The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

The Occasional Misgivings of A Former Career Glamazon

camelion-709905_640Last night, wondering about a recipe that just wouldn’t come out right, I texted a friend for clarification. Inevitably, as she was also a former officemate, we got to talking about my new life as a homemaker.

When I tendered my resignation everybody was flabbergasted. All of them, upon knowing I was moving to Indonesia and becoming a housewife, couldn’t stop from asking an incredulous “But what are you gonna do there?!!”. My boss especially (I miss that smart guy!), would ask a team-mate long after I left if I was really, absolutely sure of my decision. Apparently, they just hadn’t pegged me for someone who would drop a lucrative career path to become a housewife.

So anyways last night my friend asked me what sort of things I was into nowadays and I enthusiastically replied “crochet!” with a big smiley face. And to quench any further inquiry from her – a reflex reaction – I immediately texted: “How about you guys? What’re you up to?”

Within a few seconds my phone was frantic with beautiful pictures of them having a team building activity at some plush beach resort. They were doing paddleboard yoga, and they looked fantastic! I wished I were there with them. And then I didn’t.

But that evening I slept with an unsettled feeling.

This morning I realized why, I was feeling defensive about people in my past life thinking I must be bored outta my wits. Choosing the domestic life over the excitement of cross-functional projects, tight timelines and business travels? And then moving to unfamiliar shores? I must be cray, right?

Okay, truth be told, it’s this move to Indonesia that’s really testing my mettle. But thankfully I can also say that to a great degree I have already mastered my mind where boredom is concerned.

You can be bored living in the most exciting place on earth. Conversely, you can also be un-bored in the most uneventful, even confined place you can imagine. It is all in your mind.

Granted, if there’s one thing I truly miss and crave, it’s social interaction. I miss my friends. And more than that I miss the ability to make coffee dates, even being able to wander off on my own is for now but a fond memory. I miss that feeling of independence where entertaining myself socially is concerned.

But as I see it, I can either continue to feel sporadically defensive (and a host of other, unappealing and certainly un-constructive emotions) about my new life , or I can take the time to understand it, adapt to it, become enriched because of it, and definitely look good while at it 😉

The choice gets clearer to me every day.

Home & Heart

What Grumpy Taught Me Over the Holidays

happy sad eggsThings are finally settling into a comfortable trot now that all the tinsel has been put away. So I feel like sharing another ‘revelation’ about me. Here goes.

Sometime midway through the 2 weeks I took off from work to enjoy the holidays I asked myself a tough question: why was I so grumpy? Because grumpy I was, despite the merriment around me, and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.

I started listing possible causes: I was sleeping much later, waking up much later, missing my window to exercise as a result and feeling like the day was already halfway over. My husband was home for the holidays and he’s messy where I’m super tidy. I was eating way too much sweets, carbs and trans fat. Wait, are my thighs jiggling? Hang on, is that the outline of a less-than-toned belly I glimpse in the mirror? O.M.G! We’re out shopping, which normally I should be enjoying, but instead I mentally castigate myself for skipping yet another day to exercise. So no, absolutely no new clothes for me. Not until I whip myself back into shape. And, damn this warm bag of barbecue flavored fries I’m sharing with my daughter – I can just feel my arteries losing their will to live. Pout. Frown. Look and behave unhappy. Everything’s down the drain.

All hail Queen of Grumpsville!

It actually got so bad, I had tears in my eyes one night while preparing to sleep.

Where the hey is it coming from?

And then a flash of insight: I was still expecting everything to run according to certain ‘rules’ and schedules I set for normal days. Rules and schedules which evidently didn’t work with the general festive and relaxed atmosphere around me. To top that off, I was making myself even more miserable by keeping score and mentally berating myself for every point missed. Poor me! How miserable indeed!

Thankfully, once I realized what was causing me so much stress, I relaxed. Okay. It’s good to have things in perfect order but there will always be times when flexibility is required. I should have made allowances for the holidays, I should have just relaxed for the occasion and welcomed spontaneity. My husband was home, ready to spoil me and our daughter. We were all in perfect health. I was looking forward to a year of leisure. Great shows were on TV the whole time. Even the neighbors were extra kind! So many blessings around me that I could have savored more deeply ….

But at least now I know my 2015 holidays will be much, much better 🙂 I’m a bit wiser now (thank God!). Nuh-uh, Grumpy won’t be invited to party the next time around!  Next time, I’ll let my hair – and rules – down.

Are there any other ‘control freaks’ out there like me?  How did the disruptions of the holidays affect you?  Did grumpy teach you a lesson too?