Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Missin’ the Dutch vibe

DSC01049I have to admit that I’m feeling ready to be back in the Netherlands again.

It’s really nothing against the job, or England, or travel, or people.  It’s been a good trip to Cambridge and the US, with some fun times, a lot accomplished, and a wonderful break up in Sweden.

But I’m missing friends and biking, keeping up with the language and days without meetings.  I worry about the progress of my IND renewal, the business partnerships, the money vanishing into an apartment and parking space that I barely use this month.  I think it’s a short-term situation, but plans to come back for a week or so have been repeatedly sidetracked by urgent meetings and overseas travel.

There was a similar time, maybe fifteen years ago, when I was forced to recognize that my sailing club membership had fallen into disuse.  I used the boats with the kids several times each week, but now they were grown and doing their own thing, so the $180 per month went largely unused.  And, without weekly sails, it was hard to justify the expense.

So I gave it up, but I felt very bad afterwards.

It wasn’t so much that I lost access to the boats: I could always charter.  Rather, it was admitting that my life no longer had room for casual sailing. Boating would, henceforth, require planning and effort and be much less frequent. 

I wasn’t sure I liked what this implied my life was becoming.

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As the leaves start to turn to fall colors here and the rain moves in on cooler winds, I think the same concern is at work now. ‘Never as simple as a right/left choice, but a subtle, evolving reconfiguration of my affairs that risks gently making Dutch residence superfluous.

But, equally simply, I’m not ready to give up on that life.

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