Saturday, September 08, 2007

Change can be good even when it's sudden

Growing up I loved change. Actually I couldn't sit still for more than one minute. As I grew up I found out how to be content with complacency. Well, I thought it was time for a change.

I always had some sort of job for as long as I can remember; except when Mira was 2 and I stayed home full-time for one year. I was very content staying at home. After that one year at home I worked part-time until we moved to Egypt. When we arrived in Egypt I started working at Mira's school as the secretary. I really enjoyed the work, the people, and being with Mira, because she was in 2nd grade at the time and living in Egypt was new to both of us. I made a lot of real friends who I somehow manage to keep in touch with -- you know me, I get lazy at emails after awhile.

I quit abrubptly almost two weeks ago now. While I am relieved I am no longer working, I miss the people that I got to know over the past two years. I went in on Thursday afternoon to pick up Mira and I saw my dear, dear friend Reham. She is quite a woman. I swear if I were Egyptian I would want to be her. She has it all - the language, the attitude and the best sense of humor.

I recently watched an episode of Oprah where women debated the stay at home mom vs. the working mom -- ok working outside the home because every mom works in the home. Oprah asked the question: "Can women have it all?" My answer immediately popped into my head: It depends on what 'having it all' means to each woman.

Even though my 20's were quite tumultuous, I have been extremely blessed in my life. I met Hassan when I was 28 and got married 2 weeks before my 30th birthday. We have always attained the goals we set together; as one. No matter what our financial situation was Hassan would always say "If you want to work, then work. If you want to stay home then stay home." It was never and I stress ever an all or nothing deal. None of this Egyptian-minded husband talk of "I permit my wife to work." What the hell kind of thinking is this?

I don't know where I'm going with this post.

Anyways, I'm at home now. I drop Mira off at school at 7:45 and pick her up at 2:20. I come home to an empty flat, nothing special. I catch the US news off of the great satellite system we have now. I get to watch Chris Matthews, ABC, NBC and CBS, along with BBC Prine without being interrupted with "Mommy! Where are you?" I always answer "Where can I be--our flat is only so big?"

But somehow no matter what I do when Mira's in school, I feel so alone, so left out of the real world. For example, Cairo moved their clocks back two nights ago and I didn't find out until last night. You would think I would know this because the Adthan was at a different time already; of course I didn't notice it because all my clocks were set one hour ahead.

I have a lot of time to think. I think about Hassan: how much I love hime and how much I REALLY miss him -- how I took him for granted when he was here and did all the cooking when I would come home from school in a bad mood and talk about all the things happening with the school. I think about how I was always too tired to go visit Aunt Olfat or not having the energy to do anything with him. I think about how Mira has grown up so quickly, how she is into fashion now -- Hannah Montanna and High School Musical 2 being her favorites. I think about my parents, my brothers and sisters, and my friends in the US.

And after all this I can honestly say Alhamdulillah for everything.




karen said...

I have to say "Thank you" for being my friend. I know that you will be a great "work at home" mom and wife... you have quilts to finish, scrapbooks to make and all kinds of stuff that you can do... when you lived in MD you used to paint a room or wallpaper with wallies if you got bored or wanted a change... do something with that new kitchen... (if it is not in yet, let me send you some tools.... I will help you put it in via emails and anyway, you have always been a wonderful person, whether you were working outside the home or inside the home.... and if I know you, you already have a quilt in the works.... is it blue and white?!? Just remember that stress is just as damaging to the body as any unhealthy lifestyle can be... and if you were stressed... and you were... then it is like giving up drinking when you know you have a good chance of sirrosis of the liver.... just think of this as a preventative surgery that was not an elective, but was mandatory for your mental and physical health... and since Hassan and Mira are the only ones that really matter here, and I know they are happy that you are more relaxed and happy, then that is all that matters... give Mira a hug and tell Hassan to call me soon... xoxoxoxo Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi from Oman.

Your post hit home because I'm almost at a point where I want to just stay home full time. But, there's a part of me that is really scared because I don't know what I'll do with myself! Actually, I'm afraid that I just won't be worth anything if I don't contribute in the workforce somehow. Pathetic to say, but it's how I feel! There isn't an issue with money - for me, it's just a way to get out there and be active somehow.

If you've got a great hobby, this will surely give you time to pick it back up again. I love to sew, so for me, I think I'll go back to that.

Anyhow, I liked this post a lot. It got me thinking about my own situation...

Nora said...

So, other than missing the people.. how do you feel?
I know that you used to talk about work putting a strain on Mira nad that bothered you.. now it will not.
I am sure you will get back into doing your hobbies and that will make you happy.
Just create a new routine for yourself and then judge if you are happy or not.
I am glad that you reduced your stress and i hope you are happy.

Love you.

Cairogal said...

I think that even if work is too stressful that it's important to connect w/ non-family members on a regular basis. Have you considered volunteering some time during the week?

EVA said...

Or maybe just inviting some of them over for tea and sweets once a week or two? It is so nice to hear someone say alhamdulilah for everything. May Allah increase your contentment...ameen.