January 2023 is Almost Over

Maybe I am getting older but every day I am realizing more and more how fast time flies and if I don’t write about things or document them, I just won’t remember what happened at all. And just like that, the year is gone. And then, another year. And then, I blinked and it has been 10 years.

We started our January in Canada with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. I was working a few days here and there but mostly managed to decompress and relax a bit. We ate a lot of good food, had a lot of good drinks and conversations, and played lots of board games until it was time to go back to the Netherlands. I can’t type that it was time to go “home” because it does not feel like home yet. Will it ever? I don’t know. I am calling it an adventure chapter in our lives.

Our return to the Netherlands was marked with a lot of paper hassle. Just before leaving to Canada in December, Sofia’s and mine residence permits were finally approved so when we came back, we had to do a bunch of appointments and paperwork that was put on hold. It seemed to be calming down towards the end of January and we are getting to having most of our things sorted. It has been half a year since we moved here – yep, that’s how long it took. The health system is still quite a mystery to me but that it something I am going to tackle in February when I have the patience and energy for it. I am also exchanging my driver’s license for the Dutch one – I am so lucky my license is from Quebec, one of the two Canadian provinces, that allows you to skip the test. There are a lot of obscure rules to get a Dutch driver’s license with the test and I am really glad that I don’t have to deal with all of that.

In the middle of January, I got a moment of courage and signed up for the half-marathon in May. I have not been running for about 2 months so the coming back is intense. This time though, I decided to do the training the right way and actually got a proper training plan with running intervals and all of that. I can see that it is already making a big difference and my long runs are much easier with my breathing being much better controlled. Another reason why I like having the training plan is that it removed the mental load of having to decide what distance I need to do each day. Before I would just increase my distance every week but only doing that is not the most efficient way to train for a half marathon. This time around, I would write down on Sunday all the runs I need to do (about 5 a week), calculate the speed I need to achieve, and then just wake up early in the morning and focus on my run during the week instead of thinking through all the technical details every time. Anyhow, it seems to be working for now – let’s see how far I can get with this training.

I also subscribed to a swimming pool. I wanted to do it for years and my lower back is often in pain. I got fed up with postponing it and finally registered. I have not been to a swim yet but it is in my plans for this week. Let’s see how that goes! One thing that I am happy about is that it is about 5 minutes away by bike which makes it a really easy commute.

Sofia is growing very fast – oftentimes, I am in awe of how quickly they change. She is often hilarious too. This weekend, she was calling N a “hippopotamus” or more like “popotam” which I find funny given that he does not really have much in common in looks with a hippopotamus. I recently watched a video on time and how we spend it throughout our life and it provoked a lot of deep thoughts about how I am spending time with my family. Here is the video if you are wondering:

Partly inspired by the video, last weekend, we went to a Maritime Museum in Rotterdam. We biked there which book about 45 mins one way but it was a nice sunny day so it was quite pleasant. Although we did not see a lot of the museum itself, they had one of the floors completely dedicated to kids with “sea-themed” playground inside and outside and Sofia really liked it. I did not know there was an actual playground there so it was a lucky stroke. I think she is still a bit young to actually enjoy the museum and be interested in the topics there but it was a good introduction.

I am slowly bringing our temporary house to some sort of order and a few weeks ago I needed to shorten some pillowcases. I remembered that N’s grandma gave me her sewing machine. It is probably 50+ years old – in fact, I could not find any videos on YouTube for that exact model when I needed a refresher of how to change a stitch. Anyhow, the machine still works totally fine! I had to plug it into a transformer (best purchase ever!) since it had the Canadian plug but it did a good job. I quite enjoyed working with it so I might come back when I have a bit more time.

On Saturday, we watched a miniseries called “Unorthodox“. I found the show to be very well done. I would never write on the internet what I think about it because it touches on religion and once you write something on the internet, it is there forever. In short, I found it frustrating and fascinating. It is funny, that I am also reading the diary of Anne Frank at the same time.

So that’s it, I guess. There are many things in my head but hopefully, I got the main ones! See you in February – hopefully!

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