Pondering on the last year as it moves into the present, I find that I am still amazed at how adults can be childish and can be bullies. I'm grateful every day that I live in a society where the most that people can do is to run their mouths. They can do so more thoroughly, of course, on the Web. But I am protected from the average physical bullying that I would be subjected to in other societies and as an adult myself, I can remove people who aren't reasonable from my world view: another benefit of the web is how easy it is to not look at irrationality.
I hope that every year I learn more completely how to remove such people from my society and so increase my happiness, in much the same way that I do not feel any need to watch FOX to know that it is full of lies.
One of the important new pieces of knowledge that I gained last year is that even individuals that I thought would and should be on the same side of certain issues may not be: that being persecuted doesn't prevent some individuals and groups from feeling an increased sense of power through persecuting and maligning other minority groups. These are things I knew theoretically, but it is always useful to have knowledge reinforced in reality.
For this year, I hope to continue examining my interactions with others, to determine whether it is worth responding to ad hominem attacks from those for whom I have no respect or to note that these attacks have no power to affect me and thus should be ignored. I expect to choose my battles and confining them to general statements of my beliefs and to actual discussions with those I care enough about to attempt to persuade and inform.
On the less global and more specific front, we will consider again this year whether to stay in Berlin, go to München or consider the US, Switzerland and Austria, all of which are current opportunities: sometimes choices can be overwhelming
I'm going to take a break in my German slog and pull back to a grammar class and take the opportunity to enjoy a bit more of Berlin: in that effort I spent the day at a museum today. I'd hate to leave the city without having seen more of it and with having the children by myself in the week I feel like I haven't explored nearly enough.
I've also taken some of that time I have used working through the Integrationskurse and signed up for various one day and two day cooking classes, as well as a Yoga class once a week and a DSLR class in April: all the things that I could have been doing if I hadn't been going every day to language course. I'm feeling a bit guilty but I'm also feeling a huge sensation of relief.
The children are settled in their new Schwimmverein and T1 has expanded to drawing class in addition to ceramics. We will to add ice skating for them since we probably won't get skiing started this year.
I'm also thinking about a Girl Guides or Girl Scouts group for them and I plan on moving the search up my to-do list.
The last activity that we really need is music: I need to follow through with arranging lessons for them this month.
That should give us enough to do through this school year at least!