I’m Still Here but it Hasn’t Been Easy

Nearly five months ago, I wrote a little update about how I had been. I was hopeful that I was doing better and would be back in the saddle again soon, sorting through my huge backlog of pictures and getting content up on the blog.

Obviously, that hasn’t happened.

First… Ziggy passing away hit me harder than I realized. I look back and I see that I spent months in a fog, missing my constant companion. When we were all home, Ziggy would usually lay in the entryway so that she could easily check on us all. (Unless someone was in the kitchen cooking or elsewhere with food. Then she would 100% be where the food was.) But when Andy was at work and G was at school, Ziggy was with me. If I was on the couch, she would be on the floor right next to the couch. If I was in bed, she would be at the foot of the bed. (Note that no matter where we put it, chances were excellent that she wasn’t on her bed. She vastly preferred the rugs for some reason.)

Suddenly, I was alone alone. No one else was home with me anymore.

I love Tybalt and I’m so glad that Andy and I adopted him from the pound so many years ago and that he’s found a new home. But in my heart of hearts, I’ve always been a dog person. Wanting a dog of my own was my main impetus for wanting to buy a house. Before we had G, I called Ziggy my baby. Although my relationship with Ziggy changed once I had a human child of my own, Zigs held a special piece of my heart that was just hers. When she died, that piece of my heart broke and it cannot be fixed.

All of this to say that while I may have stopped crying for hours on end after a week or so, my grief process hasn’t been easy. I miss Ziggy every day; we all do. Little things remind us of her and we stop to comment on how much we loved her, miss her, wish she were still here.

Adding the rage, terror, and millions of other emotions that the Trump presidency (and other social and political happenings) has brought up on top of that grief has made things very difficult for me so far this year.

However, I’m really trying to get myself out of the fog I’ve been in. I’ve been writing and calling my representatives in the House and Senate. I’ve weighed in on issues being brought to a vote in the Illinois House and Senate. I’ve even written letters to the city council back in Peoria. (Local politics are so important.)

I ran for a position on the Switzerland Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad. I lost. I decided to get more active in the Basel chapter. Then I ended up getting that position I originally ran for. So I’m now the DACH Secretary. I won’t stand idly by while my home country is destroyed from the inside. DACH is helping me find ways to fight the good fight.

I’m also starting to do some communications volunteer work with an organization called the Professional Women’s Group of Basel (PWG). My professional background may not be in communications, but I’ve had blogs for years and love learning my way around social media. (Although I still can’t understand why we need Snapchat and Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories and I think fb still has the “Shared Day” feature embedded in the Messenger app and that is ridiculous.)

Anyway.

When we moved to Switzerland, I left my job. I hardcore looked for work for the first year we were here and it yielded no results. I did have an independent contractor job doing social media and that was interesting and fairly easy money, but it stopped being great when I stopped getting paid.

Since I can’t do what I was doing back in the US here in Switzerland, and assuming I want to have another job someday (I do), I need to keep up my skills and build new ones. I also need to network because – man! – it’s super important over here. Who you know is everything. Working with PWG allows me to network, use the skills I have, and gain new ones. You can’t beat that.

You know the long list of posts I mentioned back in February? I’m still working on them. I’m making my way through my huge (and growing) collection of pictures that I’ve taken and not had the chance to look at yet. I’ve got notes on things I want to say.

They’re coming, I promise.

Thank you for being patient with me in the mean time.