August 10, 2016

The World I Know

It dawned on me recently that my world has shrunk. Considerably. 

There is no office or a desk to go to. There are no colleagues to physically converse with, even if it is an inane, useless conversation that does not add any more value to my day. There is no stimulation from like-minded expat moms. There is practically no interaction with the outside world apart from being virtually connected.

Simply put  the world that I once knew no longer exists.

Grubbs ‘n Critters ยฉ

These days, my universe spans about 1.5 km radius from our home. I don’t venture much beyond our backyard – I don’t have a bike (yet) and I cannot drive. Plus there really isn’t much around in the vicinity.

On the days that I have to put in an 8 hour day, I work from home. I send emails and do my con-calls from the comfort of the couch or the dining table – location varies and dependent on my mood.

Sometimes, I walk to the backyard just because.

On the days when I don’t work and the kids are home, I perfected my juggling act between having to do the laundry, cleaning, cooking, entertaining the kids, keeping the peace and keep watch on them whenever they play outside (like for most of the time).

Some days,  I got bored with having to freeze my ass standing in front of the door intermittently while trying to spot those darn kids when they play outside and I vary the routine. I do this by taking them to a supermarket that’s slightly further away. All in the name of going for a leisurely walk for their benefit in disguise for mine.

That would inevitably result in one of the kids complaining that they do not want to go out for a walk at all. They don’t need it. They’d rather play outside. Then it would be another hour before we all get our asses out of the door because one of them decides to throw a fit.

Despite the delay, we would still go – all in the name of a leisurely walk so that their mother will not go insane being cooped up at home. Sometimes, I scrap the plan altogether because I got exhausted trying to convince them that they (me) needed to go out for a walk.

Other times, we bake. I need to keep them busy. Rather, I need to keep me busy since they will not allow me to nap on the couch. We’ve made enough muffins, cakes and cookies to last us a few months and stock up on fats for the winter. 

Then I walk to the backyard just because.

On some days, we do all of the above: playing outside, going to the farther out supermarket AND bake! Then we hang about in the backyard. Sometimes I put out fires from sibling rivalry, most times managing crises, shuttling from kid to kid while making sure that the little critters know they are very important beings in my life. I do this because I’m trying to be a good mom. I want to be present. 

That’s my world now. A different world, a different chaos but predictable. Kind of nice.

It’s a far cry from the world of chaos that I knew… where my remit covers putting out external fires, managing adult crises and shuttling from meetings after meeting to get sucked in with the standing joke of needing to look important or pander to others such that they could feel important. That world spanned more than just 1.5 km radius and very unpredictable. Kind of nice. And exciting.

My world has shrunk from the years of expansive freedom on a career ladder to a conflict of inner turmoil packed in a vacuum. Suddenly I feel clueless…a stranger in another foreign land…a speck of dust. An invisible footprint.

People ask me how I’m coping and how I’m liking the change. The truth is I’m still trying to wrap my head around this.  My days are busy; in fact, I’ve never been busier as compared to when I had a 5-day week, full-time day job. These days, I can hardly think. Still, I try my best. I make do with what I have to keep me busy and trying to be a great mom to my kids (without the yelling).

Once the kids are asleep, my nights are filled with chore that was left halfway during the day, looking for jobs and filling up job applications, and at the same time customising cover letters and CVs for the jobs applied then giving myself some room to take a deep breath by turning my attention to blogging and attempting to start on an online course which I have registered for.

It’s good for my mental health.

And each day I’m learning something new as I  face the harsh reality of rejections after rejections. They piled up but I choose to think that each and every rejection is a sign that something better is coming along. Isn’t there a saying that goes “When every door closes, another opens”?

Oh! The chaos in my head. I’m almost laughing at myself to find that equilibrium of the world that I’m in and the world that I’ve always known. The chorus of  “The World I Know” by Collective Soul comes to mind.

Actually, the entire song has been playing at the back of my mind ever so silently, on repeat mode since I started writing this post. While the video has a depiction of being suicidal (No, I swear I am NOT. Far from it! I’ve got 2 kids), the ending will make you smile…there’s enlightenment to be found:


Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why

Are we listening
Hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I’ve been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one, into one

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why, don’t know why

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

If you have gotten this far, tell me what’s your world like? What’s the world that you have come to know?

