I really thought I would miss work a little once I stepped away. I've been motivated and diligent for years, investing more of myself and my time in working and earning our wages than I should have. I always felt so responsible to the success of my little family; making sure my income, as paltry as it always was in the midst of the economic downturn and as hard as I had to work to earn it, was enough to get us through not only bills, but provide enough extra to make sure Rob could take part in as many "extras" as possible while going through school. Conferences, festivals, paying musicians out of our own pockets to play his pieces. It costs a lot to succeed in music composition. But, we powered through, hopeful that one day, not too many years from graduation, he would find a really great job that made him happy and was substantial enough for us to start a family. I hoped, with fingers and toes crossed, that it would be someplace with an interesting arts scene. I hoped that it would be a position that would allow me to spend at least a little time away from work while we raised kids, that we wouldn't be perpetually broke anymore and I could enjoy fulfilling my dream of becoming a mommy a couple times over. Never did I assume I would get to detach from working completely, knowing that Rob is enjoying the challenge (and parts of it are definitely that) of working at a School of Music as a professor, knowing that our finances are modest, but comfortable for the first time in our marriage, and we'd get to do it all while experiencing the madness of living outside of the USA. It's not all sunshine and bubbles, since I know I'll spend a lot of my "free time" hunting for reliable information about where to get safe vaccines and buy non-toxic Legos abroad, things that are taken oh-so-for-granted when you live someplace with regulated markets, but I know how damn lucky we are. Well, it's not entirely luck- we both worked our asses off to catch this really amazing break.
Thanks for sticking with me as I've been blogging about this wild life adventure of living in China. I know it may have turned off some readers who view it as gloating or novelty. But it's life as I know it right now. No better, no worse, no more exotic or fabulous than living in Houston or Boston or Los Angeles. It's just my new normal, whatever that means. Like I said, thanks for sticking around. It helps to have some of you online girlfriends to feel a little less like an outsider all the time.