Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A year in review

*knock knock*  Is this thing on?

It's been so long, I've almost forgotten how to blog.  Plus I've noticed fewer and fewer feeds in my blog reader...I wonder if blogging is dying a slow death while other social medias take over, or maybe 2014 has just been a busy year for everyone?

I was thinking though about all 2014 has brought, as one tends to do at the end of the year, and man, what a crazy year it has been.  Mostly positive - becoming homeowners, lots of travel and some personal growth in there as well.  But also some stress - mainly work-related, but also some due to me trying to be a supportive wife for C's top-secret project.  Trying to balance the fear of financial risk (especially after you just signed a 15yr mortgage) with encouraging a spouse's dream is a tricky thing.  But more on that some other time...

I was able to visit some pretty amazing places over the past 12 months- I had to actually flip through the calendar in order to remember them all:
  • France - too many trips to count
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Japan
  • Morocco - two trips
  • Taiwan - three trips
  • Thailand 
  • US - four trips
  • UK - three trips
Plus we managed to sneak a few fun trips in there - I spent a week in Bali with my bff, and C and I took two trips to the Alps, plus romantic weekends in Lisbon and Strasbourg. 

2015 isn't looking to be any slower for me work-wise.  I was in the US the week before Christmas, and a lot of our time was spent visiting Very Important People in the Dept of State and International Trade Offices.  Our quest for global domination continues, one chicken at a time (though I guess that is only funny for those who understand what I do).

My goals for 2015 include maintaining my healthy/fitness as a priority and practicing daily gratitude. Some of the places I travel to remind me on a regular basis of how lucky I am to have been born in the US and to have had the opportunities I've had, and I have been trying to make the effort to be actively grateful for it.  For example, I was able to get home 4 times last year - not many expats get to do that, and while the trips are tiring when they're coming after a multitude of other trips, it also means I got in some very precious family time (including being able to attend my brother's wedding).

Speaking of work, we've been going through some pretty intense training sessions that have had me thinking a lot about my approach to life and my interactions with people.  I'm a pretty blunt person and I'm slowly starting to realize how abrasive that can be at times, so I would like to work on finding the balance between being honest and delivering the message in a non-hurtful way.

My other work goal is to attempt to not always assume the worst, ie to try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  For example, if a co-worker is rude or hasn't delivered on a project, I would like to be able to take a step back and say "Ok, hold on, they've maybe got X,Y, or Z going on in their personal life and are just having a bad day" instead of getting worked up or taking it personally.  I don't think it will be easy for me, but I do think (hope) it is a skill that can be learned over time, ie you can't control other people's reactions, but you can control how you react to them. 

I also hope to be able to disconnect a bit more from the Internets when I am home - C and I have much less time together than your average couple, so focusing on quality time instead of quantity time becomes all that more important.

So hopefully 2015 will be the year of being intentional - of focusing on the positive, really thinking about how I spend my time, and working on personal growth.  It sounds really cheesy when I put it down on paper, but it's where I'm at right now.  I wish all of you an equally productive 2015 (and hopefully you've all got some tasty champagne chilling in the fridge now to toast in the New Year).