Saturday, October 23, 2010

Slowing down (or trying to)

As I was explaining to my sister what a typical day as a stay at home mom in Busia consists of (much like the last post), she listened patiently and then asked, "But what do you do when he's playing?"  That's a really good question!  I suppose my life is more Caleb-centered than it's been since maternity leave and I hadn't really stopped to think about my life here as independent from Caleb's. 

To answer her question: What I do is patiently watch him play, try to befriend any nearby adults, and practice some Swahili with the kids.  I take a photo here and there.  I come and go when I want.  I pretty much let Caleb and the weather set the schedule.

This attitude might seem totally type-B and carefree of me, but, trust me, it very much goes against my nature. I like having a schedule, detest feeling unproductive and am happiest when I'm busy.  But I'm slowly learning to go with the grain here.  I've had (and failed to keep) a New Year's resolution to "stop and smell the flowers" or live more "in the moment" almost every year, and this is the perfect opportunity to cultivate that ability.

And it's actually a lot easier to do here where the prevailing pace of life is just slower.

I just came back from a visit to the tailor who lives right around the corner. She was sitting on the stoop outside her shop with her children and nieces, much like I imagine people once did in small town America of the 1950s, just waiving to passersby who occasionally stopped to visit.  She's become a friend of mine and I joined her for a while and we watched Caleb play with the children.  There was a lot of silence, but none of it uncomfortable.  This too is a first for me.  The conversation was easy and free and I imagine we both just enjoyed taking in the scene, feeling the cool breeze and the delicious feeling of stopping for a while.  You know, smelling the flowers.  I might even get used to it for a while.

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