So I’m trying to figure out how you add tabs to the top of a wordpress blog. Anybody know? I go to Dashboard and I’m totally lost.


I updated my blog roll; if you’re a regular reader/lurker and want to be added, let me know!


About a month ago, my husband had a ten-day work trip in another city about 3.5 hours away by bus (although of course he went with his co-workers in the NGO vehicle). I took the kids to join him for a few days over the weekend, which he had off, so that we wouldn’t be apart for so long.

This is a beautiful country, and as we made our way through farm-land like this, I thought “I could love this place – but I hate Gimli’s job.”

It was a low point for me in the trajectory of adjusting to a new culture, new country, new social landscape; I’ve been struggling to come to terms with the shift in my sense of self, in our roles in the home, in our relationship, since we came here. I hate that he’s gone so much – barely home in time to see Oz before bedtime in the evenings, frequent work trips (although we have a summer respite – the next one’s not til November! Yay!) – and, let’s admit it I’m jealous.

Saturday morning at the hotel, once the kids were up and dressed and had eaten breakfast, we went back up to our suite overlooking the Adriatic (I know! I am so spoiled, I don’t know what I’m complaining about!) and Gimli looked down where we could see the veranda, sort of an outdoor cafe/restaurant where we took all our meals. His coworkers were all there, just beginning to straggle in for their morning coffee, talking over the previous week’s work and making plans for the weekend. He looked exactly like a dog does when it wants to go outside, the ears half-cocked, the tail down, the sort of restlessness and gaze of fixed longing, so when he asked if I was ok staying with the kids while he went down to check in with the crew, I said of course. And I saw how eagerly and quickly he grabbed his shoes and room key and then I saw him outside as he walked out to the veranda and sat down, and I saw how relaxed and happy he was with his macchiato, leaning back in his chair with an amused smile on his face some minutes later, and I just felt enraged.

Yes, I love my husband, and yes I’m glad he’s in a job that he likes fairly well (and is much, much less stressful than his job at the university back home) and I’m glad he can enjoy conviviality with his coworkers.

But I have none of that in my life right now.

Yes, I love my children, and I’m glad beyond measure to have them, to be able to play with them and teach them and enjoy them.

But it would be nice sometime to be able to talk “shop” with a real, live person once in a while – or, even better, to sit in a small group with a lively discussion going on, to feel like part of an intellectual or professional community, where I wasn’t responsible for the nutrition, health, safety, general welfare, and head-to-toe hygiene of every other person in the room.


I’m in a much better place right now than I was during that trip (really only a month ago? It feels much longer), and I don’t actively hate Gimli’s job at the moment. I’ve been doing better at working through some of my dissertation material in the past couple of weeks and that helps a lot. I think I still have a lot to process though about our new reality and how it has changed our family dynamic and how I feel about it all. So this is just another little piece of that mosaic.


3 Responses to “Coffee”

  1. slowmamma Says:

    I have yet to explore the technical side of blogging so I’m not much help there. I can very much relate to your feelings though. I think that for me, the most important thing has been to build relationships around my new “job” that are meaningful and give me an outlet. I don’t think any of us realize how big a part of any job the relationships are (until they go sour, that is). I know how hard that is considering your circumstances but don’t give it up. Perhaps you can find someone to talk to about your dissertation? That would be wonderful!

  2. coffeegrl Says:

    Oh my. When we live in Japan with my husband’s family (which thankfully we only do part of the year) I feel much the same way. I feel lonely and isolated and unfulfilled in many aspects of my life. And I just haven’t figured out how to shift things and juggle things and make the changes that need to happen to find more balance for myself. And so many moments I feel anger and frustration that my husband gets to do work he enjoys, spend lots of time with his family, in his culture….I love him and many aspects of our life but some of it just isn’t working for me and I can’t quite figure out what pieces to tinker with. Thanks for sharing a slice of your life. It always comforts me to think that I’m not the only one who doesn’t quite know how to make all the pieces fit!

  3. Rachel Says:


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