Ísland, Ég Elska Þig! (Iceland, I Love You!)

Bench at Meðalfellsvatn.

The bench where peace can be found, on the shore of Meðalfellsvatn.

I have been asked to start writing a blog as an outlet for chronicling my life as it is now developing anew in the land I find myself in.

I have been here just seven weeks, but it seems like a year has passed. The calendar certainly corroborates the seven weeks, but my thoughts and feelings most certainly do not.

I arrived here with just three days notice, so planning really wasn’t part of the process as such. There was already a summer house and a vehicle waiting for me, as those had been purchased some time before. This made things somewhat easier than they otherwise might have been. I took the FlyBus from Keflavík into Reykjavík , and the kindness of a good friend helped me get from there to the two things that would help me begin my adventure here in ‘The Land’. With a place to stay and reliable transport I was off to a manageable start.

I needed some basic comestibles, so a quick trip to the Kronan in Mosfellsbær was undertaken forthwith. The town is about a twenty minute drive from the summer house, which is about what I have been used to when shopping for groceries (it took that long for me to go to the Giant in Gettysburg, PA). I got the things I already knew would provide a reasonable diet for me, for breakfast, for lunch, and, perhaps less so, for dinner. The items I procured were those I had already ‘field tested’ on previous trips to ‘The Land’. Breakfast consists of muesli, a lightly fried egg with a modicum of cheese folded into the center, skyr, a small glass of fruit juice, and the obligatory cup of tea.

Lunch would be the tried and trusted sandwich. Two slices of kornbrauð, one side spread with hrásalat, one with hangikjöt salat, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, and two slices of hangiálegg, with salt and pepper to taste. Dinner… well the less said about dinner the better. I have some items that I can cobble together to form some sort of meal when needed. It usually involves either lamb or salmon, both of which are the tastiest versions I have had in any country thus far. So that has been, and continues to be, my basic diet. I don’t have to think about it.

Routine has been part of the process of adjusting to this new life, this new environment. Staying with the familiar helps, it removes the unnecessary stress of having to think or make decisions about small things that really ought not to be such a big deal. So I have kept them at bay. As I am now living amongst the mountains and next to a beautiful lake, I decided to take up walking. Each day I walk the length of the lake to a picnic spot at the far end which has a bench. I sit at the other end and close my eyes and listen. That time is the time I cherish most of all in the day.

There is much peace and comfort to be had then, even though it only lasts a few moments. It was difficult, at first, to do the walk. I was unfamiliar with even the process of walking such a distance and out in the open. I have spent time on a treadmill, but the sensation is entirely different. Each step required a little more effort than one would reasonably expect. Nevertheless I set my mind to making it part of my day, even when I had work to do, and now it is wholly integrated into it. With the healthy diet and the regular exercise I have been able to keep on an even keel.

Opportunities present themselves fairly often, I am discovering. It is a challenge to recognize when one is right there, waiting for me to see it, and then to seize it.

Within two weeks I was offered a trial position at a local software company. I first went for an interview, something which I had not done in more than two decades. I had worked from home some fifteen to sixteen years prior, but my last office job had been more than twenty one years prior.

I approached the interview as if I did not need the job. If I got it, then that was great, but if I didn’t, then that was no problem. I believe that helped. So there I was, not only going from one country to another, but also from being a sixteen year veteran stay-at-home dad to being back in the work force again. Another challenge to take on. I enjoy challenges, but there do seem to have been more than the usual amount of late.

So my life here has gained some stability, some routine, and is becoming established. Time will strengthen it further.

There is more to be said, but I will leave those things for future posts.

Bless Bless og Sjáumst!

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