Day 216: Dutch + Sushi + Ikea

Ooh, doesn’t the title of my day just sound so romantic? Maybe for a middle life couple with kids!! I guess any time alone together could be considered a date, right? So today was one, long heck-of-a-date!

Jeff and I are taking a Dutch class together. We decided to walk to class today from our house. Half way there, we remembered we had bikes! Why didn’t we think of that? I felt so dumb! We are so not conditioned to using our bikes as a means of transportation. Jeff still thinks of riding a bike as something that children do around the neighborhood or something you use for exercise. It’s a good lesson though, how our minds think in ways that might limit how we actually see the world from our own narrow vantage point when there might be better options we haven’t even considered.

We are so not Dutch yet and must stay here longer until riding our bikes becomes a natural choice to get around this small town. I’m kind of embarrassed that it’s not already! Maybe when the weather gets warmer.

As we walked home, we stopped to buy some frites to share from the organic market that takes place on Tuesdays. They were so sweet and delicious and hot! We walked a bit further and close to our house is a cute little Japanese store with limited hours. It was open today so we peeked in and learned that they serve meals too.

We enjoyed a spontaneous sushi lunch with hot tea, and shared what we loved about Sunnyvale and Holland and what we missed and didn’t like too. I’m always assessing what’s best for the family and think about the choices we are making and have to make moving forward. I sometimes get confused with the details and wanted to bounce ideas off him. I’m sure Jeff thinks I think too much, but he humored me nevertheless.

It was a great conversation, and what I discovered is that we have to live in the moment and enjoy where we are and what we are doing no matter what. Sounds obvious but sometimes I really long for home, and get confused because I have two homes now. And the grass isn’t necessarily greener somewhere else, right Julie? So instead of longing for something else, I choose to refocus on the gifts of the present and to continue to be thankful.

I think that’s a good lesson for anyone.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

My present moment at 1:30 pm was exhausted from 3 hours of Dutch drills and my “psychology” appointment at lunch! But I was content, and maybe delusional, to agree to go to Ikea this evening. I don’t like shopping and I don’t like Ikea, but Jeff needed a few things for his office and I figured we might as well extend our date after work.

I wanted to see if they were advertising their meatballs, but they weren’t of course! The news just reported that some of their meatballs contain horse meat. Yuck! For some reason, that disgusts me and made me curious. Notice what’s missing from their menu!

We spent way too long there, as always, but had a much more pleasant experience than usual and actually enjoyed some friendly customer service. We drove over to Jeff’s office to deliver the loot late at night, so we could park on the sidewalk without too much traffic! His office is looking great and the nighttime view of the Amsterdam canals made the present moment perfect.

How is your present moment? If you feel stress, practice what Charlie taught me: 7-11. Breathe in for 7 seconds and blow it out for 11 seconds. Cool, right? Namaste.

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