Day 13: Let the (Faux) Sun Shine In

Bryggebroen Havneholmen

The view of bryggebroen on the way to Danish class on Monday mornings.

 Goal #1. Fitness/Nutrition.

  • The ban on sugar remains, though Husband and I did buy a chocolate bar sweetened with erythritol and stevia to share. I also brought a homemade chilli to my after-Danish-class lunch to which I had added many bunches of kale. Only cycled about 12K yesterday due to time constraints, but went up and down about 30 flights of stairs.

Goal #2. New Skills/Information/Creating Things.

  • Attended Danish class, and we had many interesting discussions about  US/Danish government policies since 9/11. However, I realized I lack so many basic words, such as regeringen (government), pinligt (embarrassing) or du gik glip af det (you missed it). It all makes me wonder if I will ever really learn due to min gamle hjerne.

Goal # 3. Clean House/Eliminate Clutter.

  • I have not done chore lists in a while for the girls and the incidence of floor crumbs/placemat smears/unwashed dishes has increased consequently. I still have been telling them their chores verbally, but the written form seems more impactful.

Goal #4. Quality Time With Family/Friends.

  • My husband and I take a weekly Danish class together at his workplace on Monday mornings. I enjoy our shared morning bike commute there by the industrial waterfront of Copenhagen, past Fisketorvet and over Bryggebroen into the island of Amager. It’s a brisk, cold ride, and despite the fact that we are often a few minutes late, we discuss our dreams/future plans.

Goal #5. Help.

  • Only completed the everyday things a parent does, but nothing extraordinary.

Goal #6. Financial Independence.

  • On Mondays, we often have lunch with my husband’s colleagues at a nearby cafeteria, but I opted to bring my lunch instead this time. It makes me feel empowered to not let indulgences become an I-can’t-live-without-it habit, especially when they are not particularly good for our long-term financial goals.

 Goal #7. Gratitude.

  • Here in Denmark during the colder months, the length of the day can get extraordinarily short (only about 6 hours in December with the sun rarely even breaking through the cloud cover). Therefore, many people are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SADS), a kind of depression that sets in during winter. To cope, many Danes take off for Thailand, Italy and other sunny destinations during the autumn, Christmas and February  breaks. Many also get a special full-spectrum light that they shine on their faces for a few minutes each day. Last year, I epitomized the expression “penny wise and pound foolish” by opting not to spend the approximately $180 for one of those light-therapy lamps. By January,  I had sunken into a pretty bad funk and only perked back up in late March when my husband brought one home that his colleague was selling due to a move. Nevertheless, the effect was instantaneous: “I feel like cleaning,” I said to myself. Soon I was making to-do lists, visiting museums, inviting people back over to our home and feeling  super motivated to speak Danish. This fall, the light has been on every day during the morning hours, and I have never felt happier, despite the fact that my husband is losing his job and we are having to move back home without a clear path forward. Nonetheless, I feel positive that everything will work out fine, and I doubt I would have felt this way–nor started this blog at all–without our magic little light

My happy light.


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