Setting January 2018 Goals using Lara Casey’s Powersheets.
Hello, 2018! Wow. 2017 was a blur. I know that it feels like that every year, but somehow we got to the end of 2017 and I was so not ready. The holidays felt like they snuck up on me and boom!, here we are, in 2018.
The end of 2016 was tense for us. We were waiting for orders and it felt like the detailer would never call. Normally, I am pretty chill when it comes to orders, but this time was different, and for the first time, I was anxious. I knew that the move was going to be a big one and I was so relieved when we finally knew where we were going. We were going to Stuttgart, Germany in early June.
The whole year was dominated by the move. I naively thought that this was going to be like all of the others. I’m a pro at moving, I’ve done it a bunch of times and it has never been a big deal. I was so wrong on so many levels. This was a big deal. It has been amazing. And crazy. And overwhelming. And life-changing. Moving to Germany has been incredible and hard all at the same time.
We spent the first half of the year getting ready to move and the second half trying to adjust to it. We moved out of our house on the Cape in Mid-May and did not settle into our new house until the end of August. We moved into temporary housing, then traveled, and then lived in a hotel for 58 days. We lived out of 5 carry-on bags, 2 suitcases, and 2 boxes that I sent ahead of us. I learned that you can live happily with next to nothing.
We spent the first few weeks in Europe traveling. We went to Rome, a Greek Isles cruise, and spent a week on the Amalfi Coast. It was exactly what we needed to reconnect as a family. Wes left a demanding job that required him to be available 24/7/365 and it was so nice to not have to have a contingency plan if the phone should ring. (And 9 times out of 10, it would.) It was his dream job and he loved every second of it. I truthfully didn’t mind that much (Okay, I had a few times when I wanted to throw the phone into the ocean but it was rare) because he was so happy. Life on Cape Cod was really good to us. We had great friends, were close to family, and the kids were really happy there.
The opportunity to travel and see the world was the main reason why we were all on board for the move to Germany. And that part has been absolutely incredible. In six months we have been to Germany, Italy, Greece, France, England, Scotland, and the Czech Republic. We have seen so many things, eaten incredible food, and made memories we will never forget.
We are one family out of eight that are Coast Guard so we are fish out of water. (Quite literally. There isn’t a lot of water around here.) We are required to live on base and that has given us the best of both worlds. We live on the base closest to the city, so we are one bus stop away from the train and 15 minutes from the city center. I’m sitting at my dining room table on NYE typing this and there are fireworks everywhere. I can hear them behind the house and in the front. Germans LOVE their fireworks.
We are lucky to have the ease of base living with the availability of the German experience. I shop at the German stores and try to do as much on the economy as I can. We can easily get the American things that we miss at the commissary (and there is one about 50 steps from my front door) and God bless Amazon Prime.
All in all, 2017 was a good year. I think an upside of living here is that the political climate and general negativity is not as present for us. I rarely ever watch TV and the time change makes it hard to stay current. (It’s a terrible time for football.) Not that avoiding is the answer to the world’s problems, but it is helpful to not see it every day. I have also cleaned out my social media accounts so I don’t see a lot of things anymore, I can’t handle the negativity.
2018 is our only full year here, so we are going to use the time we have to see it all. We are starting to think about the next few trips and planning what to hit when. I’m excited about seeing and doing more.
Please know, I love my life and am honored and grateful for the opportunity. I also always promised that I would be truthful and real here and know that people might benefit from knowing those good things are also kind of hard. I just want to be honest. I love it here, and I don’t want you to think that I am complaining.
Which brings me to my goals for 2018. I skipped my monthly goals posts in 2017 and I truly believe that my year suffered because of it. I had little to no direction and felt off all year. I’m coming for you 2018, I need to get it together.
1. Rebrand Bree Hester Photography and launch the new website. It’s a long story as to why I have not re-opened the portrait side of my business since we moved. In the meantime, I am rebranding with a new name and a new feel. I’m excited about it and looking forward to seeing it come to life.
2. FINALLY opening my online photography school. I’ve been toying with this idea and thinking of a million reasons why I shouldn’t do it. But I LOVE teaching photography and I love seeing people grow in their skills. This is HAPPENING in 2018.
3. Post here at least once a week and once on my photography website. I didn’t have a kitchen for half of the year so I didn’t spend a lot of time cooking, therefore not a lot of time blogging about it. I have really missed being here and am going to make it a priority. I am going to be sending a survey out in the very near future to see what you want to see here.
4. Make 30 films. And 4 of them have to be not of my family. I love making family films and want to improve my skills. The only way to get better is to do it and do it a lot. Here is my latest video, highlights from our Christmas.
5. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. My sleep habits have been horrible. I go to bed super late and then wake up to get the kids off to school and am useless for a good chunk of the morning.
6. Drink more water. One cannot survive on Diet Pepsi and coffee alone.
7. Move more. Even if it means just a 10-minute walk, I need to move more and get more fresh air. I’d love to get back to hot yoga, I just need to find an English-speaking class.
8. 5 more countries. We checked off quite a few this year, but there are quite a few more to go. Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Morroco, Slovenia, Spain
9. Be a better friend. Make an effort to cultivate friendships with new and old friends.