10 Lessons I learned in 2018…

10 learning lessons in 2018

The things that I reflected on when I looked back on the past year.

Yesterday I told my music man that I needed to get organized.  I have about three notebooks that I write in and put ‘post-its’ all over the place.  Some days I DO think that I’m getting back to being that organized efficient Momma that I used to be.  Well that fell to the way side really fast. 

Why? 

Well kids, husband, life.  I’d give more excuses but I guess I just need to get my shit together. 

Anyways, my expat life here in Denmark is progressing along.  As we roll along into 2019, I reflected on what I learned in 2018, what I could do better and just looked back.  Nothing like looking back in Instagram to remind you of your life in photos.

Lessons I learned in 2018 Truths Lessons
2018 vibes

So here it is.  I’m a momma STILL living Danishly and 2018 was a year of change, struggle and living. 

Lesson #1The city is where its at. I’m a city girl now and I’d like to remain that way.  We moved from rural Denmark (Falster Island) to Copenhagen this past fall 2018.  THANK YOU Music Man and Jesus for this move.  I didn’t know how much I missed actual people, real conversations with actual people and actual people in general.  Don’t get me wrong, Falster was lovely.  We had a huge house, a garden (yard), a basement and a massive garage.  I do miss the space.  Hell we even had an “>enormous trampoline that kept the kids occupied for hours.  And the summer on the beach….damn that was AMAZINGBALLS!  We were at every patch of sand we could find and my kids spent the majority of the time being naked and loving it. 

But, atlas, it was lonely.  People generally stick to themselves and their ‘already established friends/family from birth.’  That made making friends hard.  Further, I couldn’t get ANY job out there to save my already maxed out credit card and zero bank account.  It doesn’t help that I don’t know the language yet (that’s another post in itself).  And so off we went packing to the big city (See: Moving from Rural Denmark to CHP).  Now that we are here, I’m meeting more people, visiting our family more and getting out and about more.  It’s definitely a change for the better.

Lesson #2I need a job.  Actually, I’ve been NEEDING a J-O-B since 2016 but apparently, I’m just not qualified enough for Denmark (even though I have an MBA and am a former business executive).  And so off I went to learn some shit on-line“>Digital marketing is where it’s at and more so, social media marketing is my life nowadays.  I am also getting into teaching English on-line as well (“>TEFL).  Anything I can do to supplement my zero income and have fun is what I am ALL about.  So do you need a social media manager to help you launch your business? Great….I’m your gal! (Related: What is Social Media Marketing and Why you need it)

Lesson #3Toxic people suck. What I really mean is that you can love your family from a distance and not talk to them.  I made the decision to NOT validate toxic family members anymore.  In the past, I used to make it “OK” for everyone.  I was that gal.  I used to let the hurtful things they said get to me.  I would make everything ‘OK’ for them just to smooth over the current fight.  All this from across the pond and it was exhausting.  Then one day I was just all cried out.  I was done.  No more toxic family members or people in my life anymore.  I’m keeping that nonsense far from my life and family.  I’m ok with it.  Acceptance, love and kindness…its all I’m about nowadays.

Lesson #4:  Be MORE CONSISTENT.  2018 was a mess and I have the never-ending NOT completed lists to prove it.  But the past year was a happy one where I played outside with my kids a lot.  I saw them discover new things through their eyes and loved every minute of it.  But, I put off other things like making money, figuring out how to make money and things I should have already had established to make money.  But hey, that’s life, you figure it out as you go. 

The things that helped me are organizing my calendar and sticking to a schedule. I’m getting organized and being MORE CONSISTENT with working, serving other, writing and getting my business off the ground.  Really. 

They say if you want something bad enough you will sacrifice other things for it. I’m sacrificing sleep.  Lol.  I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Lesson #5Self-Love is a mutha chuka.  It’s an everyday task to ‘take care’ with how you see yourself and how you ‘accept’ the changes that come with age and life.  I am more accepting of myself than five years ago.  Age, marriage and just not giving a shit what people think of you will do that.  But, I’m still active.  I’m just not as regimented as I used to be.  I love yoga so that is helpful and it relieves my back stress.  Anyways- more self-love rolls right along with consistency, DO MORE self-love CONSISTENTLY.

