Monday, October 01, 2007

coming home

so, I am going to be doing more posts on my trip. there was a lot I want to write about and record. But I thought this would be the time to insert a quick note about my thoughts upon my return, before I forget them.

The photos are images that I returned to. Strikingly different than Bath and the beauty of the English countryside that I fell in love with.

I was surprised by how beautiful everything is here. I have been a true critic of this city, of North American suburbia, and of many details of living in a cold place, with little community support, trying to raise a family.
But upon my return, I found that I have much to be thankful for...

My tomatoe harvest...

flowers from my husband...

the remnants of my garden...

Outdoor toys!!! yay!

fall stroller walks...

and last, but not least...the glorious sun

What an amazing feeling, to come home after a trip, both refreshed and stimulated by the change but with a new perspective that makes one appreciate and feel motivated about life. I am so grateful for this.

I have to say, this revelation is probably due to the difficulties I have put myself through in the last month. There were a few ugly moments, that I am glad I have passed through, hopefully learning my lesson.

One week before I left for Bath, I had work deadlines, and a work project I am initiating, "in my spare time". I chose to write my longest architectural exam the day before I left for England, after which I attended a meeting for a Baha'i project I am working on...then there was packing and preparing for the trip, and our student arrived from Korea.

The night before my exam I got very sick. I had a fever, stomach flu,extreme soar throat and I couldn't move from my bed. But I was still determined to write that test. My homeopath, via cell phone gave me remedies and these, magically, held me together and got me though the fever enough to stand the next morning. I got to the exam. The first half was grueling, but I was doing OK. I felt myself at the edge...but I was pushing to see just how far I could go... and I was curious...what would happen if I went too far? I knew I shouldn't be writing it, I knew I should sleep, and that it was not good for me or anyone to be there in my condition, but I had a hope that I could just get through this 6 hour marathon alive.

Well, I found out what happens when I get to the end of my psychological rope. Ten minutes before the end of the exam I was shaking I was so exhausted. My mind was a mess, but I had completed every question, and I was sure they were all correct...I went back to check some numbers, added them on the calculator, they didn't add up, I tried again and thats when the little rubber elastic holding reality together snapped, and I panicked. I freaked and madly started trying to change the question, (its a drafting exam so I had to draft different building parts...) I deleted the entire stair case that took me 1.5 hours to draw. And thats when I lost it, tears pouring down (theres no undo button) I tried to redraw it...but to my despair, it was gone. Heart racing, sweating and crying I left the exam, totally wasted. I felt awful. So, I passed, then failed the exam and will have to rewrite it. I shouldn't have done it in the first place.

So, then, I went to my meeting a total mess, packed the next morning and flew to England. 7 hours with a baby on a plane. The first few with him on my lap until I screamed with frustration and the stewardess moved the guy net to me...never think you can fly with a 2 year old on your lap for 7 hours. That was stupid.

So, I arrived a completely frazzled mess. I had a few more "moments" on my trip, but I believe I have learned from all this, and thats what makes today all the more sweet.

I now know what happens when I push myself too far. I don't like it and wont do it again...for a while.

I will leave myself time to study for my exams, and all the while enjoy life, my family and keep my health.

I have been living with disorganized life priorities. I have lost the rhythm and beauty of prayer, cleanliness, beauty, order and serenity in my day to day. This is no fun and I don't like what havoc it wrecks in my life. (not to mention what it does to my health!)

There are wonderful things in my life and I am going to treasure them while I can.

I feel so motivated to make this one life I have beautiful. Even if city planning, corporate culture, materialism, ignorance, isolation and loneliness are all working against me. For now, there is beauty and sunshine. I'll take that...all that you can offer...please!

1 comment:

Erika Hastings said...

Very courageous of you to share all of this trauma and stress that you went through. Your body was definitely saying "NO" to the craziness in your life.

Letting go of the desire to be a "supermom" is one of the hardest challenges that we (moms) all face. You can have it all and do it all, just not all at the same time.

I was reliving my plane ride experience with Diego and Isabela when we flew to Malaysia last year. I look back on it now and think to myself, What was I thinking? Taking a one year old on such a big trip. Fortunately I had my family with me, which it looks like you did too. The support is fantastic, yet as the parent, you are still responsible and are the one up all night with them as they adjust to the new time zone.

Actually, if you get a chance, check out the book, "When the Body Says No" by Gabor Mate. It completely changed my life.