Monday, April 9, 2012

Blessing or a curse...

{Image via Pinterest}

     Bien installé. We find ourselves using these words a lot. Nous sommes bien installés..which translates into we are very comfortable, set-up, or for lack of a better word, installed here. I'm sure some will chalk that up to the fact that Shaun has been in France his entire career. But I can look back and honestly say we were pretty comfortable almost from the get go, from those first few years. And for those of you who look at our pictures and say, 'hell yeah we would be very happy there in the south of France too', we have not always been here, we have also been in the armpits of France....and made the best of it. ( And yes, there are armpits of France too.) But my question is, is this a blessing or a curse? Because at the end of each year, I feel it is a bit of a curse. Now, I am not an optimist, actually I can hardly tolerate those who always see the best of everything. Often times, I just want them to say, "this freakin' sucks' and acknowledge a crappy situation for what it is...only if it is a crappy situation in the first place though. So the reason I bring this up is I can't help but notice the amount of Americans that play overseas and have a countdown to the summer from day 1. (FYI.. that countdown is reaching a fever pitch since we are closing in on the end of the year). And I'm not talking about the countdown because you can't wait to see family or a wedding etc... these are the type of countdowns that are more about leaving something behind than looking forward to something.  We love to go back to the US for the summer to see family and friends like the rest of them but it's not like we are counting down the days for this summer as soon as we get over here in august. That would be a long 10 months if we felt like that. I know we all can't do what we want and there are times that sacrifices need to be made, but I couldn't imagine living the majority of my adult life as getting through 10 months just to be happy for 2. Those who read this and have jobs they dislike but need, I am not talking about you. I am talking about the ones living overseas (actually getting paid to live overseas) either working 5-6 hours a day or their husbands working 5-6 hours a day. The ones that are choosing this job and doing what they love and not taking every advantage of it. I am pretty sure the many Americans with ho-hum jobs that didn't have the luxury of choosing would trade places in an instant. I am not saying being a professional athlete is easy, I have been one and it is never as easy as one who sits behind a desk thinks but what baffles me are the ones who hate the life over here but continue to do it. I have to ask, is this life really that bad? Or is it just more work to make it better? Maybe for some this life really blows, and that stinks. But for others, it's too much work. Fortunately for us, it is neither crappy nor too hard. And that is where I grapple with the question, is bien installé a blessing or a curse? We are blessed to enjoy our life over here and make the best of it. But the flip side is, it makes us a little sad when we have to leave it behind each year. Sometimes I think what is wrong with us for feeling this way? Why aren't we ecstatic to get 'home'? (Again, where is 'home' to us anyways?) Where is our calender with the red X's on it? I wish I could have everything all packed up a month in advance and no food in the fridge so we could leave the morning after our last game. I wish I didn't get that twinge of sadness saying goodbye to the many people we have met at our last game knowing we won't see many ever again. But for us, that only happens when we can't wait to get the hell out of dodge, which to me is no way to live.I would hate to look back in 10 years and see that we only 'got though' our time overseas, we didn't actually enjoy it.  I guess we will take that little bit of sadness at the end of each year for a 10 months of happiness and making the best of the situation anytime. Who knows, I might be more of an optimist than I thought...don't tell anyone.

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