Monday, May 18, 2009

Get the Cockroaches to Stay

I live in India.  There is a new phase of culture shock that I am experiencing right now.  This terminology will not sound academic, but I think it will be easy to understand.  This is what I will call it:  “The newness is wearing off, the things that were completely bizarre are now normal and I can’t hear the blasted horns anymore because they’re as routine as breathing” phase.  Good grief.  I am also nervous that the material that I have for a great blog will start waning because I don’t recognize the things that are just so ridiculous. 

Okay, I just needed to get that out there.  This is where I am at today.  A few of you asked how Mother’s Day was for us.  Well, besides missing our moms and me being sick in bed all weekend, it was great :)   Also, that day had another funny moment.  We were planning to have a family over on Mother’s Day evening.  Well, we left a message that morning, saying that I was not feeling good, so let’s reschedule.  They never got the message...  So, thankfully I had showered and the house was reasonably tidy when the knock on the door came.  I didn’t completely melt down.  The only quick, vegetarian that  I could make was french toast, eggs and fruit.  Not very dinnery or guest-appropriate, but hey, we had a nice evening and they didn’t even know that I wasn’t feeling great.  I did fall into bed the moment they left though...   

Jayson had his first trip this past week.  (That is why we are bit late in sending the blog - I have absolutely no idea how to post it and Jayson is a great editor.)  He went up to Mumbai and Pune, Thursday to Sunday.  It was a great amount of time for the first trip.  He had some staff interviews up there and also went to meet a few new volunteers that were arriving from the States.  He will write these stories in our next edition.  

Our time without Jayson was fairly uneventful, other than almost having a nervous breakdown when I thought the computer was broken on Thursday night (a DVD got jammed and didn’t allow the computer to work, I shoved and wiggled a butter knife into the computer - and out popped the DVD. Jayson would have been horrified to watch me do that, but desperate times call for desperate measures).  Also, Friday morning I awoke to two HUGE cockroaches in our sink.  Like as big as my thumb.  So gross.  Ani turned on the water for me to get the cockroaches to stay in the bottom of the sink and then I whacked them with a frying pan - almost as if they were burglars.  A frying pan Tarrah... was that really necessary?  Yes.  I heard them crunch, but they were still wiggling, so I put a bowl over them and left them for our housekeeper, Josephine, to finish up with.  When I showed them to her, they moved, I jumped and screamed - she laughed.  I think she likes that she rescues me on a daily basis in some capacity...

I have been trying to embrace the reality that my life is downshifting into a slower-paced life.  For the past year, we were finishing up grad school, graduating, deciding about Freedom Firm, getting our house ready to sell, selling it, packing, having a baby, moving, preparing for India, saying goodbyes, moving to India, unpacking and getting settled - all while having 4 kids, 6 years and under.  I say this not to get any sort of kudos.  I really don’t recommend it, it’s not sustainable and I always felt a bit edgy.  But now our life is pretty routine, slower and not a whole lot of drama.  One would think that is almost like the promised land, but its been harder to adjust to than I thought it would be.  The events of my last year kept me going, there was no option to stop.  The events of my last year always gave me something to talk about, there were very few lulls in conversations.  But all that is done with.  And now there are large parts of my days or weeks that are really quiet.  Because my days are so quiet, there are lulls in conversations.  We’re now living in what we’ve been working toward - meaning we’re done figuring out how to get here.  I say all this wanting to embrace the slowness, the greater time to spend just playing Legos with James, making crafts with Ani, playing make-believe with Sydney and watching Jovie grow.  And Jayson and I spend sooo much more time together.  We are able to have way more people to our house now - because we simply do not have full schedules.  I am a curious duck by nature, so I have really liked getting to know people and I have time to ask my million and one questions.  I am working at simply being content at where I am at and not looking for what’s next.  And I think I am soaking up more with all that is new and trying to fully process all the changes.  These thoughts have been simmering now for a month or two...  if you have any of these thoughts that you can identify with or speak into, I would love to hear from you.   


Juli said...

I love that you are now living what you were working towards. Jon and I are still in the working towards phase and I am longing for the living stage. Time for gardening, and resting, and not always rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off (which i am sure you have seen your fair share of, the actual chickens, well maybe not in India, never sure). Anyway, I love it. I will love to see your blog posts even if they aren't full of oddities and other such strange Indian life experiences. Who knows what they will morph in too. Living with four kids 6 and under is adventure enough. Keep on truckin friend.

Anonymous said...

"...working at simply being content at where I am at and not looking for what’s next" Love that. Our struggle has been living in a culture that rejects saying no to a busy schedule. Seems like we can hardly connect with anyone unless we sign up for whatever everyone else is doing. We've been better about doing dinner w/other families (you have always been such a model for that), but booking out weeks for everyone's crazy schedules. I get so close to giving in, wanting community as they say, and then I see how tired and sick and strained their kids are, not to mention the parents. Hoping we can figure it out before the kids leave home. :) Reading your blog does give a lot of inspiration. Garden goes in this week. The kids are outside most of the day after morning lessons, playing together and alone(!) and hunting for God's creepy crawlies (big mean Mommy makes them identify them) and making discoveries and inventions. Summer will be so sweet. Miss you!

Kara said...

Ah... That is an every day challenge for me - to live in the present. Totally relate-able. And finding joy in the every day mundane. It is an adjustment and you have had quite a ride leading up to this. No expectations for your posts - just keep them coming. As entertaining as they are, what started us reading them is our love for you. And that won't change! Thanks for your honesty, friend. I miss your millions of questions.

Anonymous said...

My friend, connie, has what she calls her magi-duo ie. Live in the moment and Act as if you matter! If I slow my pace way down, I sometimes feel like what I'm doing doesn't matter as much as when I'm on a tight schedule! I don't think that this is true.DRAT, balance . . . most issues come from lack of balance. Love knowing what you are thinking about. Don't think your life could ever get too boring!

I'm in Chicago with the girls. Having so much fun!

Love to all the Palms.