Finally, I have a chance to sit and write a post for Czech Off the Beaten Path. The past couple of months have been extremely busy and there wasn't really time to write posts. On top of lack of time, I wasn't even sure what to write about. Life came and took me for a ride on the river, but now I'm back and ready to get back to writing again.
August 2010August was a very busy month. I traveled back to the US to spend time with my family. We met at my folks' home, in New Mexico, and spent wonderful and fun time together. After that, it was time for the kids to head back to their own lives, which meant taking one kid back to their own home, and moving our other kid back to university. That was a busy few days! After that, it was time for Mom to get ready for her upcoming back surgery. We took trips to see different doctors for pre-surgery checks, but we also managed to have fun shopping together and visiting about Mom-Daughter things. It was a busy, but fun time.
Then, the end of August, Mom had her very extensive back surgery. Mom had been in an agony of pain for two years, and everything the doctors and pain clinic tried did not help at all. Mom was literally to the point where she would be in tears after a grocery shopping trip. That is no way to live your life, and thankfully, Mom was guided to a wonderful surgeon who was able to diagnose the trouble. The surgeon had to basically reconstruct Mom's back. Mom's incision runs most of the way down her back, from her shoulders down. The good news is that the surgery was successful, and Mom's making a wonderful recovery. Her recovery time will actually be measured in months, but so far, she's ahead of schedule!
While Mom and Dad were gone for Mom's surgery, I was looking after the house and our dogs, Pal and Jade. That was an interesting week! It was my first time to be alone in the mountains since moving to the Czech Republic. It has been about four years since moving to civilized Prague, and I was worried I had lost my touch for managing life in the rural mountains of New Mexico. However, I realized that I could still build a good fire in the wood burning stove, and managed driving up and down the mountain roads in my Jeep Cherokee with no problem. It was nice to realize I still had the touch. The dogs and I kept the home fires burning till Mom and Dad got home about 5 days after Mom's surgery.
September 2010September was Nurse Ratchet month! For the second time this year, I played the role of Nurse Ratchet, only this time, it was for Mom. I was first Nurse Ratchet, back in April, for my Grandma after she suffered congestive heart failure. It was interesting being Nurse Ratchet for Mom. Mom was an excellent patient and so the Nurse Ratchet didn't really have to use too much "persuasion" (force) to get her to do the things she needed to do. Mom's a real fighter, and wants so much to feel better, that she is actually ahead of the doctor's recovery schedule. My time was mostly used helping Dad take care of Mom, the house and the dogs, and cooking. Not bad at all, but it was a busy time, and there wasn't much time for writing. My role as Nurse Ratchet lasted for 4 weeks, and then it was time for me to return to Prague and my life here.
Traveling back and forth between my family and my life in the Czech Republic has not always been easy. Making the switch back and forth, between two cultures, was a very challenging part of expat life for me on previous trips back to the US. But this trip was very different.
This time, the psychological "switch" in my brain was able to move more fluidly and smoothly than on past trips. What a realization! I was still overwhelmed by hearing so much English, at first, and was still overwhelmed by all the merchandise in the stores. Even so, I was able to make the switch between cultures faster and easier this time. I have to say that coming back to the Czech Republic was also easier than in the past after spending a few weeks back in the US.
My guess is that I've finally adapted to my life as an expat who is caught between two worlds (the Old and the New Worlds) and the cultures I have to live in and deal with in those both of those worlds. This has been an important realization for me, who began this expat life as the Reluctant Expat!
DecisionsDuring my time home, I had some downtime for thinking about many things. I was thinking about future projects and writing, and had some time to reassess different points in my life. Out of this contemplative time, I decided to begin my own website. That was a huge decision for me! Why my own website? It looks more professional, and I would have a home on the Internet for all my online activities. This website is a work-in-progress, but I hope to have it up and running this month (October 2010). I'm very excited about finally having my own website--my own home on the Internet!
The past two months have been very busy, plus I've ended up sick from the side-effects of prednisone (Cushing's Syndrome) and have caught a bad cold. Even so, the past couple of months proved to be not only busy, but turned out to be productive months, too. Going home to be with family and to help during a difficult time were wonderful. I have some expat friends who are not able to go back to help their loved ones in difficult times. I feel very fortunate that I was able to go home and help my parents.
Plus, I had some contemplative time to look at my life and make decisions about moving forward with my online life, and even my real life. I have some new goals to work on, as well as challenges. That's what Life's all about--spending time with loved ones, taking care of ourselves, and taking on new challenges and opportunities. I'm very thankful for these past couple of months, and all that those months contained. Now, I'm home and can move forward with the decisions made during those busy summer months! I'm very excited, and will keep you up-to-date with how things go from here!
Have a great weekend!
PS I am slowly getting caught up with emails, and also have to work on the comments to previous posts on this blog! Please be patient--I'll have that updated in the next few days! :0)
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