So here I am, sitting in my new apartment in Zurich. It’s been a few months since I have arrived in Zurich. Time is speeding by yet sometimes the days are never ending.
The past few months have been extremely difficult on a personal level. It has been an massive adjustment from the sunshine filled life I led in Abu Dhabi. Major adjustment. No more nanny which means no more coffee mornings, no more lunch time meet ups with friends, no more runs by the water. I can’t tell you the last time I had a mani/pedi or a massage. Grocery shopping with a toddler is REALLY hard work! I didn’t lead a glam life in Abu Dhabi but with each passing day (and as I sit here in my sweat pants and pony tail next to a large pile of laundry that needs ironing) it seems more glam than I gave it credit for.
Don’t get me wrong. Zurich is a great city and Switzerland is a beautiful country. You drive 30 minutes out of Zurich and you are looking at a views that just take your breath away. However, I was setting up a home and not having much time to explore. Constantly cleaning, and organising and putting together IKEA furniture. Feeling like a modern day Cinderella with no Fairy God mother to rescue me. Wallowing in self pity, I was hating life. Sure I’d have spurts of positive moments but they would be quickly forgotten when the kids started fighting or whining, seeing dishes in the sink or crumbs on the floor, or toys strewn about and never ending ironing. Everyone else in my family was so happy. The kids have more time to play outdoors, my husband is loving his new job, even the dog gets out a lot more than he ever did in Abu Dhabi. The only person who was not happy was me. I had to get out of this negative vortex some way, somehow or I was going to lose my mind. I HAD to make CHANGES in my life. This was no way to live. I was always grumpy, tired, stressed.
Climbing out of the dark hole.
The first steps:
PERSPECTIVE: I had to change my way of thinking. I had to stop looking at everything from the negative perspective. It’s true that when you are negative, have negative thoughts – you attract more negativity. I’d have days where it was almost comical how many things went wrong. No use crying over spilled milk they say. Yes well when you have 3 kids spilling milk, toothpaste, dog food or whatever else on your newly cleaned floors (that actually took a lot of shouting, and iPad negotiating to get clean) you just might cry. I did. Going from negative to positive isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.
RELAXATION: I stopped being the martyr and took some time away from the family in the form of a mini break. It was only for one night but it was so refreshing to be on my own. Not worrying about anything but myself. Getting away was so refreshing that I must take more time like this in the future. Highly recommend for all moms out there.
BRAIN FOOD: I signed up for a professional certification. I have been searching for something to do for the past year and finally decided to take the leap. This keeps my brain active. I am learning about a subject I am passionate about. And as an added bonus it allows me to have adult conversations with other people.
EXERCISE: Exercise is so important especially with helping cope with stress. I know this yet I wasn’t consistent. For weeks it seemed impossible. That has changed now I found a gym with a creche or what is called a kinderparadies. A supervised play area for children. It’s open from 9-11. Just enough time for me to do the 9:30 fitness class.
SOCIAL: I started to make friends. It is amazing how better one feels after connecting with someone else. It reminds me that I am more just the ironing lady (seriously – where do we get all this ironing from?)
LANGUAGE: After weeks of using google translate I have accepted the fact that I need to learn German. I revisited my German lessons with the Pimsleur app. These lessons last anywhere from 20-30 minutes a day. I started a few months back, but dropped them because I couldn’t fit into my day (or most likely didn’t want to fit it in). But now it is different. The kids could use additional German help, so now we all sit together after lunch and do the lesson together. Das ist gut.
So these have been my first steps towards a positive adjustment to life here in Switzerland. I am not exactly where I would like to be mentally, physically or emotionally yet, however I feel I am moving in the right direction. It’s a process.