A lot has happened since the latter part of May. I finally graduated from school, which has been something I have been working on for several years. For most of the time I was working almost full time, and with having kids and all, well, let’s just say that I was really busy. I am so pleased to have finished. I was lucky to be able to go to UiO last summer to the international summer school and finish up this last year while not working at all after our move to Norway. It was really nice to be able to put a lot more energy and time into my schoolwork. We went for an all too short vacation to the US to see Max graduate from middle school and to see my mom and sister, and so May was pretty busy. We were home on June 3rd, and Max came back with us. The summer didn’t really kick in until last week and we’ve had really beautiful weather which has led to some good hikes, and just being able to do yard work and be outside is great. With my newfound down time though, I have had a lot of time to reflect on how different my life is in the last year. It became very apparent to me when we traveled to the US. When we got off the plane in Newark and had to hurry to our connection after customs, I realized that I have become very accustomed to a slower paced life and a much lower exposure to everyday stresses. The Newark airport used to seem very manageable and really just somewhat run down and dirty, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t completely gob smacked by the amount of people, and the pace that everything moved this time. I was really off of my game. When we got to Atlanta we rented a car. I have driven on practically every major highway across the US in my adult life when I traveled with the Apples. I drove a 15 passenger van loaded with people and gear and could parallel park in the tightest of spots without a second thought, and suddenly the sheer thought of driving on the US interstate system made me feel a sense of dread and panic. Luckily it all came back to me really quickly, but I realized that it is definitely something that I don’t really miss. Driving in traffic, hurrying, the thought of being late and having to factor time in for traffic and congestion etc. is definitely just something I dealt with as most people do. I am learning to embrace life at a much slower and more leisurely pace and I have to say I am quite fond of it. It has been really good for me and I realize that I am much more content and happy which is a very positive observation. I realize that being busy and stressed are not badges of honor, or something to brag about at all which is something that used to make me feel inadequate when talking to others who seemed to thrive on being able to top my busyness and stress. The slow life suits me!