2020 updates

Life in Germany

My husband and I have been living in Germany for 3 years already. Time went much faster than I expected. We both passed the B1 German Language test in the first year. My husband has attained permanent residence after 21 months working here. I have met some German friends from a dance class here, but that didn’t have a good ending…

COVID-19 pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, a lot of things have been changing in our life. We stay at home most of the time. Because of our past(My husband was an epidemiologist, and I’ve received infection control training from my job in hospitals), we didn’t complain much. We understand why social distancing procedures are needed. We spent much more time together at home. We are lucky that we managed to get enough masks just when the first few cases started to hit Germany, while it was impossible to get any a week later. We have no problem with wearing masks, as we are both from Hong Kong (a city that was hit by SARS seriously).

Food

We decided to change our diet to vegetarian in mid-January. We have the intention of why we are doing it, and it went very well. We cook a lot at home, and our quality of life is definitely improved. We do take an additional vitamin supplement for nutritional balance. This is a conscious choice that we are proud of ourselves.

Paperless

My long-term obsession with notebooks and stationery has come to an end! (most probably…)

With some extra pocket money from the Hong Kong government this year, I got myself an iPad and an Apple pencil. I digitalized my most important notes from my notebooks and started writing everything on the Goodnotes app. I have been using Kindle for years, and I thought I might not enjoy reading on the iPad. But luckily, the answer is no. It was better with a bigger screen. And of course, with the color display, I don’t need to worry about buying reference books in the future.

I am still exploring Procreate. The experience so far is delightful too. I can paint a lot easier on my iPad.

Learning

Social media and binge-watching have become so dull to me. I am eager for something more meaningful. Therefore I went to my old friend, “Reading”. I am reading a lot more than in the past. Up to this point, I have read 21 books this year. I started reading books recommended by Bill Gates. Later on, I even read subjects I thought I don’t like, for example, history, science.

Suddenly, I can see the links between the information I read from different books. They start to make sense to me. This is such a euphoric experience. Reading has become the easiest way for me to learn different things.

In August, I begin to learn Carnatic Music too. This time the learning experience is very different. The books I have read, the time I have invested in learning, and the experience from learning other things contribute to this new learning journey. I am more self-reflective this time. I can observe my personality and ego come into action when I face challenges and difficulties. I can see my weaknesses and strengths much clearer. I experiment with how to get into the “flow”. I am learning to trust the work and enjoy the progress. And I can apply to all the things I do.

Mindset changes

I said mindset “changes”. I do mean plural, not singular. As I am staying at home all the time, I got so much more time to think. What do I really want in my life? Who I want to become? Why do I do things? I found some answers, but I have also changed them. My most important takeaway is that change is immediate. It may take a long time to decide to change. But change happens in a heartbeat!

I have been too strict to myself and pushed myself too hard at the beginning of this pandemic. I thought I couldn’t waste time and the determination I gained from this opportunity. (What a privileged problem…..) I burned out after 6 months. I needed to rest and regroup. Now we still have 3 more months to go this year. I decided to take the time I needed to rest, slow things down, and enjoy what I can do.

What I am going to do next?

I want to start writing. So I started with writing this blog post. I want to write about the books I read. I want to write about the perspectives and ideas I gained this year.

No doubt I will keep reading, learning, dancing!

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