Homeward Bound

NewYearsSkyThis past Christmas was my fifth one in Taiwan. I love so many things about Taiwan, particularly my students. But the holidays this year brought out a very reflective side of me.

At Christmas, I thanked many people in my post at the holidays on both sides of the ocean. And while I included my children in those thank you’s, I had written another paragraph that night that I didn’t include in the post.

I have four children, and throughout my time here in Taiwan, technology has helped keep us close in spite of the distance. Doug (the oldest) is the only one who Skypes with me regularly, but Kate (the youngest) and I talk on Facebook almost daily. She and I have a couple of ongoing projects we work on together, and she is the mother of the wonderful Mr. Logan, my nearly three-year-old grandson. She also blogs (http://sincerelykaterz.wordpress.com/), and I can share her life that way. I don’t talk to the middle two sons as often as I’d like, but they both have wives who help me stay in touch. Through Megan’s amazing food blog (http://meggoesnomnom.com/) and Mindy’s Facebook posts, I feel like I am still part of Tom and Erik’s lives. But there are times when even technology can’t bridge the longing for family that seems to intensify during the holiday season.

So as I wrote a few weeks back and thanked my family and friend on both sides of the ocean, here is the paragraph I wrote that I did not send that night.

Thanks to my lovely children for filling my life with wonder and for building lives of your own. As I watch from afar, this Christmas has made me realize that I must find a way to make my way back home to be with you not just for the holidays, but always. I don’t like being this far away from you. In spite of the fact that we can keep in touch, it’s not the same, and my Christmas wish this year, is that there will only be one more Christmas that we celebrate on different sides of the world.

I’m posting this now to let you know that those feelings and a lot of thinking have led me to a decision. I will only return for one more year of teaching in Taiwan. Come summer of 2015, David and I will return to the U.S., to you, our families and to our friends who have stayed in our lives throughout this long separation. Taiwan has been a wonderful place to live for these last few years, but it’s time to go home.

I know that home is where your heart is, and my heart is very much here in Taiwan and will continue to be until I actually pack my things and leave. However, as long as Mr. Logan and my children are not here, I feel that my home is somewhat incomplete. I can never adequately thank all the people who have helped me feel welcome and at home here in Taiwan. But in the next  few months, I plan to feature some of them in a few of my blog posts. In the meantime, I still have time here to be with everyone and to continue my work here. The only thing that has changed is that now I know how long I will be here, and when I will head for my other home.

I want to thank Belinda at http://BusyMindThinking.com for the photo above. She loves to photograph the many faces of the sky. Her pictures are always a delight, but this one grabbed at me in a profound way. The sky and the road, both open, both with no end in sight. I feel like I need to trust this road, that it will lead me home.

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38 comments on “Homeward Bound

  1. I can feel your feelings coming through. The power of Christmas! Isn’t it amazing? I get like this at Christmas time and my family is fairly close. Now that you know WHEN you’re coming home I hope you can really make the most of the rest of your time there. Where is home, anyway? Hugs!

    • Thanks, Astrid. It was going to happen at some point, but it’s good to know when, so I no longer have to focus attention on figuring it out. I can now focus on the work that needs to be finished and prepare for the next part of the journey. 🙂

  2. Deb this is a big decision and one I am guessing you never made in a moment.. I hope all goes as you wish it to.. Also.. Hi Belinda.. x Happy new year. x

    • Actually, Shaun, I’ve been working on this one for over a year. I don’t have any specific plans for it to go one way or the other. I just know that as I finish my big project here, it’s time to move on. I miss my grandson. He’s turning 3 this month and just seeing him in the summer isn’t enough. I was originally only supposed to be here a year or two, and it will be six by the time I’m done.

  3. That can’t have been an easy decision since you also love Taiwan so much. I can’t imagine living so far away from my own family though for such a long time, even with all the modern day technology. I would miss them too much so I can understand why you want to move back closer to them.

    • Actually, work was interesting enough and rewarding enough the first few years, that it wasn’t that difficult. Technology really did help. But now I have a grandson who is growing quickly, and I have a new daughter-in-law this year. Lots of things happening. So I want to finish the projects I have going here and move on to the next phase. 🙂

    • Actually the decision was easy, it was the when that has always been the question. But yes, having that part of it settled does bring some relief. Now I just have to get this crazy textbook project wrapped up in 18 months. haha

  4. It sounds like you have had a wonderful time in Taiwan, and will continue to do so a while longer , but ,I can feel how much you want to be closer with your family , and so I wish you lots of love and luck for the next step on your path, and hope the text book project goes smoothly .

    • Thanks, Sharon. I am finally sorting out what is next on the path, and making some decisions about what to remove from the path. The textbook project is time consuming, but I’m working on getting it more structured into a routine that will move it forward on a schedule that will get me home “on schedule.” I am also spending some time figuring out what I really want to do with the next few years. It’s been an enlightening few days! 🙂

  5. I know this feeling very well. I jump from one place to another at different intervals. I totally can feel you, especially during holidays where longings are more stronger. Wish you the best wherever life takes you.

    • Thanks, Rommel. Interesting how life comes along and helps us sort out what’s really important. For me, it’s time to focus on a few things that mean a lot to me, rather than doing many things simply because I have the ability to do them. A big revelation to make at my age. But it just goes to show, it’s never to late to learn new things. Thanks for stopping by. Hope life is treating you well! 🙂

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