Tag Archives: self-esteem

The Story in my Salad Bowl

There is a store here in Germany called Globus.  It’s equivalent to a U.S. Wal Mart, only much nicer.

It’s huge.  It’s intimidating.  Everything is written in German (of course) so most of the time I’m not totally sure of what I am buying.  It was the very first German grocery store I went to and the whole experience was terrifying.  (Seriously.  No joke.)

BUT, I will say they have a fabulous salad bar.  When my MIL said she wanted to go to Globus to get some authentic German Christmas decorations and ornaments – I immediately thought- salad bar!  Let’s go!

At Globus, I filled a plastic container with all kinds of colorful, fresh veggies – tri-colored bell peppers, jade green lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, sprouts and tuna fish.

Then, I made my way to the other side of the salad bar where there was antipasto- stuffed olives, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, stuffed grape leaves, artichoke hearts and various kinds of  cheeses lying in a pool of olive oil and spices.

With some tongs, I plucked a few of each of these mouth-watering goodies and plopped them on top of my salad.

Then I weighed my container on the scale located at the end of the salad bar, printed out the sticker that said how much I owed and proceeded to the check out line.

As I got to the front of the kasse (checkout), I put all of my items on the black belt.  When the middle-aged lady behind the counter picked up my container of salad, she frowned, looking at me.

In German, she said, “This is not all salad.  Some of this is antipasto.  They are supposed to be separate.”  She shook her head.  “They are different prices.”  She kept shaking her head as she rang up the rest of my items.

And, of course, my daughter, who was standing right next to me, kept asking me questions like, “What’s going on?  What happened?   What is she saying?”

Suddenly, I lost my appetite for my beautiful salad.

I didn’t know those two things were different prices!  I didn’t know they needed to be separated into different containers.

And, yet again, I felt like a stupid American in a foreign country who doesn’t know the rules and just got put in her place by a serious-looking German woman.

(On a positive side note- I did understand everything she was saying in German so at least my German is getting better!)

After I checked out and met my husband in the play area where he was hanging out with our 2 boys, I told him what happened.

He just shook his head and smirked.

“And she didn’t give me any stickers for the kids.”  They typically give a packet of stickers out to the kids.  I put my hands on my hips.  “Why didn’t she give us any stickers?”

He kind of half-smiled and said, “Well, you did kind of piss her off…”

Now, this is just a little thing that happened.  No big deal, right?

But, the thing is, when little things like this start piling up (which they have been doing since we moved here 3 months ago), it starts to get VERY frustrating.  It starts to wear on you.

Will I ever figure this stuff out?  Will I ever be able to go to a German grocery store and just have a “normal” shopping experience?

The good news is, I am not the only one who has had experiences like this.  In fact, I’ve talked to many, many fellow military spouses and here is what they have said:

  • Globus IS super terrifying
  • it takes 6 months to a year to get adjusted to everything here
  • they ALL have stories like this

Here are some things that I know:

  • it will get easier
  • it’s not always going to be like this
  • I am strong enough to handle this

On top of the salad bar incident, there was the beer debacle.

I’ll have myself a German beer every now and then.  After all – they are delicious!

Globus has a getrankemarkt (basically a drink market) where there are rows and rows of different beers – dark, light, hoppy, bitter, sweet – and wine – red, white, rose, blush, sweet, dry – and champagne.

Having recovered from being put in my place by the lady at the checkout counter, I wanted to check and see if they had any pumpkin beer before we left (because that is my ABSOLUTE favorite).

I wandered the aisles, carrying my infamous salad container in my hand.  I didn’t see any pumpkin beer.

I proceeded to leave…and got stopped by the lady at the checkout area of the getrankemarkt (there was only one way out).

She said, in German, “Do you need to pay for that?”

I shook my head.  “No,” I replied.  “I already paid for it.”  (This, I said in broken German because I wasn’t totally sure how to say it.)

She raised her eyebrows.  “Do you have the receipt?”

“Nein.  Meine mann hat die rezept.”  (No.  My husband has it.)

And yet again, I got the “head shake” for the second time that day.

She let me go, however, and you can be sure I high-tailed it out of there!

Here’s the thing – I can give up OR I can keep trying.

I can hide in my house, only go shopping on the American base and pretend like we are not in a foreign country…OR…I can embrace this.

I can learn the lessons.  And not repeat the same mistakes.

And, I am happy to say, that I did go to Globus again after this incident and I DID put the salad in a separate container from the anti-pasto and I did NOT have any issues!

My message, to you today than, is this:  Live your life.  Make mistakes.  Laugh at yourself.  Learn.  And move on.

Lastly, I wanted to share some GREAT recipes for winter salads with you!

Roasted Yam and Kale Salad

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/217266/roasted-yam-and-kale-salad/?internalSource=streams&referringId=17229&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=st_recipes_mades

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/230055/warm-brussels-sprout-salad-with-hazelnuts-and-cranberries/?internalSource=streams&referringId=17229&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=st_trending_s

I hope you enjoy!!!!

