Saturday, March 24, 2018

Life Changes-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It seems like forever-or at least a long, long time ago that I last wrote in my blog. It's one of those things that you say, you'll get around to doing it but you keep putting it off until finally the day comes and you realize that so much time has gone by that you don't really know where to begin. These days I spend my time between the US and Guatemala, I wanted to retire here eventually and due to health issues gave up my full time job last year. Trust me, getting old is NOT fun. But the writing was on the wall, I couldn't continue doing what I loved due to changes in the workplace, more demands, and my body refusing to keep up with it all. Rather than get the pink slip, I left gracefully. My way, the way I needed to do it so I could at least feel that the time I was there meant something. At home, I can pace myself, take a break, sit, stand, or lie down and not have to worry about completing the daily workload. Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome along with arthritis really make things difficult sometimes, and I often have to take a break not just when my aches and pains are unbearable but also when my brain gets a bit foggy. There are good days, not so good days, and days I feel like a truck hit me and I will lie in bed all day and wallow in self pity. Days I let the housework go because I couldn't do it AND work. I had to make choices, which went on for years until I realized I needed help with housework, day to day activities, and dealing with the depression from all of this crap. You can only hide behind a smile for so long until you crack, and eventually I did. But it's all good, because I know eventually it will make me stronger in the long run. Right now Easter week is upon us in Guatemala, and while much of the country is still rooted in Catholic traditions, there are processions in the city center and in Antigua, Guatemala. Yesterday the church in my colonia (aka neighborhood) had a procession around the streets carrying a Saint while singing hymns. This is also vacation week for many here in Guatemala and the schools are closed (kind of like April Spring Break) and everyone heads to the beaches. My 16 year old studies here in a private school (which is why I am here so often!) and is glad for the week off. So, as time goes by life changes. Things happen, some of which we have control over, others we don't. We have to go with the flow, take things as they come and see what the future holds for us. My daughter certainly never imagined that her Freshman year in Maine would be her last at her high school. But, given the violence that has been happening in schools back home it was important that she be able to study without worrying about getting killed at school. You're probably laughing and thinking but Guatemala? Isn't that one of the dangerous countries? And I have to admit, yes it is-but any place can be dangerous in the world today. The key is being aware of your surroundings, avoiding dangerous areas and situations. School violence is a common occurrence in the States, here it is not. Just a few weeks ago after the Florida shootings 3 students were arrested from her old high school in Central Maine for threats made, and others in surrounding towns as well. Teachers are showing her former classmates how to do lockdowns and defend themselves in an active shooter situation, something no child should ever have to learn in school. Life here, life there-things change, people change, attitudes change. But in all situations, life goes on and we make the best of what is given to us. Or we become a leader, and change things to make life better for everyone. Here's to a great day, new beginnings and new challenges ahead!