I’ve started this post about five different times over the past four weeks, and every time, the focus of my thoughts shifts. Writing about transitions is tricky because everything is in constant flux, and how we feel from one day to the next changes dramatically as we either master a new routine or massively fail … More Rhythm and Blues
In just under two weeks, our family will wake up in our new apartment in a whole new world. I am in that stage of prep where my brain feels completely overloaded with “notes to self” of items I want to purchase, purge, or pack. Like an elite athlete (which I am not, but I … More Gather Ye Berries While Ye May
Yesterday, we had about six months left until our big move to Malaysia. Today, it seems that we have fewer than eight weeks. I’m not sure what exactly happened in the past twenty-four hours, but this funky time compression thing has left me a bit discombobulated. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we measure … More Counting Down and Adding Up
We received our housing assignment in Kuala Lumpur this past Sunday. I was putting my phone away for the night when I saw the email that I’d secretly started to hope would come soon pop up on my screen. I didn’t actually think we would hear about our future home until May or even June, … More A House (or Apartment) IS a Home
I’ve been getting this question more and more as our departure to Malaysia inches ever closer, “Are you excited?” or “Are the kids excited?” It’s a hard question to answer, because it offers only a binary choice for a response, an either/or, a yes or a no. If people ask me this on the fly, … More Are We Excited?
The changing of the clock from 11:59 pm on December 31, 2017 to 12:00 am on January 1, 2018 marked a titanic shift from “We’re moving to Malaysia next year” to “We’re moving to Malaysia this year.” It’s remarkable how one short minute can move the needle on something that seemed so distant and bring … More Will ALL the Stuffed Animals Move to Malaysia?
The State Department has been in the news a lot lately, and it hasn’t been good, with mounting concerns over proposed cuts to the work force and growing worry over the departure of many seasoned and senior diplomats. On my way to pick up Dan from the airport a few weeks ago, I listened to … More Why We Serve
Over the past month, we’ve been settling into the news of our assignment next summer to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After many fraught weeks of bidding and countless “what if” conversations, we have an idea of what the next three years might hold for us. Or so we think. If life in the Foreign Service has … More Being Here, Dreaming There
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for news headlines, with global and domestic catastrophes jockeying for space with stories displaying the dangerous intersection of human power with human vulnerability. Last Monday, I sat the kids down before school and told them what had happened in Las Vegas. This week, we’ve been talking about the … More The News and How We Talk About It
Dan brought home the bid list last week with its columns of cities and job types and language requirements and hardship differentials. It has been a fixture on our dining room table, and I have been combing through the list over and again, wondering what life might be like in Ulan Bataar or Yerevan or … More Why We Move