Looking forward to a better year: 2019

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Hello dear readers,

Oh my, how time has flown in 2018.  I sit here on New Year’s Eve, a time with so much meaning and importance throughout all countries and cultures.  A time to think ahead to renewal and better things.  A time to be hopeful.

I won’t lie, 2018 had some good points, but looking back, I feel like the main theme was stress.  Started the year with the stress of failed in-vitro, and coming to terms with not being able to have children, which was followed by an extremely stressful and over-scheduled tour season.  Central Europe suffered a terrible heat wave and drought, causing MANY problems on the rivers, which in turn caused many problems for those of us who work tours on those rivers.  I feel like the April through October tour season aged me five years in seven months.  The year ended with a very stressful caroling season, where I again found myself over-scheduled (my own fault on this one), culminating with a horrible respiratory infection which caused me to miss out on my last two gigs of the season: including one tonight at Longwood Gardens.  (I LOVE singing this NYE gig, and am so sad and disappointed that I had to sub out my spot in tonight’s quartet. I’m wallowing in my extreme sadness and self-pity, while we have a quiet NYE in the house as I still try to recover.)

I’m not one that’s much for New Year’s resolutions, but I think this coming year I have to go forward with one thought in mind: reduce stress and have more time for self-care.  Ugh, I feel the term “self-care” can come across as overly self-indulgent (and that feeling could just be a by-product of being raised by a German father, where being idle is often frowned upon), but I do know that I can’t have another year like 2018.  I had little to no time off to recover from some really challenging times, and I have to learn that it’s okay to ask for more time off.  It’s okay to not schedule myself to my breaking point.  It’s okay to have some down time where you really aren’t working on anything.  It’s really okay!  Guilt-free relaxation time is something we all need – not just for our mental health, but for our physical well-being, too.

So in 2019, I will take better care of myself.  I hope you will take better care of yourselves as well.

Happy New Year to all of you!  May 2019 be your best year yet!





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Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

2 thoughts on “Looking forward to a better year: 2019”

  1. Take care of yourself, Jen. Rest and recover. Sometimes, “down time” is as important as active time. Sorry the year ends on a downer, but I hope the new year makes up for that quickly.


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