Friday, August 26, 2011

A New Year!

The kids are back at school, no longer the new kids on the block. Wills in uniform, looking very handsome but not letting me take a pic.

So, as the kids are no longer newbies, neither am I. We have travelled and experienced so much this summer, some new lands (Shimla, Kerala) and some lands revisited (Paris and England), just touching down here in B'lore to check in, unpack and repack. By the time we touched down for the final time (10 airflights this summer!) I was feeling a little disconnected here. Simon, being in San Jose and catching up with all our wonderful friends there didn't help. I do, of course, have one of my BFFs living across the street here. This is the first and probably only time in my life I will be so blessed. If I call Shubha, I can sometimes hear the phone ringing in her house!! I just heard their "not so little pup" give a yap on their balcony.

On calling one "new" friend in B'lore, I found myself almost asking if she remembered me. Our last meeting, last school year, seeming so long ago. I have now reconnected with most of the old faces in B'lore and met some new arrivals, whom amazingly I can offer advise to, I am now a voice of experience here!! Such seems to be the ex-pat lifestyle - so many hellos and goodbyes both in the mother country and the adopted country. I think we'll get to the point where goodbyes don't mean so much, the world shrinking with Facebook and Skype, and will get shortened to a quick "c ya" text style.  Maybe that's how you can tell the life-long ex-pats from the first time long distance travelers in the departure points at the airport, by the flavor of their farewells.

A new year and new beginnings, 1st and 7th grade. After drilling the kids as to what I expect of them this uninterrupted school year, (no international moves this academic year), I thought it was time to think about my aims for this school year. It almost makes more sense to make new year resolutions for the school academic year, not the calendar year, as that's the big marker in our lives and as an added bonus,  you get 2 months "off" for the summer!

I have found a lot of articles concerning survival as a "trailing spouse" - hate that term. I really think that the title for the non-working spouse on an ex-apt assignment needs an upgrade!! We are the ones who unravel and re-build the lives of the family at both ends and keep the family together for the duration. Finding schools, housing, doctors, dentists etc.etc. in a foreign location involves more than trailing............... However, once you have got over the terminology these articles have some pretty sound advise as to the opportunities to re-invent yourself and develop hobbies and interests. As with many of life's experience the ex-pat life has been broken down by the pop phycologists into a numbers of stages - the honeymoon period, the depressed period as one is over the euphoria and excitement and trying to deal with the business of real life on foreign soil and then the settled in, head above water, what am I going to do phase, which is where I guess I am now.

So I sat down and made a list. Some things may surprise but they will stay under wraps until there is something to show, some are ideas still germinating which are not far enough developed to articulate, but these are some of my resolutions.

First item on my list is a (only one I'm not being greedy) press-up.
 I have never managed to do a press-up - the rest of my family can all perform and find my attempts both pathetic and amusing. I am taking this seriously. I have regular sessions with Anand, the torturer, who assures me that this mission will easily be accomplished by 2012. This is definitely a luxury I wouldn't have in the US, paying someone to focus on my underdeveloped triceps!!

I am also treasurer in training for the OWC (Overseas Women's Club). Not just lunching ladies but an organization of over 600 which supports 25 charities. Holding a charitable status in this very bureaucratic country is no piece of cake! Each and every transaction from the lowliest raffle ticket upwards has to be recorded and the audit trail transparent. The current Treasurer leaves in March so I have some time to learn the ropes.

Also on the list are a few photography courses - the grey dull european weather tested my skills, so I want pointers on indoor and night photography. Simon thinks the main lesson I need is on the use of the delete key. Yawning, while being shown my Paris/England pics he asked when I was going to go through and edit - to which I replied I'd already got rid of over half!

And of course planning our US trip. Simon seemed to take delight whilst in the US to send back pics of all our favorite things -yes our friends of course -but also the ribs dripping BBQ sauce, corona and Starbucks to name but a few. Our appetites are whet - we will be drooling when we touch down in SFO in December.

I also want to explore more of the villages and markets which abound. We have decided that our summer vacations really suited and with the kids its really important not to over-temple,  or over-ancient monument but to balance the historic sites with the cultural, samples of authentic Indian life, and diverse scenery. There is sooooooo much to see here, but at weekends the kids really don't want to spend much time in the car as they have survived a week of bumping around in Bus 3B. So I guess its as usual trying to find a balance!!

Those are a few of my 2011/12 ambitions/resolutions. There are more........

1 comment:

  1. Try taking the night train to places. Works better with kids. There are overnight ones to places like Hampi, Shimoga and places in Kerela. You get on at night, sleep all the day and in the morning you are in a new place. I love it :)