Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the five minute post

I taught school today, leaving while it was just turning light. Justin and I are finding it easier to say we're here another year, maybe another two years. When we talk about settling down, we don't think of Kuwait, but that's what we're doing right now. We're settling down in a country not our own and it is one of the oddest feelings. A little passive, to say we're staying because it is simpler than leaving and because we don't need to leave.

We would have reached that point in Wisconsin too, when it would have been easier to stay than to leave. But to feel that here is unexpected. Maybe I've been moving in that direction, letting myself be a little more passive about what comes next. Not trying to arrange so much of my life in such particular ways. Freeing myself to enjoy without planning the details. I see myself doing this in very small ways, like inviting a friend over for a lunch that isn't exciting but still fills us each. Just not trying so hard.

Or maybe trying hard at better things.

I'd planned a Valentines card decorating party for a few friends here and then we all got sick with coughs and pink eye. I called it off when it seemed no one would want to breathe our breath. I didn't want to breathe our breath! But I had put all this time into cutting out paper hearts so kids could just starting gluing and coloring. And I had cookies and treats and cheese and and and. I had a minute of self-pity, feeling ridiculous for cutting out all those stupid hearts, and then I got over it. I don't think I would have just got over it a couple years ago - not without a whine and cry because see how ready I was to give a nice little party?

Instead we got up on Saturday morning and sat our pink eyes and snotty noses around the table and ate one of the best breakfasts I'd made in a long time: pancakes with strawberries, blueberries and pomegranate seeds on top, with whipped cream. Then Claire and I opened a couple glue sticks and all the glitter glues and made a lot of sparkly little hearts.

It was great, unplanned morning. And it's been more than five minutes. 


jessica said...

It's no Kuwait, but we're in Kansas because it's easier right now. It's an ebb & flow of feeling unsettled and content. I try to guess what it is we'll miss when we eventually leave so I can be sure to take advantage of it!

Steve said...

Hi, just checking out your blog. I have read it here and there. Usually after a comment on Jessica's site, but this time after a comment on Angela's.

I'll add you to my list, as you at the very least live in an interesting area, and I am intrigued.

Best wishes. :)

Clare said...'s why i'm still in the same place i don't love 11 years later.

Angela and David said...

I wonder if I'll end up feeling that way about Minnesota. At some point I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to leave but I wonder if we won't stay because it will just be easier. But Minnesota is not nearly as exciting as Kuwait. Obviously the region is geographically huge over there but have you noticed any changes as a result of what's going on in Iran and Syria?

jsmarslender said...

Thanks for reading, Steve; I'll visit your blog too. Clare, I think I might have felt that way if we'd stayed where we were in WI. And I try to remember to do what you do, Jessica, and enjoy what I've got here. As for Syria and Iran, Angela, those countries are on my mind and what's happening in Syria breaks my heart. I'll write a post about that soon...

Monica said...

Sarah, I love your writing. I sometimes fear that we will never stay in a place long enough for it to become easier to stay than go. We are already planning where we'll go next, and we've been "here" nine months. America is great but it's hard to be enthused with so many first world problems.

Billie said...

In some ways I wish I had never left Minnesota...because in some ways I think life would be easier. I'm not so sure I'm cut out for this gypsy-vagabond lifestyle. I've spent the last ten years moving...6 different locations. So in some ways I long for the "feeling truly settled" feeling. But i am so afraid that boredom will happen once we do make the decision to settle. We have to have the big decision in by tomorrow. I'm stressed out to say the least!