September 2019 Postmortem Highlights

A climbable bird in a park along Lake Geneva. Lausanne, Switzerland. September 30, 2019.

A climbable bird in a park along Lake Geneva. Lausanne, Switzerland. September 30, 2019.

I postmortem each month shortly after it ends, reflecting on what happened in general and, more specifically, in the context of my goals. Though I don’t share all my insights here, I have made it a practice to share at least one key highlight or insight. (To read previous months’ reviews, search this site for the term “month-in-review.” For the site’s search engine, look in the upper right corner of this page. It has a magnifying glass icon next to it.)

My goals for 2019 included maintaining my friendships after the move and cultivating new friendships in Lausanne. I’ve done relatively well maintaining friendships at home—though I could do better—and September saw me back on track for building some new friendships here.

Getting settled in Switzerland took a while, and it didn’t help that I had several trips back to the United States in our first year in Europe. Then summer arrived—and summer changes schedules everywhere, and especially in Europe.

I’d joined an activity group or two before summer hit, yet the groups went quiet June through August because only fools try to coordinate activities during the months when everyone travels and school goes on break.

And though I could have reached out to the people in the groups and in my language classes with whom I’d developed budding friendships, holiday mode for them and for me (after all, I did my own share of traveling, from Alsace to Provence to New York City) made it difficult even to coordinate one-on-one get-togethers.

Yet when September arrived, I launched back into connection mode. I sent e-mails and invitations to people I’d met earlier in the year, requesting walking buddies and lunch dates. I didn’t wait for things to just happen, and I pat my own back for proactivity. With work and with other obligations, taking extra initiative in another life area can get away from me.

My midmonth proactivity particularly gave me comfort when I took a walk along the lake on a warm and sunny late-September Sunday morning and encountered a circus (with camels!?), saw a posting for an area fondue event, and watched people grilling out in groups along the lakeside beaches. I felt the lack of friends with whom to do all these things. Yet I knew I’d already taken steps to alleviate the lack.