Related:  On Getting Older….

Lesson #6Drink more water.  I didn’t drink enough water last year.  Sure I drank water but not enough as I should.  They say you should drink at least two liters of water a day.  That’s about 8- 8 oz. glasses of water (the 8×8 rule).  I think I drank that much the whole year;)  Ha!  No but really, I didn’t drink enough water and it showed (bloated much?!?).  So onto healthier habits. 

Lesson #7I’m capable of more than I knew.  Sure I’m super mom, I get shit done when it matters.  But, I’ve pushed myself farther than I ever felt possible last year.  This Alaskan momma continues to live in another foreign country.  Two years in and I still feel like I’m on the ‘outside’ of things, especially since I lived in ‘rural Denmark.’  But, it’s made me do things that I would have never done.  Or introduce myself to people that I would have never met otherwise.  And that my friends was bloody hard when you don’t know if people can speak English on the regular.  So I believe that if we work hard for the things we do, whether that’s at work or in our personal lives, the year ahead should be less of the self-doubt and more of the congratulations:)

Lesson #8I have so much to be thankful for.  A lot of times I get lost in the daily chaos of things.  The kids, the laundry, the meals, and the music man has another gig, etc.  I forget that my life is really pretty great.  I have an abundance to be thankful for.  I have an amazing husband that supports whatever I do, even if it’s wanting to start a café (that lasted for 2 minutes;)  He loves me for me and I’m grateful. 

My kids are pretty rad too.  They make me laugh because they are so silly and they make me cry because they are growing way too quickly.  I have a home.  I have friends.  I’m working on the job part;)  Sure I have ups and downs, we all experience a roller coaster of emotions and nothing should ever undermine the way I feel in that moment, but perspective is always a beautiful thing.  So grateful. 

Lesson #9Dress for the unpredictable weather.  All in one day it snowed, rained, hailed and then the sun came out.  It was like my emotions were being toyed with.  From this I learned to always carry extra clothes for the kids, a hat, gloves (yes even in summer because rain), “>rain pants (if you are going to be outside), and an umbrella.  Further, layers matter.  I gave up trying to look awesome on the bike.  Now I’m just glad I’m warm and dry! 

Lesson #10I value the relationships I do have.  Nothing like putting yourself in the middle of nowhere to remind yourself that you are alone.  I was alone with my family when we moved to rural Denmark.  We didn’t know anyone and it was a hard pill to swallow when you realized that friends were few and far between.  So I talked to the people from afar and connected to the ones that mattered to me. Social media is great for that. Further, I love dinners, coffee dates and get-togethers with others.  Who doesn’t?!?  Well some introverts I know do NOT socialize well but hey, I LOVE the friends and family that I do have.  Now that we are settling in the big little city of Copenhagen now, we are all about connecting and visiting. 

Here’s to a New Year and a new season of life.  My expat life is chaotic and messy but its mine and I make it what it is.  Let’s go forth and make this year one of CONNECTION, LAUGHTER and NEW BEGINNINGS. 

January 2, 2019

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6 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kris

    January 7, 2019

    Dont worry about the water. You’re fine

    • Reply

      mykindofjenjul

      January 9, 2019

      MUST.Drink.MORE.WATER! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Talya

    January 8, 2019

    Some great lessons learned here to take forward with you in 2019 and I agree – toxic people really suck!

    • Reply

      mykindofjenjul

      January 9, 2019

      Thanks! Here’s looking to a new year! Cheers!

  3. Reply

    LISA

    January 9, 2019

    I love your lessons#3 and #5. You seemed to have learned very valuable tools over the last year.

    • Reply

      mykindofjenjul

      January 9, 2019

      Hey Thanks! Yup!…reflection is key. Happy New Year! 🙂

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