Here are 3 reasons I might consider relocating to China:
1.Sophie had an unexpected seizure this morning, right before I fed her breakfast, and instead of waiting for her to fully recover, I acted impatient and shot a syringe of her medicine into her mouth which I believe went down the wrong hatch which precipitated a bout of coughing and gagging which necessitated me putting together the suction machine and suctioning her mouth for what seemed like a half an hour which necessitated a 911 text to my friend Sandra about my inability to do this. I believe I texted I can't do it and she replied What's happening? and I said life and she said, then you can. And it's all fucking impossible. And you can. I then listed a litany of complaints and wondered if I should go on or try some gratitude? Sandra texted back:
In a nutshell -- or should I say the nutshell, Sandra's advice is to take time and whatever horrors it's throwing at you in ten minute increments. Can I do it for ten more minutes? Another 10? Another 10? Until I get through another full hour...then day. Suffice it to say that the 10-minute increment rule worked for me today, and I managed to get Sophie to her day program, but I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm done, toast, burnt. Sandra sent me this, too:
Reader, I do love a good sign.
I'm struggling financially despite a near full-time job and will soon have two sons in college. Will I ever get ahead? There's my actual head, I suppose, which is stuffed full of all kinds of lovely things, but if it weren't for my neck, it would have long since spun off into the cosmos. Is there such a thing as ahead? I love my job teaching English, but there's no work over the summer. I've put together a few writing workshops and am still baking cakes, but neither is a living. Sure, I'm grateful for the help given to me by my parents and by the State of California, but I feel shackled and can't help but fantasize about a simpler life -- something I imagine is as illusory as getting ahead.
Are you still here, dear Reader?
We have a rat infestation in our attic. Yes. We have a rat infestation in our attic. One more time. We have a rat infestation in our attic.
Did I ever tell you the story of the job I accepted to teach English in Taiwan upon graduating from college? I was obsessed with all things Chinese -- had studied the language for two years, read avidly the poetry and religion and history and was just gobsmacked by the possibilities. I was 21 years old with all of life in front of me. Alas, I was persuaded to give that up for -- let's say -- love, and while I don't regret the choice I made because it brought me the rest of my life, I have a chance here to -- well -- flee that rest of my life. Reader, do you wonder? Is she serious? Has she lost her mind? Was it a rat that drove her to it?
Stay tuned. Just ten more minutes.
Thank God for Sandra. If dreaming of teaching English in China gets you through the next ten minutes, dream on. It's a fuck ton lot.ReplyDelete
Fucking rats. We had an infestation in our yard and at work, mice have literally fallen out of my ceiling onto my desk.ReplyDelete
It is too often too fucking much. All of it.
If you need a dream to see you through, this is as good as any...Hugs.ReplyDelete
I would do anything for cake esp your cake. I’m a great big cake whore. It’s a great idea but you should charge twice as much. You’re worth it.ReplyDelete
I am in agreement, if Dreaming of teaching English in China sees you thru all the fucking impossible stuff, Dream On! I had a Friend share that Sign on FB, I Love it!ReplyDelete
You have a home you own. You will never have to worry about not having enough to eat. You have a great man. You have 2 great sons and a daughter who suffers so horribly and it is awful and unfair and horrendous. And caretaking is so tremendously difficult. But you have so much. So few get ahead in this economy. Most people ate hand to mouth. It is awful. It is awful we have to live like this. I would give a lot to own a hone, to have a great man, to have a job, to have sons in college. But comparing doesn't help of course.ReplyDelete
Anonymous, you are right. I have everything and am grateful for all of it. I’m sorry you’re struggling and wish you ease. I wish all beings ease and agree there is no sense in comparing one’s life to another’s. It’s important to have perspective, though, and I appreciate the reminder.Delete
I have wrestled mightily with the idea of "perspective" as you so kindly put it, Elizabeth. It is important to have it. This past year my family has continued to deal with two severely disabled adults, workers in and out, coming and quitting, my husband's cancer and his subsequent so-called recovery which is slow and arduous, my own dancing around burn-out from my job and care-giving. I have felt the sort of pain you feel, the desire to run, the feeling of being trapped and the ever ending necessity of having to keep on keeping on. And you know what? That is OKAY. We all have the right to our pain, to feel it, sometimes wallow in it, wrestle with it and become struck down by it. And then we can, 10 minutes at a time, get up and go on with as much or as little thankfulness or gratitude as we can muster because, as you know, we always do that, don't we? Carry on? So to Anonymous, it's true that there is always room for gratitude but as you look at others' lives, there is room on your part to allow them their due pain and their due struggles with it. You are indeed cowardly as well to comment here as you did without your name. It is not appreciated. I might very well be able to call you out on your lack of gratitude for things as well. Would you find that to be a helpful way to be supported in your struggles? I doubt it. Those of us who live this life don't need anyone to project their own sufferings and anger upon us and insist we be grateful. Physician, heal thyself.Delete
