Living in Paradise Isn’t Always Paradise.

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Sarah Fischer
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It’s 2am again and here I am. Mind racing about all sorts of things — paranoia about my skin crawling with bugs catching me and pulling me back into consciousness each time I begin to drift into sleep.

Most of all my thoughts keep returning to just how hard this is. Harder than we expected it to be, and we knew it would be hard.

I can’t even begin to describe the exhaustion of the weeks leading up to us getting here. There was so much to do!! Our days were spent from the moment we woke to the moment our head hit the pillow selling things, donating things, cleaning things, packing things, planning things, preparing things, so many THINGS! And at the end of the day there was the nagging feeling of guilt that “things” are not what’s most important — people are! And yet we were surrounded by things that had to be taken care of. It was a sprint to the finish for sure and Colby and I would often look at each other wishing we could fast forward, or me break down at midnight from sheer exhaustion and far too few moments of reprieve and rejuvenation.

Now we’re here and anxious to catch our breaths after that brutal sprint but we’re total fish out of water without the comforts of home! The pining for home is real. And the work isn’t done, the sprint has just returned to a jog. There’s the shock and learning curve of adapting to daily life without the things we’re used to like a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, hot water, a dryer…etc! And bugs and lizards in the house. The kids wake up earlier than usual here because they’re out of their element too and the sun is up before 6am. They no longer have any toys, preschool or any scheduled social activities to break up their days or give anyone a break. They’re exhausted and emotional about everything we left behind too.The baby doesn’t sleep well in the night because she misses the familiarity of her bedroom and routine. Mom still has migraines, even more often since we’ve been here, and eating with dietary restrictions (gluten & dairy allergies) which was already a challenge, just stepped up to a whole new level of difficulty. Then there’s the factor of driving 15 minutes to to the nearest grocery store, not knowing what half the items are and not speaking the language. ha. Dad still has work to balance, but with the added challenge of not having an office space and the pull of wanting to divide his time with family and explore this new territory too.

All in all we’re still exhausted. But that’s life, right? My purpose is not to garner sympathy, “oh boo hoo! You sold all your stuff, left your family, friends and home and adopted a care-free life on the lamb…” (haha, not so, but I can hear the naysayers now) — my purpose IS to pull this together, get my mind on track (track to sleep zzzzz) and find my focus.

The thing is, we’re all running our race. Sometimes it’s a sprint, sometimes it’s a jog, sometimes is an exhausted walk, sometimes it’s a scenic stroll, sometimes it’s sitting on the sidelines nursing an injury, wishing we were back in the race. But wherever we’re at in that race there are good people all around us. I think back to that brutal sprint just a week ago and the list is long of people who cheered and helped us cross the finish. And that’s part of what makes this all so hard — we said goodbye to all those good people who love and support us! When Crew saw his cousin playing in the snow back home he said “I wish we never came on this trip!” And I know my feelings echoed his own after a long day with a migraine, a cranky tired baby who got woken up from her naps, and a failed dinner we all finished feeling hungry. But, this is the race we’re in and we choose what we see. Sure, our toe might be rubbing, our heel might be blistered, our back and shins aching, but when did dwelling on those facts ever help? Look up, dig deep, see the beauty, and love those around you. And now sleep.

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