Are you too busy?

I read this article on the New York Times over the weekend. I think the author shared some  valid points about American society and that how busy we are defines us. “I’m just sooo busy.” How often do you hear that? I couldn’t agree more with his point:

It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

Right? It’s so true! I was absolutely a victim to it when I was working in the corporate world. It was always go, go, go. A full calendar, with both work and social events. Committing to multiple plans in the same evening and racing from one to the next. Always running. Always late to dinners. Always Sometimes canceling last minute because something more urgent (or more preferred) came up…

It’s funny. I asked my friends that visited in April if they noticed anything different about me. Had I changed? I was curious and had no idea what they would say, if anything.

Stacy didn’t hesitate. She said:

You walk slow.

And you know what? She’s right. I guess my priorities have changed. Busy can wait. I’m too busy (uh..) not being busy. Walking slow. Smelling the flowers. And enjoying my life.

It’s absolutely a result of the move, of not working, of traveling.  Would I have kept running the race if we were still in Chicago? Probably. A life-changing experience forced me to re-evaluate how I want to live my life; it was a unique situation. Most people don’t have this opportunity.

I’ve become really reflective on the past year lately. It’s been such an incredible year. I guess the takeaway from this particular topic (and why I wanted to share it with you) is to slow down. Which reminds me of another of my favorite quotes, an appropriate close to this post:

The days are long, but the years are short.

Enjoy them.

(These aren’t our dogs btw, we are just borrowing them for a few days:)

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Cool American

Here is a good lesson in how the rest of the world views Americans. No, not that they (we?) like ranch dressing, just that they (again, we?) are cool.

Behold:

Not Cool Ranch. Cool American.

Ranch? What is ranch? The rest of the world may never know (or care). And it doesn’t matter, because they are (I guiltily confess) delicious. Way to go, Americans. Keep on being “cool”.

Happy Valentine’s Day

As Jaro pointed out below, he is in frozen Ukraine this week, so I’m holding down the fort in Amsterdam. While I miss him today, I get to spend a really lovely evening with my girlfriends, so I’m quite content with the way this “holiday” is working out. …Provided we find a decent place with my necessities: good wine and good cheese.

To all my darlings near and far, my family, my friends, my secret admirers (I’m just going to assume I have some)… happy valentine’s day. Hug someone you love today. Maybe even twice. There’s really nothing like a good hug.

WE’VE MOVED!

Hello all! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. While we are still happily living in our loft in Amsterdam, we have officially moved our blog to this new site. We hope that it allows you to keep up with us more easily. All of our old stuff has been transferred over too. I hope that you’ll follow us and pass our story along to friends and family that would be interested in us. This new format will inspire us to post more frequently and with more specific focus. We’re really excited to continue sharing our journey with you!

xxx

Julie

A Message From My Mother

…Well if I don’t get to skype with you before your birthday you know that I wish you every happiness in the world.  You are a beautiful and wonderful daughter in every way and I am so proud of you.  (I didn’t mind the frogs and salamanders or animal skulls you brought home in any way!) Your sense of wonder of this world hasn’t diminished and my wish for you is that you never lose your sense of humor, curiosity or empathy for every person you meet or for the places you go. 

I love my mom. She gets it.