Recommended reading: August 27th, 2018

My latest collection of recommended reading – recent blog posts about TCKs and expatriate life I appreciated and commend to you.

Goodbye 250
Communicating Across Boundaries
With the gracious writing I now associate with Marilyn, she says farewell to something ordinary. This is an important skill when it comes to leaving well. Recognising that the ordinary, the mundane, is what makes up our lives! Routines happen when I do the same thing over and over – which means those ordinary things take up a lot of time and space in my life, over time. They become my life. Familiarity can be a sweet thing indeed, and one worth savouring, and deliberately farewelling.
And today is my last work day. The last day that I sit in my cubicle, answer emails from my official email account, and answer the phone in my official capacity. Soon I will leave Boston and Cambridge. A plane will take me thousands of miles away to a small apartment on the other side of the world. I will leave a place I love to go to a place I have begun to love. Who is so fortunate? I ask myself this question every day. And when people ask me where I’m from, I will say with some pride, and no hesitation “I’m from Boston.” Those are sweet words indeed.

The Countdown to Good-bye
Raising TCKs
Lovely piece by a mother preparing to drop her son off at boarding school, and processing the fear and grief that goes with that.
For me my fear was losing my son to someone else. As soon as I wrote it out, peace broke through like a river (that song has never made sense to me until just now). And now I need to remind myself that I’m not losing my son. He’s just growing up. I can grieve that – but I also need to rejoice in the fact that he is growing up and becoming his own man.

Pardon Me, Can You Point Me to the Toilet?
Wine and Cheese (Doodles)
Great post about the differences of dialect – the different vocabulary we use in different English-speaking countries, in this case. More than that, how repeated exposure changes the way you speak, and eventually, the way you think. I’ve experienced this myself – so many words jumbled in my head, and I know one is the Australian and another the American but stuffed if I know which is which!
I think it’s because the auto-go-to for your brain alters. And not just for things like toilet vs. bathroom. It’s being overwhelmed in Target because of the sheer size and choice. It’s feeling strangled in the city of your heart because you’ve been outside of its embrace for too long. Its getting lost in places you should know, gone long enough that the breadcrumb trail has dried up and blown away, long enough that the muscle memory has atrophied and you panic you’re going need to use the GPS to find your way home.

Third Culture Kids and Safe Places: Community
Life Story
Another great piece in this series (though I’m late in sharing it!) Here Rachel talks through a bit of why community matters, why we struggle to build it, and how to move forward. She covers the importance of choice, and investment – as well as the need for intimacy, to know ourselves well and “being willing to share that self with others“.

How to Explain Work Travel to Your Child
Shanghai Mamas
Business trips are a common feature of expat life for many families. This is a good little article with tips for dealing with work travel and kids – how to explain it, say goodbye, and connect while away.

Adapting to Change Can Be HARD
Thrive Global
Great little post on dealing with change (transition) and a few simple tips to keep in mind when it’s hard. Very similar to what I’ve written about change and transition before, and how in a season of transition we lose our “automatics”.
If change happens so frequently, why is it so difficult? For one thing, humans are creatures of habit. Much of what we do daily – from putting on our clothes to driving a car – happens without us even thinking about it. Our brains don’t need to do a lot of work to carry out repetitive behaviors that have formed into habits – our unconscious brain takes over. But changing those routines is a different story. It requires focus and attention, and it makes our brain work overtime to adapt; we have to be intentional and make conscious choices.

Finding Fun on the Field
Velvet Ashes
Fun story about finding fun in a cross cultural setting! I’ll admit I’m still struggling to find the fun/relaxation in my latest home. So this is a good reminder to me – and I hope to others as well!
Fun is a short-term pleasure, with long-term effects. Maybe it’s reading a book in the hammock, or going out for a good coffee with a friend. It could be hosting a party, or walking along the beach at sunset. Having fun allows us to lift our eyes, even just for a moment, from the heavy toil we might be in and see a bigger picture.”

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