My funk has grown over the last few days. I just got my first agent rejection on my book (Yippee! Oh Wonderful! Keeping humor about it as you can see). I guess I shouldn’t expect to get picked up the first time I made a query but still, rejection hurts. They said it wasn’t right for what they represent (what.e.ver) but it was my first (and only) time I submitted my work. So back on the horse I go. I have plenty more agents on my list. One down 500 to go.
But I’ve been in a funk these past few days for other reasons too, not unusual for the winter here because it’s cold and rainy or snowy. It becomes dark at an unreasonable hour and my world just seems to get crabbier. I wanted to post about how Germany isn’t so bad and yesterday as I drove along, my first random drive in awhile I came up with this post:
Depression? Melancholy? Self-reflection? Careful it’s going around. It seems there is no shortage of any of these things happening in the blogger world these days and there is sometimes little to be happy about. The economy is a wreck, people are losing jobs in the thousands, bread and milk (the staples of life) are becoming more expensive, packages are shrinking in size but the price isn’t. The weather has been atrocious with ice and snow storms, fires and disaster all around. The weather here certainly doesn’t make me all perky these days.
As I drive home from the city today where I went in search of vacation stuff, where I didn’t even visit Starbucks one of my few American treats I allow myself every time I go to city center, I find myself having driven forty minutes past my exit. Baby Chick is safely ensconced in her carseat happily untying her shoes and hasn’t made a peep. The music is good, playing on the iPod a feel good/feel bad mix of Lady Antebellum, Colbie Calliert, Erin McCarley and the car is hugging the close curves of the road as I drive between the river and the mountainside. The dusty corners of my brain are in need of probing these days. Inner reflection isn’t likely to become a popular sport while driving, there is the danger factor of paying attention to the road. But for me, if I’m in a funk, a good drive with loud music usually helps.
In my pre-mom-wife life I drove to Boston from Philadelphia (an 8 hour task) because I liked to drive and a friend was missing her at-the-moment-boyfriend. I had a car. I had music. We were good to go. I seemed to find and make friends with people who lived no where near me in college (and beyond) simply because I enjoyed driving to North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington DC. Like I say, I drive to relax and think.
This was my first drive time for the purpose of driving in quite awhile. Despite what it might seem I am fully aware of the $80 it costs to fill up my small four door sedan. (No joke as it’s about 1.13 euros a liter x 4 to get a rough per gallon estimate and there you go). I had some thoughts on this drive. Are you ready? Because what I have to say I figured out is going to be entirely shocking.
Germany (might) not be as bad as I always say.
I know. I was shocked too. But here was what I was thinking. I only have 1 year and 19 days left here. And I haven’t seen anything yet. Sure we’ve been some places around Germany, not many though. Have I really explored all that I could explore? That Benedictine Abbey is still waiting for me to explore it’s beautiful buildings. And those monks make Siegburger Abtei-Likör, too, kinda cool if you think about it. A mere twenty to thirty minute drive. I’ve been saying that I’m going for almost three years now. Maybe it’s time I did.
There are a lot of things I was reminded of this week by fellow bloggers. For instance, I have the ability to see so many things because of where I live. That is very true. Paris and London are a mere one hour flight away. I’ve been to each of them. I also have access to good German beer. This is very true too. I do enjoy a good Kolsch now and then (though it’s been awhile, that being more biergarten weather drinking anyway).
As I drove I saw the hills with what I know come summer will be vines of grapes to make the wonderful local wines. The commercial boats passing by on the Rhine loaded with so many things. Have you ever sat and watched a boat pass by? Try it. It is ultimately relaxing (as a side note, don’t do it while driving please!) There was something about the look of the hills and the river and the feel of the steering wheel beneath my hands, the purr of the engine, I don’t know but it made me think. Germany maybe doesn’t suck as much as I think it does. After all last week there was a tractor parked outside my house and last night while making dinner there were a group of horses going down the street (with riders, we live near a riding school). All things I doubt I’d have seen back in my old Maryland neighborhood.
Maybe all I really needed was a (mental) smack upside the head to remind myself that this life I have here is pretty gosh darn good. I’m doing things and seeing things a lot of people would love to be doing.
Of course today it’s raining. And next week we go on vacation and I’ll have to start the (mental) smack upside the head all over again. So if I start moaning about Germany can you all smack me upside the head with your shovels?