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.


  1. totally impressed you figured out the pool.
    5 mos!!

  2. hWhen you are living alone, you tend to do things on your own. That goes with the laundry, cooking and even fixing leaky faucets. What's important is that you enjoy your work, even if you are far from your loved ones. You are a survivor.

    Bibi Karpel

  3. So just how much did you manage to eat during that 187hrs (or was it 186hrs) trip home?
    Cool blog btw! And unsure if this will let me sign as my name but if it doesn't this is maura xox

  4. Sometimes, when we live alone, we just have to deal with our own contradictions to get by. I'm glad that you're gradually learning the hoops and loops of plumbing. Well, I wish you luck as you live your life in a foreign land.

    -Darryl Iorio

  5. I agree with Darryl, Jodi! Living by yourself is challenging, but you will learn a lot about survival. It is also a rewarding to accomplish something by yourself, isn’t it? Like fixing your faucet and priming the pump. ^_^

    Althea Tumlin