“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Dear Family and Friends:
In the hurry to finish essays for school and fly to Texas I did not get a chance to send paper holiday cards this year. I ask your forgiveness and offer this holiday blog greeting instead!
Winter hit Aberdeen hard at the end of November and I have never in my life seen so much snow! Of course, considering it’s only snowed a handful of times during my life in Texas, that’s not saying much. Airports have been shut down and motorways are crawling. The first snowstorm saw roads full of abandoned cars and lorries (trucks), effectively crippling transportation in Scotland for a week. I’m blessed to say that I escaped before the second storm hit and I am now safely in Texas and enjoying the 70 degree sunshine.
School has been exciting but also more challenging than ever before. I’ve always managed good grades in the past with minimal effort but I’m actually having to work this time! I’m definitely learning more than ever. My term doesn’t end until January 17th so I am working on a major paper over the holiday break. It’s strange being back in Texas. I’m driving for the first time in 3 months and while the freedom of the open road has its allure, I’m finding the distances feel longer and the time spent driving tires me more than it did before. Now that I live a city-center walking lifestyle, all of this car travel seems exhausting. I’m also noticing how much space we have in the US. Roads have several lanes. Two people in a restaurant will be seated in a giant booth that would seat six in the UK. Elevators are extremely roomy. I suppose everything really is bigger in Texas.
I’m taking some time to reflect on the changes happening in my life and trying to enjoy every moment. This has been a year of tremendous ups and downs and at the end of it I feel exhausted, exhilarated, and grateful for all the love you’ve shared with me this year. I hope the New Year brings you blessings sought and a few good surprises. May you rise to any challenge and find joy in the small things.
All my love,
Photo: University of Aberdeen sports field in the snow
Song of the Day: Gabriel’s Message by Sting – a hauntingly beautiful tune I’ve just discovered on his holiday album