in which I’m tired and I wallow
Yesterday I ran into a friend in the park. We were on the same aliyah flight and therefore are forever bonded because we’ve been here for exactly the same length of time. Her kids and my kids ran around on the slides together for a while while we talked.
And? The newbie glow has worn off. Now that the dust has settled from the move and the kids are adjusted (relatively) and happy (relatively), we’re all facing the same things we did in the United States. Life is expensive. Jobs are stressful. There is never enough time to nourish the bodies and souls of everyone in the family plus clean the floor and do the food shopping.
As a reward for moving all this way, I earned the right to delay my career crisis by six to eight months. AM was going to be in school in September 2009 regardless of our location; I would have had five free mornings a week in any country. Ulpan is filling that time. For now. Come February 25th, I’m at loose ends. (In truth, not exactly, because we have family coming to visit, and then it’s going to be Pesach. But by the middle of April for sure.)
But in the future: I’d like to earn some money. I’d like to not spend too much money on afterschool programs and activities; particularly not if it’s going to be more than I make in the first place. I’d like to feel productive. I’d like to not have to sell myself to get work.
During Chanukah vacation I had my first work assignment in about nine months. It came from an established contract, but the work is irregular, to say the least. I felt rusty and clueless, which I guess is appropriate for working for a quasi-government entity. By the end of the assignment I had my sea legs again, as it were, but I have no idea when or if more work will come my way. The person for whom I did the assignment was pleased with my work overall; my contact tells me that there should be lots of work in the hopper, but the project is in financial straights and what I do for them is considered an “extra” expense. So I really don’t know. The money is nice but unreliable, and I’m right back where I knew I’d be sometime this school year. Up in the air.
We certainly didn’t delude ourselves into thinking that moving to Israel was going to be the panacea that answered every Life question we had. It’s good for removing snow from our lives, certainly, but the jury is still out on a lot. It is very nice to have family (Taxman’s) close by, and the kids get to see their cousins every couple of weeks. This is very good.
But at the same time we are trying to carve out a place for ourselves among people who are already settled and being only–in my opinion–minimally successful. I don’t know that I will ever blend even halfway. I’ll never lose my American accent; I’ll probably never want to eat meat for lunch every day; and I’ll don’t know if I have it in me to be a quick-thinking, straight-talking Israeli in any language.
The sky, however, turns beautiful colors almost every evening. That’s when I think it’s not all a big mistake.