Now that I am here in the USA for almost 6 years, I created almost the same safe place for my family like my parents did for me and my sisters. I married an amazing man, have 2 kids and a wonderful 10 year old psycho cat…

Everybody is loved, we travel around the world and I take time for everyone who needs it. We still have a long way to go tho, but nothing to complain about right?

Well… not really

Today I listened to a song from ‘Rene Froger, een eigen huis’. It is a Dutch song that basically says ‘you are happy with everything you have, but wish that you were a little happier’. So it basically summed up my life right now. A lot of memories came back and I got a small tear.

I don’t know if it is because the American culture is different or that people just don’t have time anymore in general.

I really miss the “ Brabantse gezelligheid”. The get together in a home or the “I just drove past our friends neighborhood, let me see if somebody is home” moments.

I am pretty sure all of my friends in the Netherlands are still doing that!

I come from a family where we had endless BBQ’s and dinners with friends.

I still see my mom fixing last minute dinners, because my dad would call in that he would bring 2 more people home or my older sisters friends would stay over. My parents had that house where everybody was welcome. It was and still is a warm place of non-judgement.

I have the feeling this old value has been lost to technology.

A text, face-time, skype or an emoji is not always the equivalent of making time for those who we love and care about. I am guilty of that too.

Time is the most precious thing on this planet and something that you can’t ever get back. Think of the laughs or the serious conversations or just watching series on tv in silence together. Now that I am overseas, I miss the easiness of just popping by. Kids or no kids, it should not matter.

But to be fair, I still have those days and nights sometimes with my “Dutch oldies”

And my American BFF aka ‘the Dentist’, who I think is secretly Dutch btw. (But that is a whole new story)

But I seriously have so many more sweet/fun friends.

With all that planning I just shut off and think by myself ‘ohkee…never mind’! And I don’t mean it in a mean way. More that I wish that they could see, there is time if you want to. If you need to plan a date that is 1 or 2 months ahead … then you have a serious (time management) problem! and yes… I kinda take that personal.

So why is it not as easy anymore to just stop by a friend? Or explain that they are welcome at any time. Why does everything need to be so extremely planned?

And why do we only text? Why are we not at least calling? Listen to each other’s voices, asking or telling in what kind of mood we are.

I guess this is just a whole new era where I have to get used to.

There is a saying in Dutch… ‘It’s okay to look back at the past, just don’t stare’.
So time for me to just accept this new “world” of appointments and plans.

And a genuine reminder for my friends…

I’m here if you ever need me and yes… even at dinner time!

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