“But YOU live in IRELAND!”

1 May

I hear this a lot.  Usually after complaining about something.  I’ve gotten used to it over the past 14 months.  It’ll go something like…

Me – Crap.  Something totally snafued. Ugh.

Them – Oh, but you live in Ireland!

Implications are that I can no longer complain about anything because I live in Ireland.

Here’s what people forget –

While yes, it is true, I do live in Ireland, and it is seventy different shades of cool that I’ve been able to do this…

I am living my life in Ireland.  Not vacationing.  Not spending most days gazing off cliffs and climbing up castle steps.

I’m living in Ireland. With four kids, a dog and a husband.  With school issues and laundry piles and a house that needs to be cleaned.  I still have to go grocery shopping and take Maura to doctor appointments and do the parent/teacher conference thing.

Yes, I’m doing it all in a more exotic location than most of my friends.  But the catch was that I had to bring all the kids with, and their lives as well.

Case in point – this morning I woke up at 6:something in the a.m. to a weird sound.  I thought it was the dog yakking up something in her cage.  Peeked downstairs, dog is fine.  Check on girls, Maura’s passed out, Mim opened her eyes, I decided all was well and went back to bed.

7:30 in the a.m., go to pry girls out of their beds only to have Miriam announce that she threw up during the night.  And then she began to describe it.  Ew.  And then Maura’s diaper leaked all over her  bed which means I get to change those sheets today.  Woohoo.

So I sent Mim in for a shower while I gathered up ALL the pajama parts (after handing Mim the last fresh nightgown) and then lured Maura out of her bed.  Dragged laundry and Maura down the stairs, threw laundry into the washer and then got Maura ready for school (because Josh, being good, went to the gym early before heading to work.  sigh.)

Eventually, Maura was ready for school, Mim was tucked in on the sofa, Maura was put on the bus, Mim was set up with various remotes and the television, and I went to make a cup of tea.  The dog had to go out, so I let her out the front door….where she decided to chase after a pedestrian.  I called after her loudly, then cursed loudly, then for a split second, pondered whether I should run out into the rain in my socks, or get shoes.  Shoes won.  Pedestrian was nice and stopped so Zoey would stop too.  Zoey is now in a time out in her kennel.  I have an OT meeting at the school today to discuss potty training Maura, fun fun.  And though no one’s asked yet, I have no idea what’s for dinner.

And so on and so forth, world without end, Amen.

The point is, it’s still life.  Yes, I’m in Ireland, but I brought the whole kit and kaboodle with me.  I’m not holed up in a thatched cottage with a cheery fire burning as I type away, the sound of waves crashing in the distance, spending my afternoons walking along the cliffs taking in the views.

I don’t mean to downplay my reality.  I do live in a pretty darn cool place.  I have gotten this great opportunity to expose our kids to more of the world.  I have gotten to climb up castle steps and enjoy great pub moments.

But daily life is still your basic “feed kids, do more laundry, feed kids again, drive kids someplace” sort of lifestyle.  I have as much right to complain about the less glamorous parts of my life as the next person.  And if I’m all cranky because I’m cold and it’s raining…well…I’m allowed that too.

I will promise though – I will always appreciate the more awesome aspects of life in Ireland.  Because I do.

Meanwhile, my washer is almost done with its cycle, the dog is barking over something,  we’re on hour two of a day of cartoons thanks to Sick Girl on the Sofa, and I’m proud of myself for getting the garbage bin to the curb before trash pick up (I thought we had missed it.)

See?  It’s still Life.


17 Responses to ““But YOU live in IRELAND!””

  1. Emily May 1, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    Yes. (But it’s still pretty cool to live somewhere else for a while.)

  2. The Bright Side of Life May 1, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Great post 🙂

  3. Helen May 1, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Small blessings – Miriam did not throw up in the bed or anywhere else that actually required a call to mom!

  4. Suzanne Young May 1, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Well said. And it’s not like you didn’t have to “work” to get to Ireland. While I like change, the thought of packing up and moving two states over (Austin, TX to Phoenix, AZ) has me in a tailspin. I am so impressed that you did that, so in my humble opinion you get carte blanche when it comes to complaining about life’s little bumps in the road.

  5. Renee Anne May 1, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    I think people forget that there’s real life, there’s vacation/holiday life, and then there’s fun. Sometimes, they need to collide, coexist, or remain completely separate.

    I live in Wisconsin and I have people ask me if I’ve done this or that…and with real life getting in the way, I haven’t done some things. I should remedy that…

  6. Hannah May 1, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    I am so sorry Mim is sick! Yay for potty training Maura! And, Good luck potty training Maura! Josh is working out! That is great! Way to go Josh! I like your little complaints about life. It reminds me I am not the only person who struggles with the day to day. I also love to hear about how amazing Ireland it too!

  7. Jessica May 1, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    What exotic is depends greatly on your point of view. Wherever you live you do need to well, live. Not peddle around temples (I lived i Japan for a few years) or down a fugu while wondering if you’ll die from it or not. There’s working, cooking, commuting, whatever. Just in a different environment. One which was alien to me at first, touristey, but became every-day eventually.

