Monday, December 16, 2013

Life and Energy

All my energy--creative or otherwise--is consumed simply by daily living.

Before coming to Singapore I really didn't know how different day-to-day life would be for me. I had so many plans: I was going to become fluent in Chinese, I was going to become an Indian dance goddess, I was going to volunteer in my kids' classrooms, I was going to volunteer as a folk dance teacher for a community after-school program, I was going to travel to a gajillion places, I was going to get involved with the "green" community here, I was going to set up a free s:w.a.p., I was going to study the many different religions of Singapore, I was going to meditate daily and commune with the Divine, I was going to write/blog more, I was going to . . .

Yeah. Not so much. I did do a tiny fraction of almost all of those things.

But mostly, I was: grocery shopping and doing laundry. For reals.

Yes, Singapore is a dynamic place to be.  It is an exciting global community and a great jumping off point for international travel and cultural enrichment. But, man, the day-to-day living here (well, my day-to-day living) is much harder than at home in Utah. Though we do not have a live-in helper, I completely understand why many people do get help. (That conversation about live-in domestic help can--and does--get controversial, but I am not interested in controversy right now.) Shopping and laundry take so much more of my time here than back home in Utah. (Rough guess would be around 3 times longer. That's a lot.)

It's wearying.

The other daily challenge regards the children and a local support network. Because the children go to an international school and not a local school, the student body comes from all over the island. So the children's friends are not really in the neighborhood. Impromptu play does not happen here. I can't taxi one kid to a play date far away (where I will likely have to stay the whole time) because I need to instead be home making dinner or helping someone with homework. It's not like back home where I could send them down the street, around the corner, or even a 4-minute bike ride away. Same with church friends here. Great friends, just not convenient distances.

What's my point? I guess it's my way of explaining my absence.

Creativity is elusive these days. I get hungry for it.

It makes me realize that creativity is a luxury.

It also makes me realize that creativity is, indeed, a necessity.


Sarah said...

So here's an example of the laundry: I just put in a load on the "denim" setting of our washer. Two pair of men's jeans and one pair of my son's jeans and I got the indicator saying that the washer was past the 100% capacity for this type of load. A load of my husband's button-down dress shirts? Five will put it over the limit. And everything is line-dried.

Lisa said...

You are very lucky :). Imagine all the emotional/sensory experiences your body is taking in! You are now this much more knowledgeable and have widened your understanding of what life is truly about. It definitely doesn't lie in our daily chores themselves, but rather how we interpret them. One of the most valuable things about life is understanding and appreciation of its functionality. And what better way to broaden that experience than with experiencing different environments? Good on you, woman!

Yo Momma Runs said...

So interesting to see that perspective. Especially when I'm feeling ornery about cleaning my kitchen. And our washing machine just went out, and I was also complaining about possibly having to go to the laundry mat. It's nice to change things up from time to time (or read about other people's experiences) so we don't forget that our way is not the only way. That's why I love reading!

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