Sunday, February 24, 2013

Change it Up!

The truism:"There are only two things you can count on in life, Death and Taxes,"  is certainly true.  But I think an update should include the word "Change."  After all, Change is everywhere.  Life comes at us fast and furious or sometimes slows down to a snail's pace.  Either way, life Changes. Every day.

It's the same here in China as an ex-pat. I've chronicled lots of Changes that we have experienced over the past twenty-three months. Sharing them on this blog will aid my memory in recalling some of the high points in future years. Years that seem to zoom upon us like Nanjing's city buses and sneak up on us like the silent electric scooters that populate China's city streets.

Because we have adjusted, many of the Changes are now second nature to us. Accepting a different culture and understanding why things are done this way or that has also occurred.  I've found that there isn't that much "New" to report because we embrace the New Normal to a very large extent.

Less Change - Less Blogging.

But there are still Changes.

Our Youngest Nanjing Normal Reacting to Change - Jet Lag - zzzzzzzzzzz

 I have many friends who remark "I hate Change."

And I get that. 

Change can be uncomfortable.  The not-knowing what may happen next can turn to fret and worry. Nobody I've ever encountered  willingly raises their hand and yelps  "More fret and worry, please." 

None of us need more fret and worry in our lives.

One of the blog-worthy Changes in our lives has been in the friendship column.  We've forged instant buddies since we seem to be on similar paths.  Not every ex-pat feels this way, of course, but self-discovery has revealed that Cricket needs relationships to feel whole.   

Let me tell you about friendship here.

Expatriates from around the world plop down roots in new China soil each year. 
They number in the millions, believe it or not. 

The first batch of us who came to Nanjing within three months depended on each other for camaraderie, sharing of information and long discussions.  Ford budget cuts had dissolved past seminars on how to manage the move. We were given a power-point slide presentation and a packet of information and rules. Sadly, it wasn't enough information to take the giant mind-altering leap of uprooting our entire lives and heading east to China.  To supplement the lack we forged our own information highway.  All of us gathered suggestions, emails  and helpful hints from whomever went before us and passed on any information we came across.  This saved our sanity and reassured us that although we were going on a road less traveled, yes, it was the right road.  

An initial group of nine of us survived and grew into a "All for One and One for All," tightly knit crew.

We conquered new territory and filled our pockets of time with rich experiences and shared information.

Stories and frustrations were hurled non-stop. These are truly life-long friends.

Within a few weeks that number will have Changed. 

And it's okay.

It's all part of the journey.

If I strung a list of people who have come and gone from our daily lives you would be surprised.  People "up and move" to new assignments in other countries, move to new neighborhoods, strike up friendships different circles or move home.  I could easily get to a list of 25 family units that have moved on. Easily.  It's just the way it is. 

Where did they go?

Up the Street in Nanjing
United Kingdom
South Africa

Rumor has it that ten more family units are on their way to FORD in Nanjing. One is in town right now, looking Nanjing over and finding a place to bring their family of four. They will forge their own life-long friendships on their path.

We will supply as much input as they want, of course.  But we will step aside when they come to the sharp turn at the corner of Adjustment Lane & Adventure Road. People helped us two years ago and so we help others. Our hope is that these newbies will do the same for the next bunch of wide-eyed employees and their families embarking on Change and an opportunity of a lifetime. 

The Big Guy and Cricket have never traveled so far out of their comfort zone....

One thing is for certain for the new ex-pats - there will be Change and lots of it!

Thanks for Reading,


And speaking of Change. Our own Princess and her Prince are enlarging their Royal Family and will Bless us with our very first grandchild this summer. 

That's going to Change things, right away!  We are very excited. 

So bring on the Change, the Taxes and hold off on that Death-thingy.

There will be a baby to rock!

Babies Don’t Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

~ Ladies Home Journal ~ 1958