Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Touch of Homesickness

So today it finally got to me. The whole living-in-a-foreign-country-with-four-kids, one of which is a newborn. No family. No No Amazon Subscribe and Save. Empty fridge -- another weird dinner. I was so late waiting for one kid to get off the toilet and waking the other from his nap that I was late to pick Madeline up from school, so she was sent to the school office. Then she was so mad that she wouldn't hold my hand for our long walk back to the the rain (and it rains a lot). I sprinted to the school and made the last minute decision to leave Elizabeth, John and Charlie locked in the car; thank God for my expat friend Mary who saw my crazy sprint and waited at the van until I got back (then invited me to her house for tea and dark chocolate) -- no doubt she could see the tears about to spring behind my eyes.

I love my life here in Lux. We've wanted to live abroad for years! But today, I miss my life and creature comforts in the USA. I miss my dog. I miss my sisters. I miss knowing what people are saying to me. I'm planning two birthday parties with no Oriental Trading or Target dollar spot (I know. How is that even possible?). I miss country music on the car radio. I'd die for a sugar-free vanilla skim latte from Starbucks. And it would be nice to not feel like I'm wearing a donkey costume if I have on a ball cap or flip flops. I miss neighbors who drop in for coffee, and I miss the Bachelor/ette series. There, I said it. I miss the occasional hour of trashy TV.

Tomorrow I might be just fine; in fact, I probably will! But today? Today I'm overwhelmed by it all, and even though I've made lots of wonderful new friends, I feel kind of lonely. I'm acutely aware that I'm on the other side of a big ocean from the people I love. It's been six-months. The honeymoon's over. This isn't an extended vacation -- it's my life and I've got to charge forward and lead my family with a positive attitude. But that takes a lot of energy. I have to look things up on a translator and work up my courage to make a quick phone call; today, I feel like I've already drained my reserves. Writing is cathartic and it helps fill my tank.

Tomorrow's a brand new day....
Update: My funk lasted about three weeks. I felt grumpy and disenchanted with the very things I found charming when we first moved here. But I reached out to my family and several girlfriends, both here in Lux and back home. Care packages arrived (one with Starbucks!) and the love bombs worked (THANKS!). I turned a corner and life felt normal again, just in time to take our family's first vacation to Paris. More to come on that!

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