So Amazing to HEAR: Stream of Conscious Saturday (Part 2)

Linda’s Friday prompt for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness post is “hear/here.” Part 1 was about the “HERE” part of this prompt. Now, I’m going to do one for “HEAR.”

logan 23 monthsThis little guy is Logan when he was 23 months old in late 2012. Logan was born during my second year in Taiwan. So during January of 2011, while I was recovering from knee replacement surgery in Taiwan, my daughter Kate gave birth to this sweet little guy back in Michigan. Had I known Logan was going to come along in 2011, my time in Taiwan might have played out differently, but this is the story of how it had played out and how hear has become an important part of that story.

Logan is now 3 1/2, and I love the stories I hear my daughter about all of Logan’s milestones and the events of his life. My direct involvement can be summed up (unfortunately) in the few paragraphs below.

2011

The first time I got to hold Logan was in the summer of 2011, when he was five months old. It was such a delight. The summer went quickly, but I had lots of chances to spend time with him during those two months. When it was time for me to go back to Taiwan, he was seven months old. When I left him that summer, I had no idea that I would ultimately be in Taiwan for six years — I just completed my fifth.

2012

In the summer of 2012, Logan was very mobile when I visited. He was 17 months old when I arrived that summer. It was a delight to see him moving around. He had become quite a “dancer,” and he was quite entertaining. I brought a quilt I made for him, and he did some posing with it. You can see him (and the quilt) in the upper right section of my blog. That summer, it didn’t take Logan long to warm up to me.

family

2013

It took Logan a little time to warm up to me again, but it was a lovely summer. I had to be patient as he was very much his own person. The 2 1/2 year old Logan had a mind of his own, but he was such a delight. When my oldest son was visiting Michigan that summer (from Florida), he and I went with Kate and Logan to see Despicable Me 2 at the theater. Logan was so much fun! And by the end of the summer, he would hug me. He was saying a few words, and it was so much fun to watch him learning and trying things.

2014

For a variety of reasons, I am not in the US this summer. This is the first summer since Logan has been around (and since I’ve lived in Taiwan) that I haven’t gone for a summer visit. The thing that makes this tolerable is that my family is totally behind me 100 percent. If I stay in Taiwan this summer and focus on the tasks I need to finish, I will be able to move back to the US next summer — a goal my husband and I are ready to tackle.

Of course, Logan talks a LOT now. He picks up things that are funny as heck, and it’s fun to hear about them, even if I can’t hear them from him. See explanation below.

Logan as Captain Hook, Halloween 2013 (33 months)

Logan as Captain Hook, Halloween 2013 (33 months)

When Technology Fails

One of the things that has made it possible for me to be in Taiwan for this long (including the first two years without my husband) is that technology allows us to stay connected on opposite sides of the world. As recently as 2004 when I visited Asia for the first time, it was difficult to maintain contact through email and internet connections for those 2 1/2 weeks. What a difference 5 years made. When I came here to live (in 2009), Skype was well established, and I was able to communicate regularly (sometimes daily) with my parents and my husband. My mother joked during my first year here that she talked to me more with me in Taiwan than she did when I was in the States.

My children are all pretty tech savvy, but when it comes to Kate, we could not get her microphone to work. So when we Skyped (which had its own challenges), she and Logan could hear me, but she would have to type messages to me. I know about the cute things Logan says because Kate tells me (either in Skype texting or in Facebook messages). Don’t get me wrong! I love those messages from her, but especially this summer with no in-person visit, it’s rough not to be able to “hear” him when I can see him and see his mouth moving.

Good News

So this is my long-winded way of telling you that after all this time, I can finally hear Logan. My oldest son came up with a plan and enlisted my help so that he could surprise his sister with a new laptop computer while he visited this last month. Now when my daughter Skypes, I can hear them. It’s awesome. Our schedules haven’t allowed for very much contact yet, but hearing him is no longer limited to the summer visits. So even though I am not in the US this summer, I can still hear the little guy from time to time and see his world through his eyes.

This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-214/ 

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Feeling Trapped HERE: Stream of Consciousness Saturday (Part 1)

Linda’s Friday prompt for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness post is “hear/here.” I think I’m going to do this in two parts, starting with “here.”

10530768_10202456215468170_2235054169176470936_nI’ve been struggling for several weeks to feel like myself. The one good thing I know is that I have not been dwelling in the past. And I’m only mildly dabbling in the future — though that is part of my “long-range” planning for heading back to the US next summer. My point is that, for now, I try to be in the present. I try to be here.

The unfortunate thing is that at the moment, here is not an especially nice place to be. I can’t seem to get excited about what to do here. I know this is the best chunk of time I’m going to have for the next twelve months. Yet, I can’t seem to enjoy and explore the here and now.

Luckily, there are moments, when I get little glimpses of motivation and wonder here. And I daresay that those moments might be coming a little more often than they did during the last few weeks. This gives me hope because there are things I want to do in my present here, so that I can make a relatively smooth transition to the future.

I’m not looking for sympathy, or even suggestions. I feel like I’m finding my way out of this. It’s just been a frustration to feel like the moments float by me without my participation. I am not usually this passive — therefore, the discomfort is — haha — uncomfortable. I guess the main reason for following this train of thought in this post is that I’ve learned that these little Saturday exercises often move me to the next level if I let this unconscious part come to the surface. So here I am.

Another reason I can recognize that things are improving is that my productivity is slowly returning to a more normal level. Not quite as good as I’d like, but still — it’s significant. The goal setting I’ve been doing over the past few weeks was supplemented this week by a few “concentrated lists” for a particular day and time. That seemed to make a difference. In other words, I like contests, games, challenges. I need to remember and use that to my advantage, even when I think I don’t have the desire to play.

Because that is the other key: making sure that fun and play are part of my here. It’s important to give myself down time and to really give myself over to the playful side, like when I take time out for Zentangle with coffee, of course (as in the picture above) and a couple finished Zentangles in the photo below.

As August gets into full swing, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about here, and I look forward to having some fun things to show you in the near future.

You might want to check out a whole other angle of this week’s SofCS with my post about HEAR.  🙂

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If you’d like to join in, please do. It’s a great way to meet new people and see new blogs!

Here are the rules from Linda’s page:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people will come and read your post! The way to ping back, is to just copy and paste the URL of my post somewhere on your post. Then your URL will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. For example, in your post you can copy and paste the following: This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-214/  The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!