Gut gemacht oder Viel Gluck?
My housemate – P, was telling me about her busy schedule for this week. It’s a pretty full dance card that she’s entertaining. Work most nights, three parties over the weekend, her new boyfriend and university on top of that.
Over a very early and scrumptious dinner, we unpacked what sounded like an impossibly difficult schedule. It was one of those surreal Freiburg experiences. She was speaking away in English and I was talking in German. Both of us wanting to improve.
As all the busyness was mapped out – all I could keep saying was “gut gemacht”, which essentially translates to well done in German. I was meaning to say “Viel Gluck” – good luck. But somewhere, in the cultural translation, the Australian sarcasm autocorrected itself.
I was sitting with a very happy belly congratulating my housemate for overcommitting herself and yet finding some extraordinary way to navigating through the busyness and have fun while doing it.
Quite frankly, the idea of navigating a million and one things like that is about as far away from the rhythm that I want to set out for 2018.
For the next couple of months, I’m lucky enough to be a full-time student and do some pretty wonderful things around that. It’s a sense of time that is impossible to find once the throws of work reappear. I mean – who gets to sit around in cafés and learn German in the afternoon when work is busy?
I’ll be back home in Australia in June, so I’m committing myself to going slowly before the change in pace begins. That doesn’t mean not being adventurous, or exploring. What I hope it means for this year is just keeping track of what I’m doing and not ending up with a crazy schedule like P’s. At least until reality hits.
It’s easy to over-do-it in January. With all the excitement of the New Year and those funny little resolutions. I think back to this time in other years, and this has been the time when I’ve set-up different paces and approaches.
By virtue of being over here, everything is different. Time to pay attention to the beginning of Spring, listen to all sorts of music, speak a different language, play new tunes and learn a few things along the way. Change is everywhere.
Sitting in our little kitchen, listening to Debussy’s Claire de Lune, sipping on a delicious beer from Stuttgart – I’ll crave this moment in years ahead. I say ‘gut gemacht’ to everyone who has set a change for 2018 and ‘viel gluck’ to those seeking to enjoy it along the way – no matter how busy it gets.
*Freiburg – January 2018.