Get it?

Wow…for someone who always has a lot on my mind I sure don’t write a lot! It’s been almost a whole year since my last blog. Could that be right? Yeesh!

I’ve just come back from staying with my parents for five weeks in my hometown three provinces away. We missed our pets but otherwise it felt so good to be close to family. My parents were down the hall, my sister was five minutes away, my brother and family five minutes away and one of my best friends in the whole world and her squeezable twin one year old boys were just a short two hour drive. It was heaven! We chatted, we swam, we went to the park, the splash pad, out for meals, in for meals, over to my brothers’ to play with the cousins. It felt like, well, home. Until this past April we thought we going to be posted (moved) to just an hour away from home so being there this summer was both extremely satisfying but also a crude reminder that we had to leave there eventually and come back to Smalltown which now feels about twice as far away as it did before we left.

 

Don’t get me wrong, despite my initial impressions I actually like Smalltown. It’s cozy, community oriented, we’ve met some amazing people and made wonderful friends. We’ve made a home here. But I always feel like I need to put quotation marks around that: “home”. Because it isn’t. We didn’t choose to come here, we didn’t choose to stay past our promised three years, and we know it’s temporary.

Regardless of why a family may find themselves in this type of situation, when you’re living far from home and family there are certain survival techniques you adapt: you seek out friends and when you find really good ones you cling to them like the life line they are; you make your house as cozy and personal as you can because although you may have chosen it on a whirlwind morning of house hunting with a baby strapped to your chest on a one week trip to Smalltown to find and buy a home, it’s the only one you have and it’s your haven; you grow a tough outer shell that is equipped with strength, stability, faith, and enough sarcasm and skepticism to serve approximately ten “regular” people; and you quickly grow a bit weary of those who don’t get it.

People who don’t get it don’t realize they don’t get it which makes things a little trickier still. What am I talking about, right?  These are our friends, family and acquaintances who think they understand us vagabonds but in reality they really, really don’t. I’m not casting stones here, I know they mean well. If you are wondering whether or not you are “one of them”, I’ve drafted a handy-dandy Cosmo-style quiz below:

1. When I tell you how much I miss my family do you say,
a) That must be hard. Want to have coffee?
b) I understand. My family is an hour away so it’s exactly the same.
c) At least there’s Skype! (sidebar: I am grateful for technology but wondering how you plan to hold my new baby on Skype in the fall)

2. When I’m in our hometown for a visit, do you
a) Visit me the first chance you get and promise to spend so much time with me that we actually intend to try to get sick of each other but fail miserably because we can never get enough
b) Ask me when I arrive even though I’ve already been home for two weeks
c) Go on with your normal life letting me come and go without much notice (this makes me feel very special, by the way. Hang on, let me get you a cup to catch all the sarcasm dripping from the previous sentence)

3. When we get together for coffee and I tell you I’ve been having a hard time lately, do you
a) Nod sympathetically, ask me questions, ask what you can do to make this an easier time
b) Nod and mutter something about that sounding difficult then refill my coffee
c) Say ‘oh!’ and then change the topic

4. When I’m pregnant and my husband is working 12 hours shifts for a solid month and I’m working part time and looking after a three year old, do you
a) Let me know you’re there if I need you
b) You’re pregnant? Wait…is your husband military?
c) Do nothing

5. If you live in Hometown and I showed you a map of Canada and asked you where Smalltown is, would you
a) Point relatively close to where I live
b) Ask which province it’s in
c) Look only within a four hour driving radius of Hometown

If you answered all a’s: CONGRATULATIONS! You GET IT! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
If you answered all b’s and c’s: You probably don’t get it. So….thanks for that…?

The point of this blog is not to point fingers or place blame or make people feel guilty. As someone who gets great satisfaction out of supporting and serving others, this blog is my selfish guilty pleasure. A means for me to vent my frustrations and release some thoughts from swirling in my brain. But in keeping with my service heart, there is a part of me that hopes that someone in a similar position to me will read it and will get a bit of relief from knowing that they aren’t the only ones with people in their lives who don’t get it. Because I do. Many, many people do.

As alone as I sometimes feel I know that I do have a whole cast of important players in my life. Some people have starring roles, some are supporting actors and others are just the extras. Some live five minutes away and others are three provinces away. But I do know they’re there. Sometimes it’s just a little hard to feel their strength. So on days like today, I write a blog, cuddle my little man, enjoy the kicks from the Jellybean inside my massive belly, drink a coffee, and eat chocolate for breakfast.

Chocolate at breakfast. Heck yes.

Thanks for playing, and have a great day.

🙂 Mel

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