Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Wednesday 5 March 2014

The big decision

I haven't exactly hidden the fact that I love living in Denmark. I annoy my readers with this opinion often. SR suggested I tone down the "double citizenship argument" since no one cares but me. Fair enough. 

What exactly is going on in our lives is weird and confusing. SR has a full time job in the US; I have a full time job in Denmark. 

A few weeks ago, the kids moved to Denmark with me and SR spent time alone in the polar vortex (Duluth). He returned to Denmark last week, to a warm apartment in (relatively) balmy country; to happy kids and home-made chick-pea pancakes and most importantly, biathlon on Eurosport. Oh and his wife. These days he says often that he wants to move back to Denmark. He says will quit his job in Duluth this summer.

But the night he arrived, I had to decide whether or not I would withdraw from or stay in the American residency match, to start a 3 year training position in Physical Medicine and Rehab in the US (place to be determined). We agonized over the list I had to rank of most desirable programs (only those I had been invited to interview at) over least-desirable. Rasmus agonized over my desire to rank Stanford higher than his desire to live in Palo Alto (he won). But what really mattered to me was we were saying we would move to the US for 3 whole years. The country that wouldn't give me more the 15 days maternity leave or any understanding or compassion as a young female soon-to-be mother physician. That culture of working 80 hours a week and thinking nothing of it. The culture of medicine that doesn't tolerate ... moms. Mothers who sign up and sign away their lives are asking for conflict. American society wonders how you can't be there for your kids at 2:30 PM when they get out of school and go to after school activities (and you wonder yourself) and your residency program expects nothing to trump working and learning. 50% of young American moms don't work ... America- why even educate women who want to have kids?

3AM Feb 26th was the deadline to decide- is it any wonder I was up until 3 AM?

If I were any other blogger, I would say it was "a privilege" to be able to make this decision, that I was "filled with gratitude" for the opportunity, but those are big empty words. I don't like them. 

Instead of being filled with gratitude, I was filled with tears. But I followed through on the plan SR and I had made together. And we will be closer to his kids starting July of 2015- for 3 years.

And then, I will bring the speciality of Physical Medicine and Rehab back to Denmark, where it currently doesn't exist. I'm excited about that.

Since the big decision, we have been enjoying the magical weeks of all being together again. 

Christian's running has suffered in American public schools and Duluthian snowdrifts, but his drive for accomplishment hasn't.
After the race, he became the king of Fastelavn by breaking the barrel with the poor cat in it. Or was it a giraffe? Actually these days there is no animal inside the barrel, only candy.
 This past weekend, SR and I went to Møns Klint, Denmark, which looks like this from a distance:

It is good to meet a husband who is willing and ready to discuss the pathways to gluconeogenesis and the genetic makeup of Trinidad on long runs.
And ask me why on earth I am panting while running uphill. (the explanation is not rocket surgery)

He says my running technique keeps getting better, which I am so proud of. I just can't figure out how he started out with proper running technique, but he did!
We like grimacing, or not.

We pretend he looks fast, but perhaps we are looking at the scenery?

One of the essential elements of being an upper class (respectable) mom in Denmark is the perfect scarf for every occasion. Buffs are not accepted in most circles- I learned at a Christian's pre-kindergarten meeting.

Sudden mist storm.

And trash.

No one every said life would be easy. They did say life would be beautiful, though, and they were right.

Running Song of the Day: Tom Odell's "Another Love" (Zwette Edit)


Olga said...

Welcome back for a bit. It's not a bad plan all things considering, and you can always vacation in Denmark. Speaking of which, my client just went there for business, and I bragged all I knew from you about country:) Exhale now.

Olga said...

In fact, now that I read SR's blog and gave your some thought, I want to smack you:) When you whine about not being in Denmark (but UT or CA - really, really horrible places...) or doing medicine you'd like for the whole 3 years, think of me, locked up in a place/state I hate and can't easily get out of, at a job I pretty much dislike for the last 20 years, and for far longer (over 3 times longer) than your time will be (studying what you actually love). I know others' lives rarely bring good feelings, but still, honey.

sea legs girl said...

:-). Everything in life is about perspective! I love having a blog because I get a different perspective from people like you! Life has not been hard because of the possible places we will be but because the family has been split up - and the kids very affected.

cldevall said...

This post gave great perspective. Thank you, and congrats!

mmmonyka said...

Congrats! Let us know when the "results" are up so we know where you will end up.

You see, think about it just like you said - become a physician in physical medicine and rehab and then bring it to Denmark.
It is going to be great! I'm happy for you.

I used to like the US but as I'm maturing I realize that it is not that great if I'm going to have family. So I am pretty much staying to earn money and when I decide to become mom I will probably move to more "supportive" country.

sea legs girl said...

Mmmonyka, you pretty much share Rasmus' sentiments, it sounds like. I think growing up in America has made me reluctant to say it is such a great place to earn money, but then again, the last few months I have been scraping coins off the floor at the end of the month so our account doesn't go under. It is super hard to save money here - basically because of the traveling we do. So, can you spill the beans? Did you win the indoor tri?

Olga said...

Sadly, I know about split up kids too...

Alicia Hudelson said...

I think you have a good perspective on things. Yes, it's not going to be fun to leave Denmark, but if it's only 3 years (and 3 years really is not that long) and those 3 years will be spent near the mountains and with at least most of your family in the same place, that's not so bad.

cherelli said...

Three years will fly - just as fast as the last come over to the continent soak up the outdoors and knowledge as much as you can, strive to maintain a semblance of balance and take it all back to Denmark, I love your plan. Like you say, just gotta keep perspective...I'm excited for your move and reading of your new explorations! I hope the family adjusts well. If we are ever down your way (CA or UT) I'll stop and say hello :)

sea legs girl said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know my perspective sucks ass. One would think we were being forced to move to Compton. The connections I've made and feelings I have for Denmark will never be replaced. I'm not complaining. I am a nostalgic person and entirely unrealistic. Again, I love having this blog since you guys give me a perspective I lack. I know wherever we end up I and we will be happy. It's the only way to live. And Cherelli you are welcome any time. The rest of you...??? ;-)

mmmonyka said...

Yeah, I won but it was very very low key - lots of newbies and kids.

I just bought my plane tickets to go to Mallorca for the half-ironman! Are you sure you are not changing your mind?:)

Anonymous said...

That is such a hard decision - I hope you will both be happy, but it's heartbreaking to know that the place you WANT to live isn't the place where other factors that are also important are telling you to live. I wish you both the best of luck - I bet it will be wonderful to be in the same place, at least! No chance you, Rasmus, and all the kids can live in Denmark?

Also, there's lots of good ultrarunning in the Bay Area if you go to Stanford...



sea legs girl said...
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