Things have been crazy busy these last few weeks. I’m stunned it’s already mid-March.
I went from trying to find things to do at work to being swamped almost instantaneously. The last two weeks have flown by, and I’ve been told to prepare for 4-5 weeks of long hours.
Suffice to say, I’m in the thick of things. I’m happy to be in this place right now, because it’s giving me a sense of purpose when I wake up each morning. I really need that.
I’m getting excited about my own opportunities here, both at work and in my personal life. I know I write about feeling overwhelmed and down, with a strong emphasis on events from the recent past – and I still feel those things in one way or another – but it doesn’t paint a fair picture to only focus on these things.
As I head into my sixth week here, I’m still engulfed in uncertainty. Not uncertainty in a bad way, but uncertainty in a sense that I don’t really know what each day will bring, what my workload will look like, or what things I’ll be able to accomplish. There have been days where I have free time in the evenings to head to the gym, make myself a leisurely dinner, or go to Swing Dancing class, and there have been days I’ve taken work home, cancelled plans, and put off cleaning my kitchen counter for another day (or five). I don’t mind the chaos of all of this. After all, I did ask for it. But being in the middle of this wave of ‘everything at once’ means I don’t know what to expect each day, and sometimes it’s hard to keep pushing forward instead of throwing my hands up and getting absorbed by the current.
To keep my thoughts grounded, I’ve relied on a notepad to write down literally everything on my mind. Things I need to do, grocery lists, random thoughts, motivational quotes, potential plans – I’m swimming in sticky notes over here. But it helps me only forget 15% of the things in my head instead of the usual 35%.
Last week I started making a list of the things I was grateful for. I decided to continue that practice this week, adding on things I am looking forward to in the coming week. It’s my way of channeling that sense of purpose I have into even more positive energy, which carries me through my day. This week, I’m lucky enough to have a long list of things to look forward to, both big and small.
- I’m pretty hyped up about work. When I get into a spreadsheet grove, I smile. It’s geeky, but it’s why I’m here.
- The opportunity for overtime (and overtime pay – one of the benefits of the Norwegian labor system
- Swing dance class – because if I’m abandoning my comfort zone, I might as well go all in.
- Someone told me where to find the International Grocery Store in town, where I will be able to find cumin. Cumin!!! They also sell fresh Garlic Naan – which is now my Friday reward for an intense week.
- I had a really full weekend. I went hiking in some serious snow in the mountains about an hour south of Stavanger. As I was climbing up a mountain while knee deep in snow – in March – it hit me that I’m actually living in Norway. (It’s been hitting me repeatedly at random times lately. Like when I spent $7 on a Bell Pepper at the grocery store last Friday.) I ended my Saturday with a 4 hour, 10-course meal at a high-end restaurant with random booshy Scandys I’d never met before. I hadn’t planned to, but I spent way too much money on good food and wine – and had one of the top 5 most posh experiences of my life. I am grateful for these experiences.
- I met a nice girl I’d really like to be friends with.
- I have fun plans next weekend, too.
- I’m understanding more and more Norwegian.
Perhaps there’s hope for me afterall.