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Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo of the Day: Terminus

When we flew to Scotland, it was a nearly nine hour direct flight, Vancouver to Glasgow. Factor in an 8 hour time change and the fact that we landed at 5am the next day and you'll understand that how we crossed the daylight barrier. It was… beautiful. Awe inspiring really, to watch daylight change so high above the ground. This image, while very grainy (and taken on my iPhone through our small window) is the last moments of light before it disappeared beneath the horizon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Methods of Connecting

Do you know how much I love technology? Like an overwhelming love-affair amount, since at the present time in my life, it's the one thing that keeps me sane. Back in the early days of PPD, even reading and answering email was a chore and Facebook drove me nuts because I didn't know what to say that wouldn't generate endless scores of pitying remarks from those who wouldn't understand what I was going through. This blog was helpful in many ways because it offered non-committal feedback- if I could respond to it, I would, if I didn't, that was okay too.

Now though, communication through various forms of technology is what makes being 7000 kilometres from my home doable. I don't know what I'd do without Skyp.e! Of course it's not the same as being in the same room as someone and I can't give a hug through the screen, but I can see people's face and they can see mine. Best of all, K gets to interact with her family and she LOVES it! She knows her grandparents (living with all of them at one point or another helped) and she knows her uncle (my brother). Without this valuable piece of technology, I'd be stuck to phone calls and writing letters. Let's face it, I'm a horrible pen pal. It takes me ages to respond to emails sometimes, not because I don't care, but simply because I don't always have time at the moment I'm reading that email to reply in the way I want to. Then I forget.

This is why I love Face.book and my smart phone. I love texting because you can have a conversation at a pace that works within your day and it doesn't require an immediate response. So, if I am playing with K at the park, I can reply when I have a moment, or wait until we're home. No pressure.

I know for many people, there is this feeling that you have to reply right away, and that can be stressful if you're super busy. For me though, technology allows me to stay connected with friends and family while on the other side of the world and at a pace that works for me. I decide how and when to reply.

What about you? How has technology helped or hindered your ability to communicate with people?

Monday, November 21, 2011

As they say here in Scotland, Hiya!

While my daughter naps I can hear the sounds around me. The wall clock in the kitchen is ticking, cars outside on the street approach the intersection and usually turn right (especially handy given that it's one-way if you turn left and you'd be against any oncoming cars), and in the flat next to us, I can hear the little boy throwing a tantrum. My guess is that is is a little bit older than K, but I've only had a few quick glimpses of him, so I'm not sure.

June of last year I stopped blogging. Back in January I thought about writing again and even started a post only to not finish it. I wasn't ready. So why now? Well, aside from the simple message from one of my best friends telling me I should blog again, I feel like right now I can process this last year and a half a bit better.

Last I left you, we were getting closer to R finishing his PhD and then having to look for a job. Well, he did finish, and I have to say that at his graduation I was so very proud of him. I met him at the beginning of his Masters, so this had been a long time in the works and I was happy to see him have this moment. After finishing came the job hunt. I can imagine that this is a very common story: a job was elusive. He did an interview in September of last year but it took months to sort everything out. At first, he didn't get job.

Then came reality.

I was at home caring for the baby and he was approaching his last paycheck. With no income aside from some child benefits, we had no choice but to give up our apartment. That was really hard. Sure, we were only renting, but it was our place! We were happy there, even though I dreamed of a bigger place where K could move around more. More than just giving up our home, we did what we had to to make sure we had a roof over our heads: we moved in with the parents.

At first, it was a couple months with his parents. In that time though, the job that he didn't get, contacted him again and explained that their first choice candidate backed out and they wanted to hire him! We were ecstatic! Then reality hit a bit more since there was one tiny detail to consider: the job was in Scotland.

Now, I always prided myself on being an adventurous person. In many ways I still am, but this transition has been far more difficult than I ever imagined.

After a crazy time around Christmas last year gathering all his visa stuff together, R left for the UK at the end of January. Due to a technicality with our finances, I had to wait three months before I could apply for mine and K's visas. He went ahead without us. I moved to my parent's place for a time, and then back to my in-law's. Living with family was both wonderful and very hard and I'll talk about that more another time. Suffice to say, in May, K and I finally arrived in our new home. I was terrified. In fact, I was so nervous the night before I left Canada that I was literally sick to my stomach. It wasn't until the drive to the airport that I finally started to calm down. I realize now that maybe I should have been medicated. Oh well, I survived.

But here I am, 6 months into this crazy new life in a truly beautiful city, Glasgow, and I'm feeling very reflective. Our future after next year is still in limbo but we're starting to get information; there are plans in the works, if no final confirmation.

K turned two last month. I joke with other moms of toddlers that I meet at the play group I go to that I don't remember those first months. That is a lie. I remember them perfectly well. Some of the details may be hazy at points but I very clearly remember the dark slide into depression.

But here, it feels like the physical distance is also a temporal distance; as if the farther away I am in the world from the places where I went through so much, the farther away it seems in my mind. Maybe that's just the passage of time, I'm not sure. All I know is, this is no easier, and it's certainly not the glamourous life people seem to be envisioning. What is also true is that no matter the difficulties, I have my health, a healthy child and a happy and healthy husband. We have food on the table and a roof over our heads.

We are happy. We are lucky.