Sparkling Allison

American expat in Denmark, mom, lover of sparkles and staplers, avid book club member.

Much Love

Lose a job, gain a friend

Much LoveSparkling AllisonComment

It has hit me more than once over the last couple of weeks how loss leads to gains. I'm thinking in particular of how becoming unemployed has opened doors to some new relationships, and to the strengthening of some existing relationships. It is such a nice thing. I've really struggled with friendships since coming to Denmark, and it feels like suddenly my social life is booming. So thanks, unemployment, for that. 

We also found out this week that Calvin's vuggestue is closing. Unexpected, and everyone is really sad about it. My initial reaction was to do whatever it took to keep Calvin together with his classmates, who have become close friends. But reality struck, and we decided that it is actually best to get Calvin into a vuggestue closer to home.

But again, loss leads to gains. A handful of the parents are in touch now and coordinating weekend play dates. These are parents whose children I've known, but I've never met or talked to at length just because... Daily life at the vuggestue didn't require it. I'm kind of kicking myself for not being more proactive about meeting these parents before this happened. But I'm delighted that the parents I've been in contact with are so open to continuing the relationships our little ones have forged. 

It's not just relationships that I've gained. 

Time. Oh, the free time is glorious. I get to spend it reading over a prolonged cup of coffee, strolling through Torvehallerne, picking up Calvin a little early and biking around the neighborhood with him, making Halloween decorations, cooking for my family. Touring new vuggestues, and doing the necessary paperwork to file for an exemption that would let me get to the top of a waiting list. It's good times.  

Perspective. My head was down and a little bit in the sand about my career before. I've spent the last few weeks narrowing in on what I enjoy most about working, and setting some priorities for the type of work and people I want to be challenged by and surrounded with in the future. I'm feeling very fortunate about the connections and skills that I have. Very fortunate.  

Health. I thrive when I have a lot of sleep, and I am getting exactly that right now. I'm also walking and biking a ton, and eating well. Mm mm. Feels good. 

So loss, gain. This is just a reminder to myself to appreciate it as such. 



My 10 Commandments of Unemployment

Much LoveSparkling Allison1 Comment

According to research reported by Gretchen Ruben of the Happiness Project, habits form best in transition periods in your life. I've recently become unemployed, and want to take the opportunity to kick off some habits in addition to keeping myself busy and productive. So I've written 10 commandments for this period in my life, as follows:

  1. Thou shalt get 13,000 steps per day on your FitBit
  2. Thou shalt get a library card
  3. Thou shalt make social arrangements at least 2x per week
  4. Thou shalt spend Monday mornings, and only Monday mornings, cleaning the house
  5. Thou shalt start a photo-a-day project called #funemployment
  6. Thou shalt wash your face and brush your teeth every morning and night
  7. Thou shalt read a book a week
  8. Thou shalt share an interesting article on Twitter and LinkedIn 1x per day
  9. Thou shalt actively show gratitude for the support of your family and friends
  10. Thou shalt go to a museum on free admission day