includes avoiding falling prey to The Starter of Arguments.

6. Delight in yourself being extraordinary.

7. Remember what you have, don't dwell on what you WANT.

8. Do one thing every day to make your dreams happen, this may negate the first point, if your dream is to finally reach your goal weight.

9. Be assertive, you're American, people expect it.

10. Laugh at every thing you find funny, laughter is the best medicine after all.

Speaking of laughter, the following photo makes me laugh and miss my little brothers in an odd, nostalgic way. Come and visit me freak boys!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I had a half decade write-up in draft mode on this blog since before the strike of midnight on the 31st of December 2009. But, alas, I haven't finished it. I don't usually abandon things left un-done; but this time I think it's a bit counterproductive.

The decade that encompassed the "noughties," (a term I hate), had a lot of ups and downs for me. The ups are that I: fell in love, endured a long distance relationship, graduated high school and college, travelled back and forth to the UK and a few other places, met some great people, laughed a lot, made some lifelong friends, and finally started doing something about my speech. The downs are that: I lost quite a few people I loved, and still love. Some of these losses were anticipated and the realization of others blew all anticipation out of the water. I've cried and mourned a lot in the latter part of the last decade.

But I've persevered. The last decade brought challenges not only to me personally, but to world as a whole. We've faced natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and a war that is still very much on-going.

This new year, this new decade, has also brought the realization that some things never change; or that the world is always changing. There will always be natural disasters like the earthquake in Hiati, there will always be people to mourn.

So, why do I feel more optimistic now than I ever have? I suppose knowing that I've come out the other side of some really tough situations gives me hope for the future.

I am going to make this my year. I'm going to put in 110% into everything and see where life takes me. As a very wise person said to me recently, just wing it and hope for the best.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid

It's inching, or flying, towards Christmas and my mood is a bit topsy-turvy. I love Christmas, but being homesick and missing my mom usually means that Christmas it a bit of a difficult time. I recognize this, I don't avoid it, but my mindset isn't as bad as it was last year. I like remaining positive, it makes my natural tendency towards physical displays of frustration more infrequent.

So on this postive note, here are the things I love about Christmas-time:

Cadbury's Hot Chocolate
Present buying
Christmas trees
Receiving Christmas packages
The Christmas Movie Classic: A Christmas Story
Eating chocolate and watching the above on Christmas eve

And, on a slight downer, things I don't like about Christmas:

That Crap Christmas Song
No Advent Calendars left at Thornton's
Storing Christmas presents
Wrapping Awkwardly shaped Christmas presents
Christmas boredom
The Christmas Comedown - which happens just after presents are opened.
Not being closer to my next-of-kin
Missing my mom slightly more because she loved Christmas

Tomorrow we're going to see the second most famous Christmas story of all time. (This one being the first)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is something people in the UK just don't get. This is understandable, as the whole concept is giving thanks for a harvest which allowed pilgrims to survive on their own WITHOUT the British empire. To British people, Thanksgiving means a turkey roast dinner without roast potatoes or yorkshire puddings.

To an American, Thanksgiving usually means family,canned Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, Zeigler's apple cider, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and commencement of Christmas movies. Or at least it does to me.

This year there will be no canned cranberry sauce and what's left of my family is almost 3,000 miles away. It's times like these that I miss my mom with every fiber of my being. I miss waking up to turkey smells in the morning, my mom's homemade turkey gravy and the day-after-thankgiving turkey soup. I miss drinking coffee on the back porch with her and fighting over what has to be done. I miss her complaining about how my sister never stayed long enough for dinner. Some things aren't the same without my mom around.

I am lucky though, I have a great mother-in-law who makes an effort to do Thanksgiving dinner for me every year. Because we are all at work, it'll be shop bought turkey loin things that just need to shoved in the oven. But it's the thought that counts.

I'm bringing some of the pseudo-Southern charm to the table (I am really from Florida afterall) and making sweet potato casserole and Nigella's version of corn souffle.

Being an expat means bringing a little bit of home to your new life. Though sometimes, I wish I could just catch a plane and be home again.