And don’t forget – share this post on your social media sites and with all of your friends!

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl I Was

It was the summer of 2008.  My husband ame and dognd I had just gotten married two weeks prior and there I was…lying in our bed, clinging to my dog and crying my eyes out.

He had just left for a 2 week field exercise.  I wouldn’t see him for 2 weeks.  I wouldn’t talk to him for 2 weeks.  I had just moved into our apartment.  I had just moved to Killeen, Texas.  I didn’t know a single person there.  I didn’t know where anything was.

I was devastated.  Seriously.  I had no idea what to do with myself or how to occupy my time besides walking my dog and working out at the little apartment job.

I had just graduated from grad school.  I had no job.  Nothing to do.  And 2 weeks to kill before my brand new husband came back.

The days and hours loomed in front of me.  I had no idea how I was going to get through these next 2 weeks, let alone the upcoming deployment.

Now, 9 years later, 3 deployments later, here I am, in a foreign country with three little kids, all under the age of 7.

And he is gone.  Only for 5 days this time but still…(did I mention that we just got to this foreign country 7 weeks ago?)

Here are the things, that 9 years later, still haven’t changed:

  • I doubt myself…every time he leaves.  Whether it’s for 5 days or 5 weeks.  I doubt whether I can do this…whether I’m strong enough.
  • How will I be able to take care of these three kids by myself?  Get them dressed, fed, to school, to their activities, to bed?
  • I miss him.
  • I can’t wait until he gets back

Here are the things, that 9 years later, have changed:

  • Even though doubt creeps in every…single…time…I KNOW, deep down, that I AM strong enough to do this.
  • That girl who laid in bed and cried her eyes out is gone (although, I will admit, that as I laid in bed that first night in our new house in this strange village, I slept with all the lights on because I was scared)
  • I KNOW that I have all the tools and skills I need to get through this.
  • I know that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
  • I know, that with time, it will get easier

nobody

I am no longer the girl who can’t even deal with getting books for her college classes without having to call her mom and ask her for help

(Really.  That happened.)

Not to blow my own horn or anything…but I have come a LONG way.  I am still a work in progress.  I still have a long way to go…BUT…I can say, that I am, without a doubt, PROUD of how hard I have worked to be who I am today.

Who do YOU want to be?  What do you need to do to get there?

And…what are you waiting for?!??!!!!

Here are a few exercises to help you out:

reasons

self esteem journal

goals

 

 

Hello, World

I know I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks and here’s why – we just moved to Germany!  And let me tell you, it’s been a RIDE.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is in the Army.   Several months ago we got orders to go to Germany, and now…well…here we are.

germany 4

I’m going to be real with you.  My exercise routine is shit right now.  I’ve been eating a lot of crap (partly because I wanted to try some of the authentically German treats and partly because the first 2 weeks we were here the jet lag was so bad it was like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy).

 

I’m homesick.  I miss my family.  I miss the familiarity of everything back in the states.  And the driving here – whoa!  It takes some getting used to.  I have not ventured out very far unless my husband has been sitting in the passenger seat.  It’s like I’m a teenager all over again with my learner’s permit.

The first day we got here, my daughter and I couldn’t even figure out how to flush the toilets.  And the shopping carts here – you can’t just take one.  They are all locked together and you have to put a coin in the slot to release one.  When you return it, you get your coin back.  Well, before someone took pity on us and told us that, my husband was quite a sight trying to figure out how to get a shopping cart.  He was yanking.  He was pulling.  He was muttering to himself.

I’ve gotten lost several times already walking around on base.  I’ve thrown my kids in the back of a stranger’s car (a soldier’s at least), sans car seat, and gotten a ride to my daughter’s school to go pick her up because I was 20 minutes late.  I’ve been stranded at the grocery store, with my baby and a cart full of groceries, for over an hour, because the taxi stood us up.  And yet again, I sat my kid on my lap and got into the backseat of a stranger’s car, with my groceries in the trunk, and got a ride to our hotel.

We bought a car off the “lemon lot” and I’m afraid to say we may have actually gotten a lemon.  I only had it 2 weeks before it had to go in the shop…It needs a new muffler…which they have to order from the states…

It has, literally, been one thing after another.  I have gotten a few workouts in here and there.  I’ve had a few healthy meals and a few not-so-healthy meals.

Wah, wah, wah, right?

I mean, here we are, in Germany, in this beautiful country, in Europe, where we have the chance to experience other cultures, try new foods, learn other languages and travel…and here I am…bitching…

So, now, here’s where the cool part comes in:

The OLD me would have continued to focus on the negative and the fact that our lives right now, every day, have been a true comedy of errors.  I would have decided that this is going to be the worst three years of my life.  I would have cried.  I would have spiraled into a depression.  I would have dug my heels in and begged my husband to take us back to the states.

germany 5

BUT…now…being in this particular situation of just moving to another country with three children in tow…I can truly see how far I have come.

