June 20 will mark 1 year since we left Mexico and moved back to the United States. People have stopped asking me how the transition is going. And I don’t blame them. We’ve been here for nearly an entire year. We should be all settled in by now, right?
But the truth is, in many ways, I am starting to feel less settled.
The adventures of moving, finding a new job for my husband, a new home for our family, a new school for the boys, and giving birth to our third child have already taken place. We have settled into the routine. We have figured out the day to day of getting to school and work, of grocery shopping, after school activities, and doctors and dentists visits. My husband has figured out the ins and outs of his job and our two sons have not only settled in, but have thrived in their first year at a new school. I have found a place for myself volunteering here and there at the boys’ school and our church. Our daughter is now 6 months old and each day she becomes a little more of a person and less of of just an eating, sleeping and pooping entity. Life is good and I write that with the utmost honesty. We are happy. I am happy. This move was the right move.
But as summer settles upon us I am gradually finding that in the midst of all of the settled and good and right there is an unsettled part of me – a part that is trying to figure out the piece that is just mine. Over the last year I have dedicated a huge part of myself to all of these adjustments for my family and as we find roots here and a little more of me gets freed up to give to something else I find myself asking “what’s next for me”?
The immediate answer is to figure out how to fill my kids’ summer days just enough that they are not driving each other, and me, absolutely crazy, but that the time is still somewhat relaxing. It is going to be a serious balancing act, people. Picture me on a tightrope with a plump, smiley baby girl in need of a nap on one end and two wrestling 5 and 7 year old boys on the other. The object of the game is to help everyone on the rope stay content and keep them from plummeting into cranky-pants land on the net below.
But I digress…
We will figure out summer. Before we know it we will be settling right back into another school year. And where does that leave me? I do not have a desire to go back to work…not just yet anyway. For now I want to still relish in the privilege of being able to stay home. I want to be able to dedicate a large amount of my time to my kids and getting my home in order during the day so that evenings and weekends can be spent together as a family. But I still feel called to something more. Do not ask me what it is or what it looks like. I do not have that answer yet, but I am taking time to seek and ask the question. Sure there are things I could jump into. I have already had the chance, but I knew it was not quite time yet. I knew my family still needed a bit more of me. But the inkling of next steps is starting to peek out in the distance. And as I continue to work on being expectant I am asking God to begin preparing me for whatever it is that is on the horizon. I am working on accepting that this may mean simply trying to improve at what I am already doing. I know there is still work to be done right here (see the tightrope analogy above).
Six years ago, 8 months into our first year in Mexico, I wrote a blog post entitled Caught Between Adventure and Normal. I was anxious to find out what our next step would be after what I thought would be just 2 years living in Mexico. Little did I know, we would be there for 6 years.
At the time these were the questions I was asking myself:
“Do we stick it out here a couple more years?…
Do we run off to some other exotic locale to keep the adventure going?
Or do we head back to U.S.; to comfort; to ‘normal’?”
The thing is, after 6 years living out our adventure in Mexico, I no longer want my life in the U.S. to just be comfort and normal. I want this life, the here and now – right where I am – to be an adventure too. I want to believe, I need to believe and know, that even here, as a stay-at-home mom in the “Biggest Little City” I can live out an amazing adventure with my family right alongside me.
I am working on trusting and seeking God for each day’s run-of-the-mill, full-blown adventure.