Friday, April 1, 2011

Repatriation: Pause No More

In my previous post, (also known as a momentary rant or blogger mental breakdown) - I asked the question “am I in China or am I in the US?” Rhetorical in nature, this question is a simple reflection of a less than simple process we repatriating expatriates face. Following me here?

Life is in a strange state of pause and motion at the moment. I had been working very hard to remain present while living here in Shanghai; and just when I decided to give in a little and focus on our repatriation to the US, things changed course. This combination of events put me in an unusual place.

To keep in step with my philosophy on life- I decided to regroup and focus on our lives here in Shanghai once again. Phil and I took a look at some things that were in need of change, and decided we weren’t going to put them on hold any longer.

The majority of the “things” we had been delaying were child related. When moving in 3 weeks, it made sense to leave the remaining sleep issues, eating issues, and baby sleep locations alone until returning to our new time zone. But now that we were going to be here for 7 more weeks, we realized we couldn’t function the way we were any longer.

It turns out that after all of the delay and dread, the great big monsters (in my mind) were the smallest of mini beasts. After only one day, Naaman joined his brother in sleeping through the night. I couldn’t believe how truly simple it was and how ready he was to make the transition. It made me realize a lot about parenting and the ways we get into our heads and hearts to our detriment at times.

Other than a host of parenting lessons I have learned in this process- I have also learned about the ways we hold ourselves back. You don’t have to be moving to another country to put things off. We all put things off for reasons we think are good and valid; we convince ourselves it is easier when more often than not, it creates a long term pause or problem. I have decided to adopt a famous line from a sleep training “guru” known as The Baby Whisperer and apply it to other areas of my life as well. When Tracey Hogg says “start as you mean to go on” there is wisdom beyond just what we do with our children. I may be late to the start portion of this, but from here on- I will certainly attempt to live life today as I would like to live it tomorrow, next month and a year from now.

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