Friday, May 20, 2011

Life Goes On...and On...and On

Wow…I had such plans for blogging. And, I pretty much have been, but not here. We have a family blog and somehow right now that seems to be where my energies are. Life in the Foreign Service starts to seem so normal I wonder if there’s much to write about. Then, I see all the stuff that is definitely NOT normal…or that I never envisioned I would consider to be normal…and I think there’s just too much to write about.

I went through a phase this spring of feeling like my life was not in my hands. I’ve spent time abroad before, but never this long; and although I love it here, this was a phase of culture shock I had not anticipated. I realize now that it’s not just the living abroad, the feeling of being mildly left out of the decisions of my own life is Foreign Service Culture Shock. I worked as a social worker with immigrant children in the States and I remember drawing out the culture shock cycle on a piece of scratch paper for them. I would explain that the fact that they were young, couldn’t speak the language and, often, undocumented made their culture shock all the more complicated. I should have remembered this for myself….not that I’m any of those things, but you know what I mean. Culture shock is a guide – each individual, crazy life changes the cycle. In the end, it’s not much a cycle at all…more like your sh** just dumped randomly out of your suitcase.

Anyway, I needed time for reflection…and time to assess what was and was not within my power.

Work stress? Definitely within my power – it was time to reevaluate my priorities. I feel I did so successfully and things are much more under control.

Learning French? What the hell - I’ll learn it or I won’t, but I will give it my best shot – AFTER my huge work event ends in early June.

Firing the guy who does a really bad job of cleaning our pool? Well, here’s where I have a hard time with the pity party I throw for myself…because…well…we have a pool. But, you know what, if I can’t hang my own pictures on the wall or call whomever I want to fix my leaky faucet, then I am damn sure going to fire that guy and figure out the freakin’ pool by myself. So, through a bit of insanity…and, I won’t deny tears, I got the pool ungreen, learned how to prime the pump and test for and add chemicals. Seriously, I am almost as proud of this as I am of the fact that my kids are polite 80% of the time.

And, the list goes on. It was a crazy spring. I spent my week in the US feeling like I was in a total bubble. By the last few days I felt like the break from Santo Domingo had been good. By the time we got back I was ready to be home…this home – here.

And, now we are five months from D-Day. We have put up a calendar on the wall where we mark our plans – the beaches still left to visit and the normal every day things that must get done in the midst of it….that might include blogging here…it might not. I guess we’ll see.