Wiped Out

I have no pictures to share today.

My story is one of “rest,” meaning I didn’t go anywhere or “do” anything of significance to write about. It felt good to just be home.

We packed up my dad’s truck with girl furniture for my niece and sent them on their way home.

I did laundry and sorted some piles of stuff, trying to make more space and getting rid of clutter. It takes soooo long to dwindle.

The kittens were enticing and several friend came by to meet them and to visit, which was a perfect way to spend the day.

Dinner was left overs and pizza and samosas from the freezer while we watched the Warriors lose. The boys cleaned up the kitchen and I got to work on my volunteer project.  

Even though summer vacation officially starts tomorrow, I still have several projects to work on this week.  I think that’s a good thing.  

Keeping busy and doing what I love. Tomorrow we get to sleep in. I hope I don’t wake up with the sun rising!!

nAMaste and I hope you had a good weekend. xo

Do What You Love

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Tennis is what I love to do right now. My hobbies and passions change often, but this one has stuck with me for the past 6 years.  I started playing tennis to get out of volunteering, following a wise friend’s lead. She had started taking lessons twice a week, so that she would be “busy” and wouldn’t always be available to say yes to volunteer requests.  I thought that was brilliant. And it wasn’t that she didn’t volunteer, she was just the UBER volunteer and was so good at it, that people were always asking for her help.  I really admire her and followed in her footsteps.

I still volunteer and love that part of my life too, but I really also love having something for myself.  I love the practice and skill building. I love the social aspects. I love the physical and mental challenges.  I love the new friends I meet and hearing their stories. I love working hard, playing hard and winning!! There’s always something new to learn and practice and perfect and it’s always changing and stimulating.

Tonight we had an evening match in a beautiful location. However, I screamed out loud twice when I noticed a squirrel trying to get a nut out of my bag. Someone had to shoe him away and off the tennis courts twice.  This was a bit distracting, however we still won our first set 6-1 and were having a lot of fun. At the beginning of the second set, my partner hurt her knee. At first she tried to keep playing, and then sat out for the 3 minute time period allowed for physical injury recovery.  We iced it, rubbed some aspercream on it, and wrapped it in a brace.  When the 3 minutes was up, she bravely decided to come back  on the court to play again, yet her knee just wouldn’t allow her to continue and we had to forfeit the game.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get to continue our match, but was thankful that she didn’t fall down or hurt herself more seriously. I know that she was disappointed too, but she handled herself with grace.  And hey, that’s just part of the game. Life happens.

I decided to stay and watch my teammates play on the other courts and this is where the photo above was taken. It was a gorgeous night out. One of my opponents came to sit by me and we enjoyed a lovely conversation about our match, while nibbling on healthy kale and quinoa salads and sipping wine. She told me that she didn’t play as well tonight as she usually does, and then proceeded to tell me that she is a breast cancer survivor and was proud of her short , dark, hair that had grown back. She told me how she played tennis through her chemo and recovery and that she didn’t give up. I told her that I had a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and was just beginning her treatment. Right away, she had a compassionate look on her face, like she was a sister. She gave me her contact information and told me to tell my friend to call her, if she needed someone who has been through the experience. She said that so many people helped her and that she wanted to help others too.

And that my friends, is another reason why I love tennis.  The stories, The hope. The friendships. The movement. The personal growth and challenges.  It’s all good. Even when your game gets forfeited.

Love this life.

 

Day 37: Tennis Love

Today I got to play tennis again, with a great group of new women.  Tennis is very different here than it is in the states. And the organization and process to find a court and to play is quite complicated, as I learned today. After I found out how complicated it was, I was especially thankful that Claire and Karin extended the invitation to me to join their Friday lesson.

You see, we played indoors since it was raining outside. There are limited amounts of indoor courts in Amstelveen and to reserve a court or to become a member of an indoor club takes some work too. And once you figure it out, all the forms and instructions are in Dutch – so add another layer of complexity. So that they would share their court with me was priceless.  And that they sat and had a coffee with me afterwards to share and explain and to introduce me to more tennis players just made my day.  I have to now find a partner to signup for tournament play that supposedly starts next month. Once you’re in the tournament, then you can play every other Friday. I sure hope I can find a partner this week. Wish me luck.  I think tournaments are more like league play, and I’m not sure yet how the tournaments are judged, if they are judged at all. We’ll see… just have to get a court and partner!!

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Tonight Dorine and Nadja came over for dinner. I made my Thai Yellow Curry with chicken and vegetables, Jasmine rice, cucumber salad, kroeproek, and chicken satay with peanut sauce and brownies and petit little cream puffs for dessert. Yum! It’s really nice to have family come to visit and to spend time together. Seeing my kids give them big hugs before bed, just cemented that feeling.  I keep hearing stories about how hard it is for expats after the honeymoon stage passes and that I should expect a dip in my positive feelings. I can believe this to be true, yet I’m hoping this doesn’t happen.

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I think one of the keys to success might be to find what makes you happy and do it!  Do what you love, love what you do. And that’s what I’m trying to do. And I know what makes me happy. Working out. Hanging out with girlfriends. Time spent with family. Playing on Facebook. Exploring new adventures. Writing my blog. Playing Words with Friends. Chatting with friends and family back home. Eating Dutch licorice. Cooking and entertaining. Having friends over and going over to their houses. Drinking coffee and wine. Helping Others. Eating Chocolate and cheese.  Pretty simple, right? So IF and when the time comes, and you notice a dip in my positivity  – please poke me and remind me that life is good, no matter where you are and even if it’s cold and wet, and to re-read and do the list above.  Right? I sure hope it’s that simple.  Bring on Day 38… and 68… and 98… Namaste.