Yearly Assessment


A reflection of what I was doing a year ago. And a little bit about where I am today.

This time last year I had just decided to leave for Israel without Mark. He'd come later, once the house sold, which I naively assumed wouldn't take quite as long as it did. However, three months still wasn't as long as it could have been. I had 2 or 3 weeks to get ready to go. I decided that I'd pack up all our books, the kitchen, the basement, and all of my belongings before I went. Thereby facilitating the move for Mark (or so I thought, apparently there was still quite a bit of stuff left ...).

I had a migraine every day for the last two weeks before I left. I, again naively, assumed it was anxiety and that it would go away when I got to Israel. I gave up on that after the first month of being here, though they have subsided and are almost back to "normal". I would do darn near anything to get rid of migraines. I hear about people who get migraines a few times a year and I am green with envy. However, I was recently reading a women's health book that of those who suffer migraines, the average is 2-3 a month. At least I'm above average ;-)

Anyway, so there I was a year ago, planning on coming to Israel for 2 1/2 years. Selling my house, paying off debts, packing my bags, filling up months of prescriptions, signing power-of-attorney over to my husband (only a day before I left for Haifa, whew - close call!), visiting family and friends. It was a whirlwind of activity - my evenings largely filled with grouting a kitchen floor I'd never actually see finished. We worked so hard on that tile floor - and it is truly beautiful. I hope the new couple are enjoying it.

Then I got to Israel. I actually sit right next to the young woman who picked me up at the airport. She's from Chile. She leaves in 2 months. The World Centre is like that - you just get used to how it looks and it changes again. 20 new people every month, and just about as many who leave as well.

I was overwhelmed at first. Awe-inspired by the beauty, as well as the devotion of the individuals who had given up similar things in order to come here to serve at the Baha'i World Centre. I was excited as well as anxious about my work and how I'd 'fit in' here. Later I found out there really wasn't such a thing as 'fitting in'. What's there to 'fit in' to when there's such a rapid turnover rate? At least a third of the staff here are only here for a year - so a third of the staff that was here when I arrived are gone. Wow. By the time we leave it will have nearly completely 'turned over'. Amazing to think about. It's also amazing how smoothly everything continues to run here.

I got kind of used to not having Mark around. Admittedly, this is a dangerous thing. I think I've learned my lesson. On the one hand, how could I simply 'wait' for him to arrive when I didn't know when he would, but I also couldn't just live my life without him. People heard a lot about him, some suspected he didn't actually exist, and others didn't even catch on that I was married until months after Mark had gotten here. One person saw us at a party a month or so after Mark's arrival and said, "I see you two together a lot lately." Sorry buddy, your matchmaking skills are a bit after the fact.

When he did arrive we struggled for a while to figure out how to fit in. When I was here alone it hadn't been much of a problem, I pretty much hung out with other "singles". Then when Mark arrived, everyone disappeared. I later learned they were "giving us space". We were bored! I thought I'd upset my friends. That took us a while to sort out. But we did. And then we moved and started initiating things - inviting people over and stuff, and it felt much better - more natural. Now we sort of go through ebbs and flows. Sometimes we have so much activity we can barely cope, other times retreating into ourselves for weeks on end before we start longing for other people's company again. [at least that's my feeling, but I am admittedly the introvert in our marriage].

I do miss home. Right now, I miss the rain - the lush greenness of home. I miss having a car, or easy access to shopping facilities --- or shopping facilities that have things I actually want. Man, Target was convenient! Even though most Baha'is live within walking distance here, I miss the friends I used to just drop in on, or decide to do things with at the drop of a hat. People plan everything here. Sometimes that feels so formal to me. Of course, there's so much activity here, how do you have spontaneous moments?

I miss home, but I also wonder how I'll go back. The work I'm doing is definitely putting me in a position to get further into work involving the French-speaking world, be it Canada, Europe, Africa, or the Caribbean. Do I want to live in any of those places? Is there work I could do from the States? Where would I want to raise children? Have children? Where would be most likely to be able to help me with my migraines? What would Mark do in any of the abovementioned places?

Well, those are some things I've experienced and thoughts I've had over the past year.


I think in terms of writing in my blog too. I can't remember what I specifically wanted to write escept for the titles. here are a few

The progression of my smoking habit

The girl with witch hair

how lactase supplements changed my life!

You are not the only one who thinks about your blog a lot:)

I had the same experience while cooking. I couldn't wait to tell you all about it in my blog, but then I couldn't get to it because I don't know the address! I have it bookmarked in the two computers I use, work and home, but don't know how to actually get there.
Rae -- The progression of your smoking habit? I wouldn't mind if you wrote a new blog soon. It is a bit embarassing to open you blog (especially in the office, where I should be working) to your current title, even though you are quoting our illustrious VP.

Yeah, I want to hear about the progression of your smoking habit, too, Rae. :-)

Maman - I put the address in my Palm...

Yeah, Mara, Rae and Madame Maman, I think we're all pretty much in the same boat with this blog thing. It's a nice feeling to know that what you write will be read, and for us budding writers, there's no such rush as being published instantly. Kind of sad really, but I have to say, I think in terms of my blog too. Although recently I've tried to back off a bit, and do some more reading, because I started feeling like I was living this strange half-cyber-life. But at least it gets us to write and express our feelings, which is quite amazing, and do it in a community, which is even more amazing. :)

I think I could only do it in community. If there were no responses, I would stop pretty quickly. For me, that is what it is all about. And I find that I actually comment more than I write in my own blog.

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on July 5, 2004 6:46 AM.

Meanderings was the previous entry in this blog.

Good and Busy is the next entry in this blog.

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