Run Jump Scrap!

Posted by:    |    16 Comment
  1. Maria Holm

    I recognize your description on managing at home with kids. Glimpses of harmony and sudden collisions and chaos. The lovely late evenings with your time and all too short nights for proper sleep. Good lu k with your searching for job. Don’t give up. It’s promised that if we search we will also find

    • Thank you for your words of encouragement, Maria. You are definitely spot on with harmony and the sudden collisions and chaos (I love how you worded that!). I’m not giving up, and sometimes just need to take a break for that with renewed energy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You don’t know how glad I am to get this response from you. Wanting to rear children in the best way is very demanding as you constantly feel you are at the edge of what you can take and the the uncertainty of the future and the demands of a new job, driving distances, hours. What once helped me in a similar situation was to pin down or paint it out clearly what I really wanted myself and then search and go for that kind of a job

        • You made me smile, Maria! Sorry it took so long to respond back…You are definitely right about the distances and hours! That’s another thing to adapt to. Pinning down and identifying clearly, I cannot agree more. I’ve also been applying outside of my industry and experience since I think that skills are transferrable to any jobs/industry and with a bit of time, anyone can learn. I guess, some companies don’t look at it that way. So, we keep trying. Thank you for your words of encouragement! xxx.

  2. It’s funny as my world has both shrunk and grown at the same time.
    Like you my house seems to be my world and the small distance around it, but I do have a pushbike and car so I don’t feel tied down which is nice. But through blogging and chatting to people I often get to travel but mostly have just expanded my horizons with new friends and experiences #bestandworst

    • It is isn’t it? Shrunk physically but so much growth virtually! It definitely helps a lot more with car and pushbikes, Briony. I need to get to that…eventually! Thank you for stopping by. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Parenting is such a shock to the system – it changes everything, you and as you say, the world as we know! It takes time to get used to it and sometimes I also wonder if I have! Keep looking for that job as it will come and know that you are not alone. Thanks for sharing woth #bestandworst x

    • Indeed. Add moving to a place halfway around the world, and everything turns upside down. :p Thank you for the motivation and it’s always comforting to know that I;m not alone. The blogging world certainly helps with that. And, thank you so much for stopping by too, Sarah. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Oh, Ann…I can see how you don’t feel stimulated after living such a busy life before. It’s called a cultural shock and you’re not a foreigner to that. Life in Europe has a slower pace for sure, and I sometimes miss it. Also, we only appreciate what we have when we lose it. It’s good that you took an online course, it’ll give you some satisfaction and different focus. You will find that perfect job, I’m sure of it. Wishing you all the best, new further stores to visit, and more diversity in your days. Hugs and smooches!

    • I think I’m a bit ADD…so while a “slower” life is good, I get antsy quite quickly and raring to go! And things are not moving as fast I want to. Funny how even I try to focus on my online course, I’m also struggling to find time for it. :/ With further store visits, I get to lose weight! So that’s a plus. hehehe!
      Thank you for your comforting words, Jas. I just can feel you cheering me on! ๐Ÿ˜€ xoxoxoox

  5. I just read a post from A Momma’s View and it so applies here. “If good things aren’t happening to us it’s because we’re the good thing happening to others.” Your time will come. In the meantime, just keep Spud and Squirt from killing each other ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I need to catch up on some of Momma’s View post as I’ve been quite behind. She’s too quick for me to catch up! But that sentence you wrote is definitely a good pick-me-up! I had to go :awwww” Thanks for the smile, Eric! I think I’m a pro now in trying to keep those two from killing each other. The problem is, they both are now getting along so well and constantly to drive me up the wall!

  6. Kat

    I was wondering how you were doing when I stumbled into this post. Change is quite hard but I know you’ll do well. Just take it a day at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ah the walk to the backyard just because…I know that feeling. Found you through the blog party!

    • Hi Anna! Nice to meet you. ๐Ÿ˜€
      A walk to backyard just because…it’s kind of a great “escape” isn;t it? Thank you for dropping by!


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