and tried

July 31, 2014

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You just never know. Just when you think you know what to worry about, life throws a new wrench. Or two. Or three :-)
This morning I vented a bit during our morning run. After agonizing, in my usual pattern, along the lines of « What did I do wrong, » it felt good to get it out in the open. And the response I received, in conversation, lightened the weightiness, as so often seems to happen. More on that conversation shortly, though; first, some of the ventings:
Returning here to my work life, I knew to expect challenges. Quite simply, I live in a land where each day—even the most cheery and bright one—is full of daily challenge. Life just takes extra work, and time, here. And some days I get to the end of it, survey the day’s accomplishments with some dismay, and wonder how in the world everything took as long as it did: how is it that a whole day was eaten up by such a seemingly small amount of productivity!?! But I am starting to get used to this fact, and trying to reconcile myself to it.
What I knew, upon landing, was that:
Challenge #1. I would be moving into a new home, with my new husband.
Challenge #2. I would be adding Middle School Math teacher to my work load this year.
Challenge #3. I was losing my Cross Country assistant coaches, and didn’t know where to look for help in that realm.
Challenge #4. I left the library, at the end of last school year, with work to be done, knowing to come prepared to finish up the catalog before school started.
There are more that I was mulling over, but that will do as a shortlist for the moment.

What I did not know was that:

We would be unable to install internet in our new place. The internet company informed us that the previous tenant had an outstanding bill, so they could not give us a new account until that bill had been dealt with. Thanks to help from my school, the landlord was brought into the correspondence and it looks like we will be granted internet soon.
A few days after moving into our new place, we would sit down to enjoy our newest culinary experiment: a new variety of grain that we found in the local shop. The translation of the name they gave us for it amused us, so we thought we would try it out. As we talked about how much we liked it, and patted ourselves on the backs for the successful experiment, I heard a crunch. I pulled a rock out of my mouth and we enjoyed a laugh about never knowing what to expect when grocery shopping here. Two days later, while eating watermelon [yes, really!], I felt an odd sensation and pulled a portion of tooth out of my mouth. In instant panic mode, I found that I did indeed now have a hole in one of my teeth. Envisioning all manner of dental disasters, we scrapped our afternoon plans and instead headed to the dentist. Here’s where blessings kick in, though: instead of being on my own with no recourse, I was with a local friend who knew exactly where to take me, and who could act as translator. A short bike ride later, I was to find out that it was actually a relatively normal issue: not a tooth but a crown broken, that I had actually had for over 10 years already. They were about to start drilling there, taking off the whole crown, when I hit the pause button. I opted instead to leave the rest of the crown in place while I got in touch with the stateside dentist who had given me the crown to begin with. So far, no solutions found, but hopefully all will work out. I must say, though, it was not a very pleasant way to reinitiate into life here!
Also a few days after our arrival, I received a phone call from the school tech department. A few tech support emails, conversations, and file searchings later, I was to discover that our library program has been wiped out from the system, for upgrades, and needed to be reinstalled. No problem . .. except that the system was installed years ago, and no one knew where the original license was. Ok, so contact the system company and get new installation info, right? Except that the school had cut tech support for the library system out of the budget last year, so that the response given was that we were not longer privy to such assistance. Oy ve! My mind raced with visions of redoing all the inventory work done at the end of last year, in an amped up version: instead of just checking off the books, I would be taking each one of the 10,000 some volumes off the shelf and inputting it manually in order to rebuild the library catalog. Oy ve! So far, positive progress has been made with my meetings with finance, administration, and IT, and I have felt nothing but support. Again, hopefully, all will work out.
In this same period of time, I discover a patch of irritated skin. Soon this patch becomes fully inflamed, then blisters up to a horrible level of pain and itchiness. On a smaller scale, I had this same reaction last school year, and determined that I had touched something my sensitive skin did not agree with. Discovering its progression this time around, it is frightening to not be able to determined the source of an inflamed and blistered mess of a torso. We have been tossing around ideas but have resigned ourselves to the fact that we live in a place where the combination of great pollution and little chemical regulation means we likely will never know. But, in the meantime, I remind myself of the gift of a husband who willingly [happily, even!] massages my feet as we lie in bed, in an effort to distract me from the pain elsewhere on my being . . . grace in the interim.

I would go on with the not-short shortlist, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. It is hard to not already think longingly back to our summer holiday, and to peaceful days on the beach . . .

Ah, but back to that conversation I previewed at the start of this post. So I vented while we ran and soon, after some wise feedback and divinely inspired insight, was feeling a great deal better about it all. I said as much, quipping,
« Thank you, Brother G. You have lifted my spirits in this session »
« Ah, you are very welcome, Sister A. Anytime »
« I must confess, Brother G, » I added, « that I feel more than brotherly love for you »
« Well then, » he replied, « it’s a good thing we are married! »

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