Monday, September 24, 2007

Treading water

As life goes on day by day, it's easy for me to forget that only 3 months ago I made such a huge change in my life. It seems to slip by the wayside, this change I made, until one day I wake up so exhausted, so disoriented, that I finally stop and remember to give myself a break. This may be because I've always lived my life in a bit of a dramatic manner, so I don't always give credit where credit is due. But I forget that I am most definitely human. A sensitive, delicate human at that, especially on days like today. I feel about like the wing of a moth today. Translucent and dusty. Fragile and easily broken.

Three months ago I left the home that my husband and I own (I write own purposefully here) in the hands of a tenant. In the last three months I regularly forget that I am a home owner, since I feel like I am just starting out. A newlywed couple with two children trying to navigate first time home buying. I feel I am behind, that I need to catch up and catch up fast. I feel that I am old for all this, and that I should know how to do it better.

I regularly forget that so many years abroad have left me inept for dealing with many aspects of being a parent here, and I am regularly learning how things work. I am new to the nuances of American schools, American healthcare, American expectations. This all makes me incredibly tired.

I am now seemingly the native, and the other members of my family seem to think that I should know how to do everything, know how everything works, and I regularly must remind them that I have been away for fifteen years, and when I left I was single, 24 and childless, and basically could do whatever I wanted to.

Three months ago I got all of my family's most important belongings in 10 suitcases. I enrolled my Italian children in American school. I navigated the green card process for my husband. I managed to get my dog through US customs. I found us two affordable cars. I found a pediatrician. I found health insurance for my family. I set up bank accounts, found a mechanic, a dentist. I found my husband's work contacts, and am acting as his "secretary" for his budding new business. I got us all cell phones and new business cards. I babied all of my own clients and helped them along with our new business relationships, which include an 8 hour time difference. I organized my husband's spur of the moment travel when his father passed away, and the same for myself when my grandfather passed away a couple of days later. I spent long meetings and phone calls with my children's guidance counselors, trying to advocate their placement in gifted classes at school. I found them a barber.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
I'm taking the day off today. I think I deserve it. My wings might break.


Jennifer said...

You most definitely deserve some time off! Just reading that list made me tired and overwhelmed.

You've done a great job.

anno said...

You definitely deserve a day off. Maybe two. Or even a week.

I hope you get to spend some time just looking out that blue room with the window that looks out on the sky, or gathering late autumn flowers.

Greg said...

I hope you find repose and a respite from your taxing days.

Rebecca said...

Gosh Jennifer, that exhausted me just reading about it.

It's an enormous job just moving house with kids in tow - moving country and culture?? - I can hardly begin to imagine.

You write beautifully about it all, though.

Take care of yourself.

Karenkool said...

Amazing! You are amazing. I can relate on some levels--moving, even if it's within the same country is one of THE most stressful things a person can do. I'm glad you've accomplished so much. Yahoo!! You should go buy yourself something expensive! ;-)

sognatrice said...

Phew. Take as long a break as possible. Everything will be waiting for you when you bounce back (for better or worse!).

And take care of those wings.

Jen said...

Rest up. Take a walk through the beautiful aspens and breathe deep. And yes, take some time OFF. Huge hugs.

Jenny in Ca said...

wow, you are incredible! I cannot even imagine living in another country..I'm kind of a wimp that way...

really nicely written post, give yourself a pat on the back, you have done a good job with so much.

Fourier Analyst said...

I think your dear readers all agree that you do deserve a break. I said it this week about a friend of mine, she doesn't try to be "SuperMom" and yet she does seem to put superhuman requirements on herself and even seems to manage meeting them most times. It's been 3 months now, you are about due for a culture-shock meltdown. Adrenalin and the newness of everything will have started wearing off. And suddenly you will start questioning yourself and why in the world you ever made such a decision, etc. It can lead to a real funk. Give into it as much as you can. Wallow in it if need be with support from your blog-friends. And I find that mass quantities of chocolate or any other indulgence does help alleviate the major symptoms. I find that curling up with a good book and only doing the minimum to keep the family and the rest of the world going also helps for a while. This too will pass in a week or so. And the sun will again shine on your soul and everything will be okay again.

You have done a tremendous job and I know there are exciting things ahead for you on this new adventure. I would be jealous if I did not know just how hard it is!

jennifer said...

I love all of you... really.