To be honest, I would be aftaid to not be anonymous given the vehemence that has in the past been heaped on commenters who appear to not be supportive. I love the writing on this blog. It keeps me coming back Caretaking a child with intractable seizures is extraoordinarily difficult. I would never diminish that. I am sorry if it came across like that. I am admittedly envious of folks who own their own home. I can relate to not having regular work and the constant financial stress.I am constantly at risk of losing my rental as the owner is elderly and infirm and will sell soon. The place is her baby but she can't manage it anymore. I think people with secure housing don't understand this constant stress Do i think you need to be more grateful? Not for me to judge.Delete
Thanks again, Anonymous, for your comments! I’m sorry you feel afraid to be yourself — I get it! We’re a strong, opinionated and loyal bunch of women and men, unafraid to voice our truths. I know there have been some acrimonious exchanges here on the blog over the more than ten years I’ve been writing, but I have found it all pretty great — even when folks are hateful, there’s something to learn about the world and oneself. We never know one another’s circumstances or hardships — ever. I try not to use comparison — or even the phrase “at least you have this” — and hope others do the same.Delete
Love the sign. Love the Sandra. Sorry - so damn sorry - to hear that life was such a bitch today. I've used the 10 minute rule when things get real shitty. It helps. Until it doesn't. I hear you about living on the edge financially. Been doing my whole adult life until my recent marriage. It is a weight off my back, I tell you. You understand, as so many do, the stress that financial uncertainty brings. It colors you're whole life. I'm beginning to ramble because I don't know what to say except keep on keeping on and use all your resources. And eat cake! I'll bet those writing workshops feed your soul even though they aren't 'making a living' wage wise. Hugs to you, Elizabeth.ReplyDelete
I hope your ex-husband is helping to support both you and your sons.ReplyDelete
I read that rats are increasing in number because of global warming. Yay.
And Sophie, I have no words.
Please take care of yourself too. Sending love and hugs.
I am sending 10 fucking delightful minutes your way. As if. But maybe the thought inspires a decent 30 seconds.ReplyDelete
Damn, I love your posts--don't love that you have to live it, but love how you write about it so beautifully--as if a near choking incident, no money, and rats (fucking rats on top of it all) can be anything but beautiful. I take with me Sandra's sage advice and a wish that I lived closer as I would sign up for your workshop in a heartbeat--especially for the cake.ReplyDelete
Husband got laid off last October. Since then we have been caring for his mom, whose dementia got worse (which meant that husband couldn't look for a new job as he was the main caregiver for mom.) MIL died this past April. I just started CBD for my chronic health issues. It's helping, but damn, it's expensive (not to mention state mandated $200 "check-ins" and "registration fees," etc.) So we have joined the ranks of the gig economy, yay! And other things happen too, if not every day then at least every week, that make for hand-wringing. And I love my life, my family, my dog, my cat, the sunrise. STILL, there are those 10 minute-at-a-time days for me, for us, too. (And we may have rats in our attic.) Love to you, to Sophie, and thank you as always for your words, which make me feel less alone (and for the sign your friend sent you, which made me chuckle)ReplyDelete
1. You freakin ROCK. Sandra sounds amazing.ReplyDelete
2. If I lived in L.A., I would take your workshop. I love baking, except in the summer. You can bake, I can eat cake.
3. I have cats. They solve ALL problems relating to infestation, but not relating pet hair.
my nephew spent time teaching English in China. He loved it.
I wish loving, thoughtful words could make it better. Holding you and Sophie in my heart. Hoping the 10 minute advice works and that at the very least, the rat issue is quickly resolved. 💜💜💜ReplyDelete
Having survived the nuts hell and knowing it could come again, I am sending love and a "Si se puede."ReplyDelete
This song carried me through many 10-minute increments and just came to mind again:
"Ah the rain man gave me two cures and he said jump right inDelete
The one was Texas medicine, the other was just railroad gin
And like a fool I mixed them and it strangled up my mind"
Your despair and frustration and loss comes right at me from your words and I wish I could take at least some away from you. I would eat your cakes daily and bring all my 5 friends to your workshops if I could. Instead, please know that you are one hell of an inspiration in a million ways.ReplyDelete
But I also read about love in your post(s), that fierce love of family and life and I salute you for bringing this home to me again and again.
Never mind the rats, at least someone can deal with them. (But China? No. Living in a gated community of "expats" with censored internet access is not your way to happiness.)
Your friend Sandra sounds super-wise! We should all be so lucky to have someone like that to call on when needed.ReplyDelete
Ugh. Rats! And Ms. Moon has one in her chicken feed! And we have mice in our bird feeder! What is going on out there?!
I am Sophie from Canada, I once suffered from a terrible and Chronic epilepsy ,since i was bone , the doctor told me there was no permanent cure i was given medications to slow down its progress, i constantly felt my health was deteriorating as i constantly go out of breath,and this illness was really terrible especially when am going out with my friends, i have this constant disorder for about 31 years, this was really a terrible illness ,on thin one day that i was going through the internet,and i came across a post of Mrs Kate on how his son was been cured from epilepsy through the help of Dr Williams herbal product, I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and explain everything to him and make purchase of his product,few days later he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine i used it for 4 weeks as prescribed and i was totally cured of epilepsy within those week of usage,on thin now i have not experience any sign of seizure.if you need his help you can Contact this herbal doctor via his email email@example.com for helpReplyDelete