No Year’s Resolution

2013 sucked. I had a list of 36 things I wanted to do last year and crossed four of them off of it. It’d be one thing if I had been doing amazing things to replace those items not crossed off — like how I went to Portugal instead of Greece — but most of the time, that wasn’t the case. So this year, I’m doing something different. I created a vision board.

visionboardThere aren’t many words here — I’m becoming a lot more visual in my old age and I like the non-specificity represented by the images. Instead of saying laugh more, I put up Mohammed Ali, who can also remind me that I want to kick ass most days. Instead of talking about travel, I put up the butterflies, which represent not far away places, but the ability to migrate and still come back home. I‘m going to stop saying sorry so much — fucking Anglo-Saxons and their apologizing for their very existence. And finally, I’m going to be turning shit into gold. It’s the only way I can think of to sum up my career goals for this year.

And that hand-written note at the bottom? A quote from my favorite philosopher, Kierkegaard: “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

Liebe Gruesse aus Liebster Land

I was just reading about the Liebster Award over at No Apathy Allowed and totally about to have at it when Barb Taub nominated me for one, too. So exciting! I’ve never won anything in my life so the prize of getting to talk all about myself is going to result in the closest thing to an Academy Award speech I’ve ever written. Lucky you, getting to read all about me!

Here’s how it works:

  • Share 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions given by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate new bloggers to pass on the fun
  • Write 11 questions for those bloggers to answer

Instead of random facts, I’m going to take on both Mandy’s and Barb’s questions. Here goes nothing:

  1. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Class inequality.
  2. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? Most people? Or most Americans? Or most Germans? I definitely parent differently than most Amis. My sister calls it “extra-casual European parenting” and it drives her – and most other Amis I know – insane. I eat differently (diet-wise, not style-wise) than most Germans. Sausages and potato salad both gross me out.
  3. If you could wake up tomorrow speaking any language you wanted, which one would it be and why? Amaraic because although French knowledge would get me farther as a traveler, this is fantasy land and I always wanted to learn Amaraic but was too lazy to bother.
  4. What’s the one thing you definitely could not travel without? Dramamine and my running shoes.
  5. When was the last time you did something that scared you? I scare myself every day and the older I get, the easier that is to do. I hear this comes from having kids, that you get more cautious, but since I want my kid to have no fear or boundaries activity-wise, I suck it up. That twirly slide at the water park? Scares the piss out of me and diva both but we laugh like hell on it together. That airplane going 700 miles an hour 32,000 feet above the earth? Ditto.
  6. What’s your favorite self-indulgence? The honey-salt scrub at my sauna.
  7. What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten while traveling? I’m a very conservative eater but my friend was just on tv with her toddler eating moths and worms and I almost vomited watching it.
  8. What’s the most embarrassing story you’re willing to tell online? Read this blog. My life is all embarrassment all the time and I’m not afraid to talk about it. But maybe my sister will step in and remind me of something stupid I did ages ago that I still haven’t written about. Like the time I was 15 and had to “babysit” two 12-year-old jerks while they swam in my aunt’s pool and I stood at the edge screaming at them for like 10 minutes before I realized my bikini top had fallen off and that was why they were laughing instead of listening to me.
  9. What’s your favorite way to stay fit? Duh – running! Though I have fallen in love with Body Pump, bad music and all because my arms… oh they look nice pumping iron.
  10. What would your super power be? To be able to get anywhere in the world at the speed of light without having to step on an airplane.
  11. How old would you be if you didn’t actually know your age? Twelve. I’m that mature.

Are you still here? Good, because here’s the next bit of questions. I’ll be brief, though. Promise.

  1. What was your first car? A metallic navy blue Pontiac 6000 sedan with a dented right fender (distracted by his charming smile in my headlights, I turned into the Jeep of a boy I liked) that, until the car was sold, also contained a silver cartoon drawing of a curly-headed dude smoking dope (drawn by friend of said boy to distract my parents from noticing the dent; it didn’t work).
  2. What was your last brush with the law? Pleading the Fifth.
  3. Star Wars or Star Trek? Spaceballs.
  4. Dr. Who or Dr. Laura? Dr. Zhivago.
  5. Worst movie ever? All of them. For real, I hate movies. But none incite my wrath more than the horror shows that are children’s movies these days. Why.the.fuck do all kids’ movies have plots that include mom or dad dying or disappearing or someone being fucking evil or scary? The only movie I let the Diva watch now is Madagascar because even fucking Sesame Street decided to have a hurricane come and blow Big Birds’ nest away followed by an episode in which his teddy just fucking vanishes. Hello?!! Movies are supposed to be “Mummy’s got a headache” time not oh fuck where are the tissues and what’s the line I’m feeding this toddler on death again because I don’t believe in heaven? All I want is a bath in peace and suddenly Curious George is being shipped off to Timbuktu by the man in the yellow hat? No thank you.
  6. Who would you like to have a conversation with at a cocktail party? Before the cocktails have kicked in = no one. After = anyone. A guy with a nice belly. Say, Sergio Ramos? Oh wait, you said conversation, right? Um, whoever.
  7. Best guilty pleasure ever? There is no guilt in my pleasure.
  8. Who would play you in the movie? Looks-wise I always get Claire Danes or Gwyneth Paltrow but awesome-ness-wise it’d be all Rashida Jones-style. Though Betty White does have my vulgarity down pat.
  9. What is something people don’t know about you? I’m not telling.
  10. What is the one thing you can’t live without? Laughter. My midwife said having a kid will make you laugh belly laughs at least once a day and you know what? I did and I do.
  11. As a child (or now!), what did you want to be when you grew up? Me. I still do.

