The ramblings and adventures of an American woman, suddenly in Singapore and suddenly a housewife. And now living back in the U.S. Often still amazed by life and reverse culture shock. If you're still with me, pull up a mug of coffee and I'll fill you in.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
It's A Wonderful Life
I love that movie....I watch it every year. Every year, I get a little teary. Sure, it's sappy, but it also makes a good point. Slow down a little, and enjoy what you have. You only have one life, make it count, and cherish the little things, because they can be taken away in an instant. It also suggests we appreciate things when times get tough. I know I needed a gentle reminder of that, especially this year.
Here is a list of some of the things that make my life wonderful.
So, in no particular order, here goes:
The quiet moments of my mornings...I am very lucky to be able to arrange my hair schedule to give myself time in the mornings to chat with family and friends at home on skype, email, or procrastinate blogging. I usually have a 900 pound furry monster on my lap, and a hot cup of coffee. It's so nice, and such a huge departure from my old life of having 2 and 3 jobs, school, or my daycare and 12 hour days of nose and bum wiping. I don't take it for granted for a minute.
Exploring southeast Asia...we're still liking it, and though it still sucks some of the time, being so far away, overall, I feel really, really lucky to have this opportunity. I've said it before, but I never in a million years would have tagged myself to be the one to leave Michigan and live in a foreign country, but I did. The experiences and people we have met are truly a gift.
That brings me to friends. My friends here have made my life richer, and broadened my world scope in a way I never thought imaginable. I have buddies from Scotland (I delight daily in the great sayings and no nonsense attitude of my Scottish buddies. Salt of the earth, those birds.) Friends from the foreign to me Southern states of Texas and Louisiana (also salty birds of the earth, they make my life here a LOT more sane) I have friends from England, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Africa, Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa ...it's truly amazing, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have met them in Detroit. So, even though we're living in Asia, I have been lucky enough to be exposed to some really unique and fun traditions of lots of other cultures.
Friends back home, the ones I can wake up at any hour and know they will be there, groggy, but happy to hear my voice. Debbie has been an amazing source of comfort in this last year, even when her own life has been turned upside down and given a hard shake. The generosity of that is humbling. The friends that still call and write, just to say hi...even though the newness of me being gone has long since worn off. The ones that haven't forgotten I'm still around, you know who you are; I appreciate it more than you will know. Thanks for still missing me.
Family...I cannot begin to scratch the surface on how much family has meant to both Larry and I this past year. I haven't come clean as to the personal struggles we have had, because they are just that, personal. But like most things, I think it might be easier to just throw it on the table. We are struggling with fertility issues, and both of our families have been a great source of love and comfort. I am very, very thankful for that. The loss of my sister, Larry's loss of his parents, moving away from home, and all the other struggles we've shared have made us a lot stronger. However, this struggle has thrown me for a great big, fat loop. We are slowly getting around to fine, and doing what we need to, but when we first found out, it was hard...just really stinkin hard. Devastating really...and that's not me being my normal dramatic self. Everything I knew and all the hopes and dreams I've had forever were challenged in an instant. Being away only added to the devastation I felt. Family (and friends) were what got us through. That and a lot of holding onto each other for dear life, and large boxes of cheeze-its and swedish fish. I have been very reluctant to share this struggle with those not in our inner circle, because the wound is still so tender, but I have decided, with Larry's blessing to make this blog more "real" and share the good, bad and ugly. I am personally dealing with the very real possibility of not becoming a mom. Some days I am fine with it and very philosophical, knowing I can still have a very happy and fulfilled life and lucky to have Ryan and Annabella. Some days I cry. A lot. Some days I ignore it all together and focus on my job, my husband and my cat. Not sure which is better to be honest, because it all comes around in the end to bite me on the ass. I have learned not to expect people to get it, or understand at the level I need them to. But when it happens, it is a gift and it helps a lot.
Being a Step-Mom, and a Grammy. Again, another thing that has pushed me as far out of my safe little box as possible. I would not, for one second trade it. It has pushed me, challenged me, and made me a better person. Ryan is pushing 27, and far too old to have me "mothering" him, but he is a good sport about me being a nudge in his life, and this past year we have gotten to know each other more and more. He's all right, as step kids go. I think I'll keep him. Annabella is a light in our lives and I am so stinkin grateful for that little bundle of red headed joy. She is also extremely patient with me, and is truly a delight. Her no nonsense, eager to please personality is so much fun to be around. She tells it like it is, and if I could somehow bottle her zest for life and fun, well, I think I might have the cure for the world's trouble. I wish every single day we could somehow teleport her her to Singapore for a nice, long visit. Asia wouldn't know what hit it.
Frank, the furry band-aid. I've said it before, but he really is a helpful guy to have around. It's hard to dwell on shittiness when you have a goofball, slightly dim little fellow running back and forth at a high rate of speed.
And last but not least, the guy that I often wake up to holding my hand. The ups and owns of a new marriage (oh yeah, they are real baby, straight up), living as physically far away from our family and friends as we can, struggles with infertility, purchasing a new house in the Seattle area and all the other fun stresses we've had this year, cannot dim the fact that I still really like the big lug, and I wouldn't trade his middle of the night hand holding for anything.
These are the big and little things...each one, even the yucky struggles, I wouldn't want to swap, it makes life wonderful, messy and never dull.
Merry Christmas, near and far, and here's to kick ass 2010.