The question I most frequently am asked is, “…and what do you do?” Since my “I’ve been on maternity leave for nine years” joke falls flat 90% of the time I’ve decided to go with the more shocking “Since it’s summer break, I’m busy trying not to throw myself off the 27th floor balcony” (or either one of my children for that matter, but that may be too shocking to say to a stranger who may not have my sense of humor and who absolutely adores their children at every moment of every day…weirdo).
Recently I’ve found myself contemplating where I might run away to. In the south of the U.S. the common place one would say they’re running away to is Mexico, I guess because it’s the nearest foreign country. But here? The options are almost limitless. I feel like I could truly run away and get lost in Indonesia. Since Marcus is probably reading this I’ll just say “Indonesia” and then go somewhere else. That will keep him busy for a while as he desperately searches to bring me home (at least he better).
Honestly, just like any day back in the states, the time flies. I’ve taken up yoga as a new hobby and go five days a week. I haven’t been running in a few months which is sad and I’m starting to miss it so I need to make time for that again. When we moved to our new/permanent apartment I lost my favorite running path so it’s really just a matter of mapping out a new route. Plus, COVID really did a number on my lungs even though what I had was super mild. I found myself with an elevated heart rate and quickly out of breath for a while after so I’ve been a little nervous to try and run again.
I’ve also been taking Mandarin lessons once a week. I’m learning the pinyin form of Mandarin which makes it a little easier for us Latin based language speakers. I struggle with the memorization and pronunciation of words but in all, the concept of the language is actually simpler than English. The other fun part of this is that the girls are both learning Mandarin so we can quiz each other and have debates over the pronunciation of a word. They are also learning the associated character with each word which will give them a greater advantage over me in the long run.
So, between my yoga and Mandarin, keeping the kids busy, and the every day life of an adult I have quite a lot to do. Luckily, for lazy days there is a pool within the apartment complex plus a playground which the girls are a little too big for but it’s there and hardly used. With that said, it’s definitely different from living on 1.5 acres as we did back home and to tell them to “just go outside!!” is a little less easy these days because to “just go outside” requires: Sun block, mosquito repellant (dengue has been detected in our area though to be honest if anyone is getting dengue it’s going to be me because I am a mosquito magnet), appropriate footwear, a water bottle, masks for riding in the elevator, pool toys, skateboards, shopping bags, maps, rock-climbing gear, hats, driver’s license, medical license…the list is endless.
I am truly enjoying Singapore and, this may sound crazy, but I feel happier than I have in a long time. It could be because I upped my happy pill dosage or it could be because I enjoy the experience of living outside of the United States. Since both happened simultaneously I guess we’ll never know.