First of all, let me say that I am happy living in China. I feel this is where I am supposed to be right now. I feel very strongly that we were called here and God worked things out to get here. I feel a sense of purpose and I do love it here. But it is not always easy living in China. Some days are harder than others. but then again, I could say the same of living in the US. When I have a bad day here, I can always blame it on living in China. But really it could just be a bad day.
When we moved to China, someone told us that there seems to be a bigger culture shock that happens the third year. Many people go home after their third year. Guess what, this is our third year. We went into this year aware of this theory. But we felt energized by our visit home. We were ready to get back to work and get our routine going. We were really excited about the year.
We are not as excited anymore. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that. Good things are happening with the WORK. We are engaging new people, we have started some new studies, old friends are branching out. Things are happening the way they are supposed to. But I am still having a hard time shaking the blahs.
This semester has been really hard on Jon. His work load has increased and work stress is bad. That always spills over a little into to home. So we all feel his stress.
I have had a hard time with dental work this semester too. It has been painful and frustrating.
Jon's grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. That was really hard. It was hard because we know we are going to miss her. Grieving is weird when you are away. You grieve for the deceased but also that you can't be with the rest of the family. You feel a little left out. My grandmother died in January. I grieved some then, but had another period of grieving when I went home and visited family.
This time of the year is hard on us too. I sometimes think that Halloween and Thanksgiving are as hard or harder than Christmas.
So the question is, is this that terrible "culture shock period" that we have heard about? Or is this just life?
Teachers have bad semesters, and bad years. I could have dental problems in the USA. MawMaw would have died if were were living in Henderson or in Hangzhou.
So what do I do? I just have to keep looking at the positives, and our blessings. And there are a lot of those!
I also enjoy baking and being domestic. If things start getting to me, I can straighten up the living room, or bake some cookies. That makes me feel a little better and maybe slightly more peaceful. If that doesn't work, chocolate usually helps.
So keep us in your prayers, and send us some chocolate!
**I actually wrote this back at the beginning of November. We are still somewhat stressed. This is just a bad semester. With the holidays coming up, we have fresh bouts of homesickness. I also feel a little guilty that my mood is so terrible. But, the semester is almost over. Hopefully we can have a good break and have a better semester next year. In the mean time, keep those prayers coming!