A year ago today, we landed in Brussels and started living Belgium. This anniversary has been unceremoniously celebrated with a regular day of work for my husband, school for my son, and a rainy day at home for me. It feels important to honor with some reflection though.
Overall, this year has gone by quickly! I really can’t believe that we have lived here a year. So much still feels new to me, but I can’t really use the excuse of being new anymore. Despite it having gone quickly, it makes me happy to look back on the past year and think about how great it has been for our family, and how much we have done with our time. This move has been great for my mental health and happiness. Being able to stay home, not work, and focus on things I enjoy doing (instead of constantly stressing over the elusive “work-life balance”), as well as focus on my son and his happiness and success in school, has been awesome. I am more relaxed and less stressed than I have been in years. I am extremely grateful for that.
I am also thrilled with the amount of travel we were able to pack into 2016, visiting the Netherlands, Germany, France (a few times), England, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, as well as many places in Belgium. We had so many great experiences seeing other parts of Europe (many of which I still need to write about!) and look forward to more travel in 2017.
It has been hard being so far away from family and friends, but we are grateful for technology that helps us keep in touch. We also enjoyed a recent, long visit home for the holidays, which I hope to write more about separately.
As I look forward to 2017, our second year in Belgium, I am making the following resolutions to continue to make the most of our time here and this great gift of life that we have!
- Spend more time in the city center of Gent. Go more frequently to the weekly markets, go to all the new museum exhibits, check out more shops, eat/drink at more cafes, and eat in as many authentic international restaurants as possible. (Gent has a wonderfully diverse population and there are many ethnic/international cuisine options available. I am excited to give them a try!)
- Travel to new places every chance we get. Go on more day trips and long weekends, as well as take our longer vacations.
- Write more. I really hope to get caught up on this blog and write more often. I swear.
- Invest time in new friendships. We are so lucky to have met some wonderful people here. I want to spend more time with them and have more family gatherings, girl’s nights out, etc.
- And what Resolutions list would be complete without:
- eat more healthily. I always say this, but it’s a good thing to strive towards. I keep thinking I’d like to try a vegetarian diet, maybe this is the year?
- exercise regularly. Last year I ran my first 10k. I’d like to do it again this year, and maybe more? There are a lot of parks and trails and rec centers in town, I should try them out to keep my training interesting.
I am a list person, and usually do pretty well accomplishing goals if I make them official for myself, so I’ll see how I do with these in 2017. Here’s to another year of adventure. Cheers!