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Insights about in betweens

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Hey there! Greetings from Maastricht this time!

I flew back a week ago, after extending my stay in Finland for a few days due to getting the good old ‘rona messing up on my plans. With the few extra days I did manage more or less to say bye to my friends and family, but there is never quite enough time. But it was lovely to stay home for so long, and it was also a good time to come back!

I had a lot of things to prepare for, which is much easier here on site. I have a master study to prepare for, a language to practice, and now also a home to move into! After a lot of back and forth, a lot of searching and ultimately a lot of luck, we found a lovely apartment together with my boyfriend, to which we’ll be moving in the beginning of February. So just on time to create a home when he is starting his job, and before I get busy with my medical internships. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have found a home, and how excited I am to move into it together.

This past week has been very strange – I am so not used to not having a routine, and while I should be enjoying the free time, it just seems to be making me quite anxious! It of course has something to do also with the fact that I am in between houses, and also just left my Finnish life behind again after spending a long time back in my Northern home. But all that aside, I do think that a routine, plans and things to focus on do do me good. But, I certainly have a lot of small things to take care of! Applying for discounted travel cards, electricity contracts, moving vans to book, (ignoring or) doing all possible Dutch practice that I can think of, to name a few. But on the side we’ve also had a lot of movie dates in bed, enjoyed my walks in the surprisingly snowy Maastricht, spent a lot of quality time with Netflix especially when in bed with cramps, and I’ve also slowly been able to get back to sports a little bit. So overall, it’s been a great week.

Today we also got lovely news when we got the confirmation that we can foster one of the shelter dogs from Aruba that I worked with – beyond exited to get us a furry friend for a few months! Letting her go again will be tough, but unfortunately my 50h internship weeks do not leave much space for taking care of a dog, so this time slot works perfectly as the lovely furry creature has a place to go to just before my place to go to will be the hospital.

So – a house, a dog, a whole master degree to prepare for is what has been keeping me busy. However, it’s somehow most tempting just to keep myself busy in bed with new Netflix shows. It’s partially because I now have the time and because my health hasn’t been great, but partially also because grabbing the handle is scary – suddenly what you’ve been looking at is in your hands! If I don’t open my medicine notes, I won’t get reminded about how much I’ve forgotten. If I don’t actively study Dutch, I won’t be confronted with my shortcomings and my nervousness about soon using the language daily in the hospital.

Thankfully the good things like the new home and our furry friend are already coming next week, and the other (also good, even if more nerve-wracking) part called my master internships are starting only after a few months. So I still have over two whole months to recap my medical knowledge (meaning going through my notes, my Anki cards, and Dutch books and websites that I got tips for from my teachers), to get more comfortable with Dutch, get my papers and vaccines sorted, and most importantly to clean and organise my headspace and to make it cosy and welcoming. What is it that they say again regarding stressing about the future or things you could have done in the past? Something about worrying about the past being useless and worrying about the future just ruining the present. Smart words, eh?

I hope you’ve had a lovely day and are enjoying your present! Of I go to write in my gratitude journal that a good friend so thoughtfully gifted me.

Love, Anna

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24 Divided by two equals 12 Things I love about Christmas and 12 Charities to donate to

Wednesday, January 4, 2023
  1. Traditions
  2. Christmas lights
  3. Reuniting with family
  4. Giving gifts
  5. Christmas decorations
  6. Christmas movies
  7. Playing boardgames
  8. Rice porridge with cinnamon
  9. Being focused on eating
  10. Peace and quiet
  11. Ugly Christmas sweaters
  12. Christmas spirit
  1. Doctors without borders
  2. Greenpeace
  3. Plan
  4. Unicef
  5. Kirkon ulkomaa-apu (Finnish)
  6. PETA
  7. Local animal shelters (eg Animal stichting Maastricht, Sgt Pepper’s Friends in Aruba)
  8. UFF (Finnish)
  9. Local kindergartens (They usually happily take crafts things in particular!)
  10. Local hospitals (Many accept stuffed animals etc little cheer ups for the children, as well as financial donations of course)
  11. FIDA (Finnish)
  12. Red cross (Pick a specific project or a general cause, always a good option)

I hope you’re healthy, safe, and have everything that you need and spent a lovely Christmas together with your loved ones! And for those who couldn’t get together with their loved ones this year, I send you all my love and hugs and I hope you get to reunite soon again <3

All the best for the starting year 2023!

Love, Anna