January, Unexpected

This month when life threw its curve balls, it threw me a good one, sweeping me away from a blurry-edged life and back into something beautiful.

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Six extra weeks at home in Vienna with kids, cappuccino, Boggle, and a warm cat on my lap.

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And ice-skating with Jake, friends, margaritas, and six new grapes for my wine list.

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I didn’t expect January would mean one more trip to the Wildkogelbahn, or a sparkling train ride from Innsbruck to Vienna through meadows full of snow.

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I didn’t expect I would have wintry afternoons with nothing to do except make jelly doughnuts, or cut pretty shapes out of pie crust.

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I didn’t expect that my 12-year olds would still love to dig holes in the snow!

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Or that our guests would bring us chocolates from Ukraine, and make Gussy the proud owner of the most beautiful kitty bowl in the world.

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Or that Mike and I would have date night and drink sparkling spritzers in a wine bar full of smoked hams.

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Or that I would have tacos and game nights and learn to play Mexican Train, instead of pacing and listening to podcasts in Baghdad.

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Or that I would see my husband transformed by the gift of my absence, somehow reminding him of what he could do.

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Jogging through the Augarten, breakfast at Cafe Central, math homework, guacamole, video games, just regular life.  I didn’t think this would be happening right now, and yet strangely somehow it is.

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My sourdough starter has made it through three plane trips and three countries, and even though my bread doesn’t rise very well or taste very good, it hasn’t died yet.  I let it sit outside and get some fresh air next to the oranges.

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There are so many ways we sabotage ourselves by imagining only the worst, or by believing we are something better than we actually are.  Between pride and its fall, I prefer neither!  But this life lesson repeats itself over and over again, despite mastering it once, yet again we fall, and in the meantime life continues to pass, with or without our approval.

I guess that’s all the more reason to notice when life throws you a break.

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