Monday, December 02, 2013

Like the Phoenix...

Once upon a time I was a regular (okay, semi-regular) blogger.  But, then, we moved to China.  And, our entry was not the smoothest it could have been.  It took much longer for our things to arrive than anticipated and if you have ever lived out of suitcases (even 10 extra large suitcases) for any length of time you know the inherent challenges this presents.  There was also the inevitable "teaching your body to function like its normal self" phase that we have experienced with each move.  That phase took longer than it has in the past as we coped with all of the sites, smells, and tastes we were newly thrust into.  Claire in particular struggled with the change and her adjustment period was difficult and protracted.  But, a couple of months ago, she seemed to settle in and now she is thriving and happy and speaking Chinglish with gusto.  In fact, a couple of months ago, we are sort of crossed over the hump from newly arrived and feeling discombobulated all of the time, to thinking of ourselves as Beijingers

But, coming to terms with life in China has not been the biggest impediment to blogging.  Usually, a move like this has provided lots of fodder for posts and I have used my blog as a coping mechanism for dealing with all the newness of our latest move.  But, China is special.  Life in China is hard in ways that I know no other country we will ever live in will be.  And then, on top of everything else, there is the Great Firewall of China.  I run headlong into it on a daily, sometimes multiple times a day, basis.  We have all the usual technology everyone advises you have to minimize and mitigate these run-ins.  But, we are still at the mercy of a very powerful, controlling, and often unforgiving system.  And, when just checking my email can take 4x as long as it used to,  regular (or even semi-regular) blogging loomed as a monumental undertaking.  So, I stopped, as you may have noticed.

I have felt a little guilty for this extended lapse.  I mean, we live in China, after all.  Our daily lives are nothing like our "regular" lives.  Although, at this point in our journey,  what we consider to be "regular," for the vast majority of my friends and family is anything but.  And, my children are growing and having extraordinary experiences that go virtually undocumented.  Claire especially has changed dramatically since we arrived, though I much prefer not to remember the weeks and weeks of fretting we all did over her seeming failure to thrive.  But, I ignored the guilt, quite successfully.

Then, last week, I designed and ordered this year's Christmas cards.  And, as I have done every year for the last seven, below our signature I put the address of our/my blog.  Suddenly, I was engulfed by regret.  This has been an important year in all our lives and I have essentially ignored it.  We have lived every moment deliberately this past year, but the children are young enough they won't remember what has transpired without some external promptings and I have neglected providing those.  And, as happy as we are here, everything is not perfect and sometimes I need to be reminded that I can do hard things.

So...here I am.  At the beginning of the end of 2013 and I have promised myself that I am going to blog every day this month.  I am going to sift through the photos and remembrances and mementos of the past year and share them, or at least 31 of them, for now and for posterity.  I may regret this decision, considering the inevitable Internet battles the will ensue.  But, here goes nothing...

One of our very first outings in Beijing was to Fundazzle.  A magical place that used to be an Olympic sized swimming pool (you can still see the diving platforms above the deep end) that has since been turned into an indoor play area for children.  The boys thought they had died and gone to heaven and declared they would be celebrating every birthday in China there.  We'll see about that.




 

7 comments:

Cassidy said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, my friend. I've missed you. I've been absent too, but maybe I'll take your challenge and try to post to my blog this month. I can't wait to hear more about all of your adventures in China (and Japan and Korea and Australia!). We miss you guys so much! And Matt and I are constantly saying, "when we go to Bejing to visit Kenny and Linsey..." I think we need to start planning the trip!

Jessica said...

Yay!!!

bwebster said...

What Jessica said. :-)

llcall said...

Very excited to get a peek into China over the next month!

Adrianne said...

Ah, I love reading your musings... One month. you can do it. I should take on this challenge, but I am not as strong as you are!

MIss you!

LaurenHoya said...

Always enjoy seeing updates from you guys, bring on the China updates!

robin marie said...

I just realized you were posting again! Looking forward to catching up!

 

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