There are times that it really sucks right now.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  My nerves are frayed.  I have very little patience for my children’s shenanigans.  My husband is stressed.  I’m stressed.  There are tons of partially unpacked boxes in our house.  There is a TON of trash piling up in the garage (not to mention bags and bags of dirty diapers) because we have yet to receive the trash cans our landlord ordered for us.  Our dishwasher doesn’t work.  We have an ant problem in our dining room…and yet….

Despite all of this, (this is the cool part), I KNOW it’s all going to be okay.  I know that once we get settled, we are going to love it here.  I can see beyond all the shit (and I do mean, literally, all the shit in the diapers in our garage) that this is going to be a once in a life time opportunity to travel and explore and learn and grow and make many wonderful memories with our family.

 

 

Just Go For It

I’ve been taking a lot of risks lately – not physical risks like skydiving or bungee jumping…but more of the emotional type of risks.

I have just been going for it – and guess what?  It feels AHH-MAZING!

better

I’ve been reaching out to people and asking them to be a part of my team (Team Fight For Fit).  I’ve been asking people if they would like to join challenge groups to work on their health and fitness.  I have been connecting with old friends I haven’t seen in a while (like years) and asking them to hang out.

I am going after what I want.  I am going after what I want my life to look like.  I’m being more authentically ME.

Even when the people I reach out to don’t respond or they say no – you know what?  I feel PROUD.  I’m proud of myself.  Proud that I tried.  Proud that I won’t keep wondering “what if” because now I have an answer.

The rejections I get.  The silence on the other end.  It means I’m LIVING.  It means I’m working towards my dreams.

And do you know something else I’ve recently realized?  It’s not about whether the person says yes to joining my team or not.  It’s not about whether the person responds or not to my offer…it’s actually NOT about the outcome at all.

Before, I used to think it was ALL about the end result.  That’s how you measure success – how many “yes’s” you get, how many people you recruit, how much money is in the bank – BUT I’m here to tell you it’s NOT!

As I put myself out there more and more, share my personal thoughts and feelings, share my transformations (inside and outside) I realize it’s all about the PROCESS.  It’s about who I am becoming.

I am becoming STRONGER.  More confident.  More sure of what I want for myself.  Of who I want to be.  Of my purpose in life (besides wife and mother).

woman-walking-tightrope

So, today I say to you:  Do what scares the CRAP out of you.  Do that one thing that you are afraid to do.

Climb that wall.  Jump that hurdle.  Because, what’s on the other side is BEAUTIFUL.  It may not look like what you expected, BUT it’s beautiful all the same.

 

 

Broken is Beautiful

Have you heard of the Japanese art of ‘kintsukuroi’?

japanese pottery

I just heard about it today at work and thought it was absolutely perfect and beautiful…It means to glue a piece of broken pottery back together with gold lacquer…to restore something that was once broken and make it even more beautiful than it was before.

Do you know what this reminds me of? LIFE!

No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter where you live, no matter what you have…we all have hardships we must face. To be alive is to know pain. To be alive is to know struggle. To be alive is to know shame and vulnerability and sadness.

BUT – we can either continue to hurt and fall deeper into this chasm of pain and despair OR we can turn it into something beautiful and amazing and meaningful!

These scars, whether they are visible or not, whether they are on the outside or on the inside, can show our strength, our determination and our courage. We can wear these imperfections as a badge of honor, as proof of not only what we’ve been through but what we’ve overcome.

No, we won’t look the same ever again and we won’t feel the same ever again BUT we will be more beautiful than ever before because this is what’s REAL. This is LIFE.

I have imperfections (gasp).  I have hang ups (double gasp).

I have been through some HARD stuff in my life (just like you).

jap writing

I have been through break ups where it literally felt like someone had ripped my heart right out of my chest, threw it on the side of the road and ran a 18-wheeler right over it.  I seriously thought I was going to die.

But low and behold…I survived.  And I was stronger because of it.  Not only did I get stronger, but I ended up being grateful for those break ups.  Looking back, if I had ended up with any of those guys I would have already been divorced by now.

I’m grateful for these relationships, for these learning experiences because they eventually led me to my husband.

I’ve dealt with addiction in my nuclear family.  I watched my family fall apart, piece by piece, until there was nothing left but some dust on the floor.  I watched my parents get divorced after 41 years of marriage.   And even though I was 25 when they got divorced, it still hurt like hell.   BUT  I survived.

I have dealt with low self-esteem my ENTIRE life.  I have hated myself, wished I was someone else, wished I had been born in someone else’s body and wished I would just die.

BUT now, after years and years (literally) of working on myself, my issues and my hang ups, I can truly say I am loving who I am today.  I am finally at peace.  I am finally content.

I am the person I am today because of all the people who have walked in and out of my life, or walked in and stayed.  I am who I am today because of the experiences I’ve had, because of what I’ve endured, what I have chosen to do, because of what I have learned, what I have worked hard for and because who I have chosen to be.

me outside

Even though these things I’ve been through were excruciating at their worst and hard at their best, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing.  Because the cracks that these experiences have left behind…I have filled them up with gold…and they are beautiful.

 

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