Monday, September 23, 2013

How Missing "It" isn't Always a Bad Thing

I've written plenty about how the only downside to living abroad is missing my family. There are other inconveniences like turning the hot water on in order to shower with warm water or getting used to not always finding what you want at the grocery store but these are inconveniences, things that I can easily accept and get over. But family isn't an inconvenience, it's a complete downside. I can't get over missing them. 

Sometimes when I talk to my mother and she's on her way back from a family event she says Oh Jenni. Everyone was asking about you and how you're doing. We missed you. And I think Aw maaan. I missed that. Or I see pictures of my best friend's son who is 6 weeks older than Rafa, playing at the park or eating cake at his birthday party that I, of course, missed because I'm an ocean away and I think Aw maaan. I missed that too. 

Missing things becomes part of the life we have chosen. 

But - and there's always a but - because we don't live near our people - our commitments, our obligations, our responsibilities - become somewhat nonexistent. And that is freeing.

I spoke to a good friend once who said that every weekend she is tied down and booked up with so many affairs that she hardly ever feels like she's home. Let me be clear that I am not saying that I love not being at family get togethers or Thanksgiving Dinner or my nephew's birthday parties or a cousin's wedding. I'm just saying that it is nice not to have to be. Of course, it makes me sad sometimes. Of course I want to be there for our family and friends. But sometimes the birthdays, the communions, the baby showers, the bridal showers, the engagement dinners and rehearsal dinners and sunday dinners, and family reunions, and endless plans become so overwhelming that I couldn't find time to slow down, to just be. I would work through the week and when I arrived at my weekend with four different parties that I had to attend, I spent my weekend dragging myself around from one event to the other, driving from one party to the next like a Mexican party bus. I often used to reach Sundays, more exhausted than after a work week. It was one of those I need a vacation from my vacation cases. 

But here life is slower because, unfortunately, we have to miss stuff. Our weekends are free. We have no plans until we have plans. We can't go to every party or event. We can't celebrate every celebration. And is that really such a bad thing? Is it so bad to sometimes just not go? I've made myself dizzy trying to "complacer" (this is one of those words that I like better in spanish - it means to try and please) with every invitation I've received that sometimes I was dreading parties instead of looking forward to them. 
Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a party?

That's not to say there aren't any invitations here, there just aren't as many and they aren't as far since most of our friends live near school which makes the furthest drive to anyone's house about 7 minutes - with traffic.

There are still things I wish I didn't miss like my nephew and Godson on his first day of school with his first day of school outfit getting on his first day of school bus {heart melt}. I wish I could fly back to kiss Jakey, my other nephew, on his Valentine's Day birthday. I wish I didn't always miss my dad's birthday and my sister's birthday and my mother's birthday. I wish I didn't have to miss my grandmother in the hospital recently. I would have liked to visit her.

But being an ocean away, I have no choice but to miss things. And while I do wish that I didn't have to miss it all,  I have to say, that sometimes missing "it" isn't always a bad thing. It gives me time to just be. To enjoy the mundane, the routine, the stay at home. It gives me a chance to get off the crazy Mexican bus and just breathe. 

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  1. I'm also living in a country with no family at all. I guess I've gotten used to it now. But I think it would be nice to live closer to family in the future. I agree that it would be great to spend the holidays and birthdays together with family .

  2. Hey there! Just wanted to say thanks for the follow on bloglovin'! I'm happy to be following you back :o) Hope you're having a great Tuesday!

  3. I actually read this post yesterday while lamenting missing out on something, and came back to it again today because it's such a refreshing reminder of why it's okay not to do every little thing!

  4. Hey there! I just wanted to say thanks a bunch for your comment on my Parenting with Parents post! I really hope you were able to check them out! Hope you're having a fantastic week :o)

  5. I get it. It would be freeing not to have to be somewhere. I love weekends we have NOTHING to do.


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