Short and sweet today, as Libby and I are fairly wiped out from a fun weekend (more on that in a later post). I’d like to post just a few stray thoughts from the past week, just to let you guys know what’s been on our my mind lately.
Thanksgiving came and went for us. It was a non-event. We had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of chicken piccata. I had to work on Thursday. I watched the Dallas Cowboys football game that night, and that was the only thing close to Thanksgiving tradition for us. It was so far removed from my radar that when I was talking to an American colleague at the end of the day on Wednesday and I suggested that we pick up the conversation the next day, he had to remind me that he would be off for the holiday. Considering that it’s been nearly a year since we’ve been back to the states, and it was nearly over 11 months last year in between visits, it’s not surprising that we can feel a little disconnected at times from home. I feel a touch of sadness about it sometimes. When you think about what your family would be doing, catching up with each other, eating way too much food, and enjoying each other’s company… and knowing that you’re not a part of it, it brings home the opportunity cost of living the life of an ex-patriate.
Guildford at Christmas time is so beautiful. They light up High Street with Christmas lights. There’s street vendors who set up stalls and street musicians up and down High Street and Church Street (the next street over). If you want to feel like Christmas is in the air, Guildford is such a great place to go. Whenever we leave this place, this will be a place I really miss.
We do really try to follow sports back home. I follow the Dallas Cowboys with the devotion equaling the most ardent of acolytes. Libby makes sure she keeps up with her beloved St. Louis Cardinals. We are still passionate about those teams we used to follow. That’s why I am so irritated that TCU AND Baylor were left out of the college football playoffs. When you play as well as you had all year long, in one of the top conferences, and to be left on the sidelines while others get to play for the national championship, it’s maddening. I know, I know… either team could have controlled their destiny had they gone undefeated, and both had weak non-conference schedules, but this is not a time for logic. This is a time for torches and pitchforks! Stupid Big 12 conference for their silly ‘co-champions’ PR blunder that screwed both teams… Stupid football selection committee that changes their mind faster than a politician in a swing state… I have been pushing the idea of a playoff ever since I was sports editor for the campus newspaper in university. I just think the way it’s set up, one (or more) of the top conferences with the toughest competition will be screwed every year. The powers that be need to be called to task and come up with a fix to the very obvious problem.
We’re going home in a couple weeks’ time! We’re very excited about seeing everyone. My dad gets to see Duke for the first time. Memaw (Libby’s mom) gets to be reunited with him. We get to meet our newest cousin (only 1 month old) for the first time as well! What we are not excited about are the journeys to get there. Libby has been stressing for weeks now how to a) get a baby to take a 10 hour flight without annoying everyone on the plane around us. b) deal with a baby who is likely to be jet-lagged when we get there. Not to mention the 5 hour car ride up to Fort Worth to see my family. This may be slightly controversial, but I think it’s important for us to state our perspective. These visits back home are nice to see everyone, but they’re stressful. You’re living out of a suitcase for weeks. It’s expensive to get there. Every meal you’re eating out, practically, so that’s not good for your body, health, or pocketbook. There are expenses to look after house and home (and cats) while you’re away. You find you have to try and schedule your time at home, so you can make time to see everyone you want to see, and you never feel like you quite got it right. It’s exhausting, and soon as you’re finally adjusted to the time shift, it’s time to return. The expats that we have spoken with all agree; it’s not a holiday, it’s a home trip. I don’t want to give the impression we aren’t excited about going home. We just wanted to share a little bit about what it’s like from our point of view.
Thumbs up, Guys!
Hope you’re doing well!
Derek and Libby