As mentioned in Under Construction, I hope you’ll join me as I navigate the re-entry stage in our repatriation journey. Every three months I’ll share a series of ‘snapshot’ blog posts about the particulars of building a new life from scratch, filed under the post category Re-entry Reality. I’ll look at everything from making a home, engaging socially, staying healthy, and stretching creatively, to becoming part of a community, launching new career endeavors and addressing spiritual needs and emotional well being.
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When I began this series of three-month check-ins on how re-entry into life back in the US was going, there were several topics I wanted to track, as reflected in the opening paragraph above. I dutifully posted on social/physical/emotional/spiritual well being (Small Steps, Self Care & Simplifying) and creating a home (A Picture’s Worth), and expected to report shortly thereafter on both professional and creative progress.
Yet sometimes the best of intentions are circumvented, and we don’t quite stick to our schedule. In the case of these two areas, it seemed as though every time I felt ready to share an assessment of what I’d been thinking/planning/doing, there was some new development or hurdle – plenty of both – which threw me into a cycle of postponement.
Yeah, I know, it’s an ongoing struggle with me. Maybe for you, too.
So now that we’ve hit the half-year mark in our repatriation journey, it’s time to step back and report on what’s been going on in the work realm. In order to help remind me of how and when things have unfolded, I’d like to stick to a record of progress in three-month increments.
But before I start, I’d like to address the question, Why am I doing this type of review?
It certainly isn’t to brag of decisions made or boast of progress charted – or not. It isn’t to hold my experience up as a standard of some sort – it’s not. Nor is it to imply this is how things should go, or how others ought to handle re-entry.
Actually, I’m doing this because I know something about myself, something I believe many others tend to do as well: rather than look at what we’ve accomplished or achieved or survived, we fixate on what we didn’t do or finish or even begin.
That’s why I force myself periodically to look backwards and acknowledge what I have been doing, what did get started and/or completed or even pushed aside, and whether there were extenuating circumstances or events – major, minor or trivial in nature – which impacted my advancement.
Not excuses or alibis, just the truth. How life really unfolds.
I’ll tell you something else. I’m doing this public ‘re-entry reality’ series for accountability. Not to you – although my writing these posts knowing full well you’ll read them is what keeps me honest – but to myself.
I chose the categories I’m reporting on for a reason: I personally believe physical, social, emotional, spiritual, creative and professional well being are the six most important areas in which we exist as humans. Together they capture the essence of how we live our lives.
And I’ll tell you something else. Knowing I’m going to be sharing my progress with you helps keep me cognizant of what I am or am not doing in each of these six spheres. Not so much in an ‘I’d better hurry up and get my act together and do something’ kind of way – although let’s be honest, no one likes to have to confess they’ve done zilch in an area or two. But when I don’t do much, I’ll put on my big girl panties and tell you so.
Instead, these three-month assessments actually help me see and celebrate little victories along the repatriation path. And just as candidly, they help me understand where I may be lagging or even a little out-of-balance, areas where perhaps I need to spend a little more time and attention in the days and weeks ahead in order to feel my actions are in better alignment with my values.
So with all this in mind, I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been doing in the work arena in my next post. And don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long. In fact, it’s already written.
When you move to a new place, how long does it take you to settle in? What life areas do you concentrate on initially, and do you keep track of your progress?