And the nominees are… anyone who wants to give it a shot.

Here’s your pop quiz, fellow Liebsters:

  1. What TV game show, past or present, would you most like to appear on/kick ass at?
  2. If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
  3. What one thing would you change about yourself if you could?
  4. What’s your mantra?
  5. What gets you the most excited?
  6. If you never had to work again, how would you spend your days?
  7. Big Bird or Snuffalupagas?
  8. What one article of clothing can you not live without?
  9. Best pick-up line you’ve ever heard or used?
  10. What’s your go-to book?
  11. What’s one thing you’re sad or ashamed that you can’t do?

On Tap This Year

In case you missed it, I updated the list of things to do this year. I gave myself a bit of leeway last year and held out on being disappointed that I didn’t accomplish all 35 things before my birthday in December but then January rolled around and I realized, hey, this life is getting stale. I need some new motivation. So there it is, in black and white for all to see.

The problem is, it’s January. January sucks for motivation. I hurt myself running so I feel a bit like, eh, what’s the point of having a half-marathon as a goal for this year? And I’m nevah evah going to speak German like a Deutscher, so why bother, right? (As a side note: the diva’s teachers at Kita say she’s been correcting their pronunciation of German words so that they speak them with a more American accent. My God, what have I done? It’s English only from here on out with that babe.)

And then I started changing my mind. I think I want to add “watch a Barca game in Barcelona” to the list.  Can I do that? Just change my goals like that? I’ve never been much of a goal setter but I feel like these things are important for my sanity right now. I’m learning how to be alone and how to be a grown-up and goals, I think, are key to that. Otherwise, you just sit around in your sweatpants eating potato chips and lamenting the things you could’ve done with your life and then you realize, shit, I’m 50, where did my life go. Right?

So my goals for this year are to not just sit around. To travel a lot, both alone and with the kid. I even added another tab here, with my goal destinations this year. If I have my way, I’ll be in France, Greece, Denmark, and Switzerland before summer’s even here.

But that means I have to get over my fear of flying. I have a dream of a doctor who prescribed me something the Germans like to call Holy Shit pills to take the edge off. I no longer feel like I’m going to vomit at the thought of getting on a plane. I don’t need to knock myself out with Benadryl and stumble down the aisles of an Airbus 320 every five minutes to look in the bathroom mirror to convince myself that yes, I am 32,000 feet above the earth but everything is a-ok. Now I can actually sleep through a flight. As the Diva explained to everybody who’d listen, Mama can snore through seven different videos being played on the little video screen on the back of the seat (raised mostly tv-less, she is not excited about being an airplane but about Mama not giving a shit when she watches Minnie Mouse Clubhouse).

But I’m no Liza Minnelli; I don’t need pills to get through life. So I’m going to first work on getting over my fear of flying, which is, bizarrely enough, not an actual fear of flight but of loss. Because as anyone who’s an expat knows, getting on that airplane means leaving things behind, even things you hate. And even if for just a short amount of time. So yeah, working on that. But first, I gotta get motivated, which, in the shite white wonderland, is going to take a little while. For now it’s back to potato chips and yoga pants on the couch.

Keeping up with the kids, linguistically

My search terms have been really funky lately and I couldn’t figure out why. It’s a sign of my age, I guess, that I had no idea about the double meaning behind leather pants. But as someone much more in touch with those yung’uns just told me, my old tagline idea of directly translating lederhosen made people think I was interested in S&M.

Um, in case it’s not clear, I’m not, especially not when I talk about my kid here, too. So…. sorry for anyone disappointed to have been misdirected here by Herr Google.

And that new tag line? Urban Dictionary approved. Because after recently learning that everything has a sexual pun (white pants? for real?), you’d better believe I’m urbandictionarying every damn thing I say on this page from here on out.

Carry on.

Post Secret

In Istanbul a few years back, an American expat introduced me to the inimitable Post Secret blog and reading the confessions on it has been a Sunday morning treat for me ever since. A lot of things have changed in that time — I finished my Master’s, got a job and decided to settle down in Germany, had a kid, left my husband. Basically crossed off everything on that above “secret” list so now it’s my time to have some fun. Hence the blog.

My Life in Lederhosen is my way of chronicling that fun — the traveling, the learning how to be a woman and a mom, the absurdities of living life in a place I love but which feels Fremder by the day (and I mean that in both of the German senses of the word — strange and foreign). For more about me, have a look at the About page. Or just stick around for a bit and get to know me. Glad to meet you. ….