Like many people, I find myself at the close of a year looking back at the events that have shaped my life over the past twelve months. It has certainly been an interesting one. While I have been adjusting to life in a foreign country, I have also been devoting a great deal of time to my personal development.
Last year for Christmas, I requested sessions with a personal trainer. Santa obliged. This has become an important aspect of my day to day life. I had never worked with a trainer before and was a bit unsure what to expect at the beginning. I have been challenged, pushed and cajoled into trying new and crazy things. I’ve ached. Oh, how I’ve ached. I have also made huge strides in my fitness level. Due to recurring injuries, I am no longer running and I really miss it. However, Anett and Tamás have worked hard to strengthen the affected area so that I may consider starting again, something that didn’t seem possible. I’ve discovered new ways to work out that are fun and effective, like suspension training and that crazy indoor cycling called spinning (not to be confused with real spinning). And I’m back in the pool, which makes me very happy. It has been, um, decades.
2012 was an exceptional year for creative development. I signed up for a couple of art classes on a whim and discovered a wonderful teacher who seems to be able to pull out my creativity. Her drawing classes got me putting pencil, charcoal, and brush to paper in a way that I haven’t experienced since I was in design school well over a decade ago. The figure classes she added in September have been amazing and I will be continuing with these into the new year. The artistic stimulation has carried over into my work with fibre. Whilst I haven’t been knitting as much as in the past few years, what I did work on was more challenging, frequently using my own handspun yarn. My spinning abilities have grown by leaps and bounds. I am now spinning with intent, playing with fibre preparation techniques such as combing, hackling and carding to produce a particular end yarn. And getting adventurous with art yarn. It has been so much fun. So too has using spindles more – I really like the low-tech aspect and the feeling of connection with women of centuries ago. In June, I gave in to long-term curiousity and purchased a small loom. At this point, I’ve only made a couple of scarves and tea towels, but this holds so much potential as a creative outlet for me. I can’t wait until I can weave yardage to sew into my own clothing designs.
Another central theme of the past year has been travel. I have been blessed with an extraordinary opportunity for exploring Europe through my husband’s job. We closed out 2011 with a snowshoeing trip to the Salzburg, Austria, area and will be starting 2013 with another snowshoeing vacation, this time to the Dolomites. In between, we have visited Vienna, Lisbon, Barcelona, Costa del Sol, Western Germany (near the border with the Netherlands), Paris, and Ireland. Whew! It makes me exhausted just thinking about how much packing and unpacking we’ve done! We have also continued to explore this exciting city of Budapest, learning more about its history and the customs of the Hungarian people.
The international community, the defence attaché community in particular, has been more than welcoming to us. We have experienced social activity like never before! From the Officer’s Ball in Vienna to the Marine Corps ball in Budapest to an Abba costume party, we have made new friends that we hope will last a lifetime. We will treasure the memories. It has indeed been fun.
2013 certainly has a lot to live up to!