It's A New Year

Yes, we are already a couple weeks into 2009, but I seem to be wallowing in the new year transition. I enjoyed my time with my family and also the time with my friends around the New Year in Paris and Zurich. Normally after a day or two back at work I forget the whole vacation even happened, but this time it was especially nice and I'm enjoying reflecting and remembering. The months leading up to the holidays were not the easiest in my life but the break came at the right time and things feel like they are moving in a better direction.

I'm in my second week back at work in Köln and enjoying the new project and new challenges. Today requested I stay until October rather than the originally planned April so good news there. I've managed to keep a 50/50 schedule between US and Köln, which is the best case scenario under the circumstances. I'm in the process of arranging a move to Köln and will use my corporate apartment there as home base for the next couple of months. Still no decision on my end where to call home so I will stay tied to Munich for now and look to make my decision by June. Let's see what else is in the cards this year.

I did something unusual this year and made some New Year's Suggestions for myself. I never make resolutions as I would rather just do things if and when they occur to me than resolve to do them at a fixed time each year. However, it happens that at this point in time there are some things I want to do and they will take some time so here they are, my New Year's Suggestions:

1) The quest for German. I continue to progress in my German language skills but there is plenty of room for improvement. I want to put some structure back in my lessons. I've been discussing how to take it to the next level with some colleagues who moved to Germany from other countries and a few have recommended taking a 2 week intensive class once or twice a year. It works better with our schedule and they said each session brought them to a new peak; the time between sessions gives them time to get comfortable at the new level.

2) Find home. I am thinking less in the spiritual sense (I have nearly given up on that) and more in the physical sense. I have endless inspiration right now to have a money pit of my own. I can visualize color schemes, my favorite photos on the wall, a cloud bed and sunny windows. Most of all a beautiful and well-stocked kitchen. I'm tired of scrambling to find places to go on the weekend and need something more stable.

3) Create a new financial plan. Living overseas changes the landscape of retirement savings and planning and I haven't really found the best options for how to manage that here. I don't really know the best ways to manage short and mid-term financial goals either. There is surprisingly little on this in books and on the internet (at least that I would trust). Maybe I should write a book if and when I figure it out.

4) Keep up the fitness. For the last 4 months I have been much more disciplined about putting exercise back in my life. It feels really good and I want to keep it up. I would like to add something to the routine besides running and the occasional hiking and skiing. Maybe yoga, pilates or taking up golf again would be fun.

Well those suggestions ought to keep me busy for awhile!

Happy New Year (13 days later)!

Posted from Köln


aimee said...

great new year's suggestions! all very important and exciting. if i can make a suggestion on the fitness side...i never thought i'd be a "game" person but i am obsessed with the wii fit. the beauty of it is that it has such a wide variety - yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. i've never liked to exercise but i find myself counting down the minutes 'til i get to do it again.

i hope 2009 is a great year for nesting for you.

Expat Traveler said...

IT sounds like you are doing really well and keeping a great outlook on things...

I'd love to see some photos of your adventures and your goals for this year seem very plausable and much the same of what I want...

I have signed up for tri-club training... ie brutalizing my body!!

I just want a job!!! Still on the hunt, but got back from another interview today...