A few mornings ago, I was lying in bed and there was a cool breeze coming in through the open windows, rustling the curtains. I could hear the birds chirping, and Athena was lying on her back next to me, begging for belly rubs. Nate had gotten up, and I could smell coffee brewing and bacon on the stove. We didn’t have much planned for that particular day, other than grocery shopping and taking Athena for her usual walk around the neighborhood.
In that particular moment, I felt a little panicky as I realized that moving to Bangladesh means leaving our life as we know it.
How melodramatic of me, I know. Also, duh.
Over time, I’ve realized the importance being able to appreciate a given situation for what it is.
Take my Peace Corps experience, for instance. Never in my life had I been so bored/cold/dirty and had nothing to do on a regular basis. But I knew that never again in my entire life would I have that much time where I could just lay around, listen to audio books, knit scarves, and genuinely not have anything better to do, so I accepted it.
It was great!
Now, when weekends are jam-packed with errands, chores, and minimal relaxing, I think fondly of my lazy Peace Corps days.
Here in Alexandria, we have the relative quiet and safety of our neighborhood. Our evening “family walks” around the neighborhood. Being able to go to the grocery store and easily buy everything I need, and more, for the week. Driving less than thirty minutes to beautiful parks and hiking areas. Not having to rinse produce before I eat it (I know I should, but frankly I don’t care).
These are all things that are going to change when we move to Bangladesh. They won’t disappear completely from our lives, but they will be different.
For instance, I’m sure we’ll find someplace outside of Dhaka where we can go for long off-leash walks with Athena on weekends. It won’t be near our house, but someplace has to exist somewhere. I’ll have new markets to explore and different kinds of produce to experiment with, all of which will be soaked in bleach, I assure you. We’ll get to know the other people in our apartment building and explore the restaurants and shops in our new neighborhood, or at least figure out where the American Club is.
It won’t be the same as our life here, but isn’t that why we joined the Foreign Service in the first place?