I have realized that part of the reason I haven’t been posting more often is that I’ve used this blog as sort of a “highlight reel” of what we’ve seen and done since moving to Lana’i. I haven’t necessarily wanted to be vulnerable to talk about what is difficult. I also don’t want to offend in case there are things that are difficult for us because of the cultural differences between where we were and where we are now. However, if I’m going to keep up with this project of having a blog, I’m going to have to be honest about how life is. This is not all a preamble to launch into a sob story, because life here is pretty darn good. But it will help me to articulate what’s tricky about living here, and about making such a big move in general, and it might help you to know what real life is like for us.
Okay, so, first difficult thing. Seems pretty shallow but it’s something that is constantly running through my mind and nagging at me: fitness. I am being humbled by how out of shape I got before the move and during this adjustment period. I guess I thought after getting in the best shape of my life by training for half-marathons and marathons and then adding weightlifting, I would always stay that way. However, sometimes other things in life take precedent over getting to the gym and getting out to run. Now that we’re here, I’m working on getting back into running shape, and may take some morning swims at the community pool. Childcare time is challenging and the daylight hours here are different, plus I’m not as comfortable in town yet going out running before the sun comes up, but I am in a better place with it than I was a few weeks ago, when I thought I’d never regain my fitness again.
Another pretty picture:
Another challenge: cultural differences. Mainly, for me, being kind of sensitive to whether or not people like me, the biggest issue is worrying that I’ve done something to offend people. Some days, everything seems great and it feels like relationships are moving forward, and then another day when people seem a little more distant, I take it a little too personally and worry that I’ve done something to upset someone. However, I have to apply everything I know and try to remember not to take things personally and to realize that if people are having a bad day, it’s highly unlikely I’m the one who has caused it.
A real-life, fully blooming yellow hibiscus:
Final thing that is tricky (for now) is the schedule. I have taken on another position to supplement pastoring here, which has very different hours and expectations from the 40+ hour work week I kept in Pennsylvania. Being in the parsonage, people know where to find me, and sometimes I feel more on-call and other times I feel kind of “off.” So I have some extra time to work in additional roles, and I was hired mid-October at the Lana’i Art Center as the Executive Director. It’s a big, scary title, but so far has been manageable. This is the first week, though, where I feel like I finally came out on top on Friday. I’m learning all the behind-the-scenes stuff like Accounts Payable and Receivable, and making bank deposits, and all kind of goodies like that. The former ED is video chatting with me at least twice a week and is SOOOOOO helpful (not just saying that because I know you follow the blog now, Andrea!), so it’s coming along.
Each day, I feel like I’m rushing to get all my work in before the kids get done with school. Last week, for parent-teacher conferences, they got off each day at 1:15. Usually they are done at 2, except for Wednesdays when it’s always 1:15. That has been a big adjustment, since usually they would be at daycare/school/after-school care until at least 4, if not more like 5:30 or 6! So I have less hours in the day to accomplish my professional work, and then try to balance anything lingering with also caring for them. Lots of parenting time! Pray for me!
I’ll really really try to update more, I promise.
For now, in the comments, if you don’t mind sharing: what words of wisdom do you have for times of transition? What do you remember from any times you had a big move in your life? What has been tricky and later fallen into place? Thanks for reading!