Hello and happy New Year! Yes, I’m perfectly aware that I’m late on this; I should have long ago posted anything related to New Year’s. However, one of the biggest things I’ve learned being an expatriate overseas is that our lives often run on a different timetable. This was especially apparent to me when we celebrated the New Year in a lounge at the Dubai International Airport, something I would never have done before we became such globetrotters. I had to sit back and marvel at how exciting my life has become.
This year November we took our first repatriate trip. Due to our visas we have to be out of the country (Saudi Arabia) so many days a year. However, we saved vacation and took one long trip! We were away from our home for 37 days. And yes, I call our house in Saudi “home.” That is where we live now and where our things and pets are. It was wonderful visiting family and friends in the States but living out of a suitcase and taking care of a homesick preschooler gets very old and tiresome.
For us returning from the U.S.A to Saudi always comes with a week of adjustment. If you’ve ever traveled internationally towards the East then you know exactly what I mean. For some reason I find the jetlag much harsher when traveling this way. Then we also dealt with a jetlagged preschooler so that adds to our “getting settled” equation. Bottom line, it took a while to return to “real life” after our trip.
With that being said I now feel like this is my New Year. I have the giddy excitement like the first day of school. Why, you might ask? Well this week is when I returned to work. Yep, it’s been a week of cleaning my office, reevaluating my schedule and setting goals.
Life overseas can be alienating especially for writers and then add a child in that mix and WOW, it’s amazing I’m sane! But this is how I become stronger, better at what I do and what I want to do. I take time to plan, evaluate my current situation. I take the time to see how lucky I am to have spent New Year’s at an airport.
If you didn’t start your New Year on January 1, if you feel like you’re off to a slow start to the year STOP STRESSING! It’s not about how much you do more so than how you do it. Because of this I’m glad I didn’t even attempt to reach a word count on January 2nd. I’m glad I took the time to get everything in order and feel organized before really diving into work. Take time to see where you are and plan for the year even if this means not really starting your New Year until later in the month like I have.
Most of all I’m a believer in looking back at your year. Are you happy with your life? If not, how can you be? Ask questions. Use that to plan your year.
I’m happy at where I am in my life physically and thrilled at the prospect of my future both personally and professionally. It feels good to be back in a routine and back at writing. Repat was fun and tiring. I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle 2014.
Happy New Year!