Over half way…

We have rounded the corner and passed the half way mark. Actually, only five months to go. Is it a long time, a short time? Depends how you look at it. The first half of this year lingered. It felt luxurious (and it was!) to have few responsibilities together with plenty of room in the calendar and the heart for exploring. The state of our home testifies that we have been here six months! A drawer full of miscellaneous plastic containers and a coffee table like this reveal we have nested thoroughly and accumulated more than we’d like to think.

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We’ve had lows of one kind or another recently. I think they are mostly a result of reaching a saturation point with new, amazing, challenging, or big experiences.  You know my mama radar was on high alert last weekend when Elsa Ruth decided she would prefer to stay home and play rather than go to a birthday party.  I’ve noticed our previous exuberance for going out and about seems depleted.  As Scott said, “It can’t all be lions and mountain tops.”  How true.

It’s interesting to reflect on how school/work routines anywhere have the power to feel like drudgery or to provide a kind of stability and purpose. We are experiencing the latter right now and appreciating the predictability of routine as we settle into the new school year. Getting mail helps too!

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Simon received a special package from some classmates this week. In addition to letters filled with fun news and questions, the children were delighted to find Legos, games, treats, and cereal!  Elsa Ruth declared the Trix delicious and why didn’t she ever get to have these in America?

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I suspect the last half of this year may whiz by as there is plenty to fill it! We look forward to visitors in April and pulling the kids from school early so we can do a long road trip in June. And just as quickly as we have crossed things off our “to do” lists we have learned about other things we want to add to it. It’s a tricky balance though- as the clock ticks louder we will feel an urgency to embrace our last swim, hike, museum; meanwhile, the need to process and replenish will be there too. It would do no good to come back to America completely worn out!

So, how has this experience changed us? It’s difficult to know at this stage since we spend most of our conversations talking about what is happening here and now.  Here’s one thing we hadn’t predicted. Our Fargo friends will get a kick out of this picture by Simon.

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Having never been cell phone users (yes, really!) we have been won over. The ease of texting is fabulous and I’m sure we will not give that up once we return. But just like teenagers with their first phones, we are still figuring out a balance that works for each of us – when to use them and when not to.

If you had a year away from normal life, what would you try out doing differently?  How do you think you might be changed by an experience like this?  What questions do you think we should be asking ourselves and each other?  How can we draw on an extraordinary year to complement ordinary life?

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4 thoughts on “Over half way…

  1. I LOVE your thoughtful, down-to-earth questions and observations. What a treat it has been to be able to follow along as you make your way through this year’s adventure. Keep your commentaries coming! Thanks.

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  2. Sounds very rewarding – and will seem even more so after you have put some time and distance from where you all are now. Make sure you keep lots of notes for that book you will write.

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  3. Your adventures are such fun to read about….and I include the everyday ones (language, food, local plants, etc). It seems like you have made sure to have some amazing adventures as well as taking time for everyday appreciations with an open mind. You seem very mindful of balance, which is always your way so not surprising! Some of what you get out of experiences can only be appreciated and articulated later….much the same as young people can only identify people who made a difference in their lives after a few or many years (brings to mind the issues of evaluation!!!). It might be fun to plan to do family reflections maybe once a year at a specific time….. or maybe an ongoing place for reflections. (Graffiti board of sorts) You planned some, went with the flow some, and reflected on all of it lots….so feel good and enjoy the second half! How about a “bucket list” for remaining time?

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  4. Pingback: Q & A with Simon | sevennorthdakotas

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