Thursday, March 3, 2011

so long, survival mode

Maybe it's a conversation starter.  Maybe it's because they genuinely want to know.  Maybe it's because we have an eight year old, a six year old, and a 4 month old.  But the first thing they ask is why we are in Kauai.  
Our answer is always a version of the same thing.  We sold our house, didn't know where to go next, thought Hawaii sounded like fun...
To some it makes perfect sense.  To some it doesn't make sense at all.

To be honest, some days it makes perfect sense to me.  And some days it doesn't make sense at all.

The days it makes sense go like this:
The view of the sunrise from the back porch, or lanai as they call it here, is breathtaking.  
Karl gets done with work (he starts and finishes earlier here since we are in a different time zone than most of his clients), we load up the car with boogie boards, swimsuits and towels, and a few snacks, and we pick the kids up from school at two.  They hop in and do their homework while we drive to the beach.  There we have a few hours of beach time.  The kids play in the sand, splash, boogie board, dig, run, all the things that kids love to do.  Baby and I sit on the blanket, sit on the chair, eat, nap, all the things that mommies and babies like to do.  Karl switches between activities.  When the sun goes down, we pack up, grab some dinner and head home.  Those are the days that I know that it makes so much sense that we moved here.

The days that it doesn't make sense go like this:

I wake up on the futon (not the couch kind, the real kind on the floor, because that is what we have chosen to sleep on until we figure out a more permanent living situation.  Moving mattresses is the biggest pain ever) and I get to choose from one of the few outfits that I am already sick of.  I spend the morning vacuuming ants and every crumb that could possible attract ants (one mass e-mail to everyone I know on the island about what I should do about unwanted creatures, one trip from Expert Exterminators and $175 later those are taken care of).  On top of that, I jump at anything that moves, there are a lot more creatures here in Kauai and I am afraid of most of them.  Then Maximus does something adorable and I start to feel sad that my family at home is missing it (sometimes taking a video and sending it helps).  Then I start missing my family.  Then I start wishing I could go to lunch with my friends that I miss.  Then the counselor from the school calls to let me know that Samuel got sent to the office again and while they ask me if I have gotten a local phone number yet.  I kind of didn't want to and they scold me and I feel like I am Samuel, in trouble by the school.  Then I start feeling like our minimalist ways are more like camping and I start resenting it and I start missing my stuff that we left behind.  Then I feel bad for resenting and missing.  And you know how when you get back from a family vacation, you are somehow exhausted?  

And, well, you get the picture.  Cry me a river (in paradise), I know.

The good thing is that things are starting to settle down.  I am getting more organized and silly necessities like registering our car, getting local drivers licenses, getting dishes, kitchen knives, and things like that have been taken care of.  

And that is why I say, "So long, survival mode!"

Maybe that's wishful thinking.  Maybe our chaotic, spontaneous ways will always keep me in survival mode.  But tonight, I am going to pretend like I planned all this out.  

We have had more family time than ever, the people here are seriously so so so nice, sunshine is so good for me, and Eva is adorable in her hula class.  Those are not words of someone in survival mode, now, are they?   And look, this is a real blog post, not from my phone.  Though easier and faster, a real post looks so much better and SOOO not survival mode...


Abbigail said...

The extra family time and beach sounds wonderful, the bugs and futon does not.
I know how you feel about family missing things that your little one is learning how to do. I hate to tell you but that never gets better. At least not for me.
It sounds like you are slowly settling in. Give it some time, and you can always come back to the states if it doesn't feel quite right. Bloomington, Indiana would love to welcome you all as new residents. It is warmer here than in Utah. :)

Adri said...

Well... even being here and settled in a home for 8 years... most days I feel like I am in survival mode. Moms are always trying to survive it doesn't matter where you live or what things you have. So you might as well in be in survival mode and going to the beach, playing in the sand and soaking in the sun. Here you could be freezing, no sun and snow.
I have no advice on the missing family part... I can't imagine how hard that is at times. Hang in there.

pamela said...

you're just experiencing lifes great opposites. having lots of family around can be great, yet suffocating. not having them can be terribly lonely, but gives your own little family time to grow closer. it looks to me like you are making fantastic memories for your kids.

**and i have a very similar personality - a need to create change...

Melissa and Lance Atkins said...

I can totally identify with you. And you have done much better than me with the registering and stuff. It took me 3 months to get a drivers license here and probably at least 6 months to get our cars registered and safety checked. I got a fine for being so late.
So do the exterminators really work? Do they get rid of the ants? I am always telling my husband I want to call those guys, but he says we have ants because of the crumbs. Even when I totally get rid of every crumb we still get ants. Lance says the exterminators don't get rid of ants; just other stuff! So tell me if they have gotten rid of the ants.
Oh, and I talked to my mom about your father in law. She grew up right next to him! (She is a little younger, but her brothers Leonard and Tim were more his age. Their last name is Anderson. And your father in law probably did work with my grandfather too. His name was Roice Anderson.) And I guess one of the sisters married Michael Ballam. My mom used to play piano and stuff for Michael way back when. And your husband's grandmother was in the ward my grandmother was in. My grandmother just recently passed away, but was in the ward forever. Anyways, I will talk to you later. I love playing the "do you know so and so game", so I will probably tell you all this again the next time I see you.

Emily said...

How did I miss this post? You are awesome. In every way. I love your spontaneity. And your writing. I hope it always keeps on coming!

kto1s said...

I have thought of you often (especially when it snows here!) You have always created a beautiful life wherever you are & I appreciate reading it all--from the blissfully perfect moments, to the less-than-ideal ones. I love your writing because it is so refreshingly YOU! Wishing you nothing but the best--Katie


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