  8. Audrey May 1, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Honestly, it sounds like life can be even a bit more difficult for you on some days. You’ve had the driving, the banking, the shopping issues all come up. Rant as needed, lady! You’ve got a lot going on. Great post!

  9. Karin May 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I get something similar living in Phoenix, AZ. People saying “all the time you can spend at the pool or go golfing if you like that, daily hikes, taking in the sun”. When we moved here it was for my job, the kind that takes 12 hr/day and some weekends. You barely notice you live in vacation land until you go out to your car which has now heated to 125 degrees since it’s July and the temperature outside is 110 degrees. Or when a friend or relative is in for their vacation and you do your best to show them around, arrange time together, etc. Phoenix was much more fun as a vacation destination than it is to now be a resident of the state. I can’t work anymore due to a plethora of spine issues, but now that means I can’t hike the beautiful mountains or take long walks in the desert. It’s not that all moments are bad, a nice Saturday evening party in perfect weather when it’s snowing back home in Chicago is fun, but then it’s back to everyday life.

  10. amandajph May 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    I understand completely! I live in Las Vegas and get the same thing! People think I party 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…a)I’d be dead by now and b) where would I get the money (or live for that matter) if I didn’t have a “regular job” like everyone else!

  11. lexiemom May 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Do you wonder if the friends of a native Irishman who moves to the USA say to him, “But YOU live in America!”?

  12. Courtenay Bluebird May 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I’ve seen this happen both ways, actually— Americans to Ireland and vice versa. I’ve always liked the truism: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Thanks for framing this out for us— it’s true. You do have to live a life wherever that may be. Nicely said.

  13. Jessica May 2, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    And for whatever it’s worth. Moving anywhere requires adaptations and figuring things out. International moves all the more so as to how things work. What used to be a given suddenly requires thinking, solutions, and, if things are bad, arguing and managing systems that are new to you. Queu the story of the bank debit card.
    I learned early on, in Japan, that the benefit of language should not be underestimated. God knows I did before I arrived. I knew tourist japanese, I did certainly not know enough to manage the post office, or if I ran into “un-planned” trouble, any official environment where a clear understanding of language was required would make me and the person I talked to uncomfortable. The japanese for not knowing enough english or for the interaction in itself, and me for the opposite. There were days I came home exhausted by that alone, having made myself understood.

    When I came back this was my foremost relief. I could, without problems, make myself understood and I could use language to express the tiniest shades of conversation. I found a new understanding for immigrants who work hard as h*** to manage.

    Then there are the more obvious marks of difference. Oddly, I found those a bit easier to manage.

  14. redmitten May 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    i live in montana. and my photography teacher grew up in ireland, wanting nothing more than to move to * wow * montana. and vice versa. one day i came to class and he had a large photo of a gorgeous castle on the wall. what the?

    this was the castle he grew up next to, not 100 yards from his childhood home. but did he ever take a photo of it? not one. it seemed every day to him. then he moved to montana and was surprised we have no castles here. but he was also surprised that most of us have never spent any time at what was once known as custer’s last stand (the little bighorn field). he couldn’t understand that- afterall we only live half of an hour away. his point to our class was that we want what we don’t have and in so doing we miss the beauty of where we are.

    and in my long way of getting around to things- the reason i read your blog each week is that it’s easy for me to see that you DO embrace what you have around you (be it ireland or whatever…it’s not all about geography). you do treasure what and whom is in your life. it rubs off on me in so many good ways when i read your words. and so i gain when i visit here and i thought i should mention this now and then.


    • phoebz4 May 3, 2012 at 3:01 am #

      thank you so much! It’s funny – we grew up in Chicago and I remember when he was in college, my brother thought Wyoming was the most fabulous place on earth. We were all “Wyoming?” But he loved it. Now? I can appreciate what he saw in it.

  15. Angel Brookins May 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    pssh … YOU’RE in Ireland! where you have to stuff all of the laundry into that tiny washer/dryer in the kitchen, then wait way too long for it to finally be done, leave the sick child with the remote to the TV with access to BBC channels full of WAY too much adult humor while you run off to a conference with the school teachers that you’ll have to get to repeat themselves eight times because they talk too fast…
    go ahead and complain, Girlie! We get it!

  16. healingandliving May 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    It was so funny to read this, because I actually have expressed the same sentiment to myself many times over the last year — “But you live in San Francisco!” As much as I worked really hard to move across the country a year ago and try to savor my time here, life sometimes makes it extremely difficult, not to mention the pressures, stress, and expense of living here is entirely different than visiting on vacation. The reality is though that it is still a beautiful place with lovely weather, and lots to do. Reading your post though made me feel encouraged that it’s not ungrateful to recognize that no matter where I am, life is going to happen, and it’s not always going to be peachy, while being mindful that I still get to wake up every day in a place that I love.

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