So, guess what I just finished reading last week!
Yes! I’ve finished the first Harry Potter book in Danish! I read the whole thing out loud to Andreas, reading a bit every night for a few weeks. Finishing it feels like a big step in being comfortable with Danish, and more than that, it feels like progress. During the past half a year, it has been obvious that I’ve been lacking any feeling of accomplishments, as I’ve been feeling really stuck. Without a job or being in school, I don’t have goals that are set for me, or set milestones to reach. I’m not taking any Danish classes, so I can’t feel good about acing a test, so it’s nice when I do have a concrete feeling of accomplishment like this.
Upon finishing the first book, I headed to the library to get the next. I knew where the Danish language books were, but I couldn’t find it there. Normally, I try to avoid asking for help, but I needed that second book, so I asked the librarian, who looked it up and told me I’d find it in the children’s section, and that before I went in, I’d have to take my shoes off. A bit puzzled, I left my shoes among the others at the threshold, and realized the children’s section is set up as a mini-playground with areas to climb, and nooks and crannies to read in, while the books are tucked into shelves underneath and around the play-spaces. This is wonderful for children wanting to explore, but for an already-confused foreigner, it wasn’t very conducive to finding the book I was looking for. I saw the Harry Potter series nearly a dozen times, each time realizing as I pulled out a book, that it was not in Danish but in French, Arabic, or Spanish. I finally approached the children’s section librarian to ask for help, and was rewarded with Harry Potter og Hemmelighedernes Kammer!
I recently re-discovered Goodreads, a website I was a part of previously, but never used. I’m realizing how useful it is, and have happily spent a few hours puttering around before I decided to set myself a reading goal for 2012. Since time has been moving so quickly, I can’t fully comprehend that it’s September already, for goodness’ sake. So, unfortunately, my goal of 50 books read by the end of 2012 may be a bit too ambitious, but I’m going to try anyway! In my mind, it was about mid-April, and I still had eight months to complete the rest of the books. However, I have a lot of free time, and I’m hoping also that the goal will encourage more frequent trips to the library, and having a reason to get out of the house is always a good thing.
In other goal-related news, my running has been going so well! I can’t recommend the C25k program enough. I’m on week seven (out of nine) and still going strong. The worst was week one, the “couch-to-getting-off-the-couch” week, but since then, it’s felt like a series of accomplishments, and conquering things I’ve never done before. I find it difficult not to talk about it a lot (as is pretty normal with a new passion) but I’m also just really excited that I’ve stuck with something this long! Having no tennis shoes, I had to buy running shoes, and although I got them on ridiculous clearance, and so didn’t pay nearly as much as I originally thought I’d have to, it was still an investment, and something I knew I couldn’t just use a couple of times and then give up on. Also, investing in a good pair of running shoes, I believe made it easier to continue as I haven’t had any foot, knee, or back pain (and I used to have a lot of trouble with my knees). Since I’ve been so good about running regularly, I recently bought winter running clothes (pants and a light jacket) for the soon-to-be-coming winter weather. Not only does this make me more likely to run, but it makes me look forward to the cooler weather, instead of mourning the loss of summer.
So as far as accomplishments go, I’ve been feeling really good! I’m still adjusting to where I live. My natural instinct when living with others, is to keep to myself and keep things neat and tidy, leaving things as I found them, and in general, making it seem like I don’t live there at all. I have to constantly remind myself that my sister-in-law doesn’t actually want to live alone, and likes company, so I try to come out into the living room, even if I’d be just as comfortable in my bedroom, and to ask questions and start conversations, even if it’s still a bit nerve-wracking to speak in Danish, and I often get a bit tongue-tied.
So I’ve been doing alright. With the exception of a few people I talk to every day, I’ve given up answering “how are you?” with how I’m feeling that day, as it changes so drastically, and so often. Now, my standard answer is “oh, I’m okay, up-and-down, but on average, I’m doing well.” Meanwhile, I still get excited every time I hear mail drop through the slot, even though no news has come for either my Swedish or my Danish visa, although last night I dreamed that we were moving within six weeks because I’d gotten my Danish visa! However, I also dreamed (again, for the third time in a month) that I was pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl. I’ve given up on thinking my dreams are any way clairvoyant, but they’re nice while they last, anyway.