When it rains, it pours.
Sometimes, this is true.
The more life experiences I accumulate, the more I realize life comes in seasons.
Some seasons of life are joyous.
And others... not so much.
Currently, we find ourselves in the latter.
We are in a season of stalled change.
Sean is almost done with school.
We are almost ready to take our next big step: moving countries and moving schools so we can both teach and work and make money.
Almost is trying our patience.
We have been lingering in this season of life for two years now.
We can see the end in sight and are growing impatient to get there and reap the rewards of moving on to something bigger and better.
We are in a season of homesickness.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner.
But for the third year in a row, we will be separated from our loved ones.
And, to add insult to injury, I will be working.
I can tell you there are fewer things more bizarre than "celebrating" Christmas in a predominately Buddhist country by eating a feast provided by your students' parents composed of Costco pizza, Chinese food and bubble tea.
While we have made a family of friends here in Taiwan, nothing quite compares to my parents' house illuminated with Christmas lights and the smell of my mother's turkey dinner baking in the oven.
We are in a season of anniversaries and new beginnings, witnessed from afar.
December 10 is the anniversary of my dad's death. I am taking the day off so Sean and I can spend the day remembering my father and continuing to process his entirely unexpected death. Most likely, we will scoot up into the hillside and simply enjoy being outside. That is something my dad would enjoy.
December 8, my mother moves out of the house she and my dad built. It is the absolute right choice but I long to help her pack up the house. I wish I could walk through it one last time. When I left this summer, I didn't even look back. It didn't really occur to me there would not be one more chance to do so.
November 20, my brother is getting married. I will be there via Skype. I'll take what I can get but I'll tell you I sure wish it was more.
We are in a season of having very little.
My student loan payment.
Sean's tuition and books and test fees.
Saving for New Zealand.
Bills + groceries + gas.
Suffice it to say, we have very little left over at the end of the month.
So little, we have not left Hsinchu since we got back in August.
Usually, we would go to Taipei every other weekend or so but not now.
We made choices, great choices I do not regret to pursue a degree for Sean and explore the world, and we have been living with the consequences of those choices for more than one year now.
This is just life, and we know that.
And we know one day, this will change.
But we are feeling the squeeze.
We are so ready to be financially freer.
We are lingering in a season of sacrifice.
And we are trying to keep appropriate perspective.
How lucky are we to be in a position where we can actually afford to pay off my loans and send Sean to school and still get to travel and see the world?!
How lucky are we to have family we adore and miss terribly and wish we could spend more time with?
How lucky are we that my brother is happy and getting married and my mom was able to sell her house quickly?
How lucky are we that we have friends we love here who we get to celebrate the holiday seasons with and share our ups and downs with?
Even when it pours, there is still a silver lining somewhere up in those storm clouds.