More or Less: The Difference a Year Makes

I woke up on December 1st and it was just another day.  Ya, cool, it’s December, “didn’t November just fly by?” yada, yada, yada.  But last year.  Wow.  December 1st was something I very much looked forward to.  December 1st meant I could say, “I’m going home this month!!”  The sentiment of a normal December 1st made me think about what other things are different for me now that I’m living in America again.  I still have most everything in my life that I did the past four years only, it seems, a little more or less of it.  So I put together this list:

More Love.  I, somehow, feel more loved than I did last year at this time.  As much as I got so excited to descend into Maine towards the end of December and knowing someone who loved me very much would be waiting with a big hug for me, this year I feel more love.  I am in a relationship in which I feel loved all the time no matter how often we see each other.  I get to see my family more and get real hugs from my nephews (instead of Skype ones) and even just the small things, like a text message or voicemail from one of my parents, was something that didn’t happen while I was in Europe.  I also think I am just growing up and understanding love when I see it and feel it.  Or just living in the moment.


Less Skype.  Lots less Skype…


Less Time.  I had so much free time in Germany that I just couldn’t fill it up.  I worked out twice a day, lovingly cooked most of my meals, taught, coached, read, wrote, puzzled, cleaned… and I was still bored.  I welcomed a full day of having things to do.  Now that is pretty much my every day with over 40 hours of work before I even get a chance to work out or do any hobbies that I like.  But I make it happen and, at least now, I appreciate time when I have it.


More Sleep.  I need more sleep and have less time for it, hmmm.  In Germany, I was rarely tired when my head hit the pillow because I didn’t have enough in the day to tire myself.  But I had the time to sleep all day if I could have.  Now it’s the opposite.  Less time, more need for sleep.  But, luckily, I still get 8 hours most nights.


Less Partying.  This has a lot to do with me just growing up and growing out of it but less than a year ago I remember coming home to the sun coming up… Don’t regret it but I can’t say that I miss it!


More Clothes.  Think about this ladies: I could really only bring two suitcases on the plane to Europe, two suitcases of clothes, etc, to last me 8 months.  Hello!  After two pairs of basketball shoes, basketball clothes, and running shoes, there isn’t much room for regular clothes!  Last year at this time I could choose between three pairs of jeans and about four casual shirts—hey, I guess if nothing else, it made decisions easier!


More, yet Less Basketball.  It’s different.  I spend a lot more time thinking about and watching basketball but less time playing it.  The jury is still out on how I feel about that ….


More Cold!  It’s Maine and I expected this but BRRRR!  It is definitely already colder here than it ever got in Germany and it’s only freakin’ December!  In Europe I had no problems walking or riding my bike to the gym, work, and basketball practice, even at night.  I walk to work now, as well, but the distance is only about 150 yards.


Whether it’s a little more or a little less… I’m learning to enjoy all of it because, I’ve found, that’s all you can do!

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Danielle Clark

About Danielle Clark

I am 28 years old and for 5 years out of college I played basketball for a living. I was a professional basketball player in Europe so I spent most of my years there and came back to Maine for summers and a couple weeks at Christmas time. I thought my years there would open my eyes to what I want to be when I "grow up." That didn't happen. I have discovered, however, that I just have to try something. Just do things and toss myself into them. I have currently tossed myself into being a college basketball assistant coach and one on one reading tutor. I grew up in Corinna, Maine and have been a resident Mainer. I love sports, reading, writing, cooking, baking, watching movies... everything. I have lots of hobbies and not enough time in the day!