It can be hard to be away from our families and friends for the normal, everyday stuff like a family dinner or a cook-out with friends. When special occasions roll around like birthdays or Christmas it feels especially appropriate to be with those with whom we’ve always celebrated, and the distance is noted.
Thank goodness for technology.
For one, we have this blog which keeps our parents (and others) in-the-know and included in our adventures here. We can email whoever we want and it shows up in your inbox just the same as it would if we were sending it from next door. We can receive adorable photos of our niece and nephew decked out in the Paraguayan ware brought back from my parents’ visit. (You can see why I sometimes want to jump through my computer screen for these cuties, eh?)
There’s also video chatting, which is the closest to actually being present. We’ve video chatted in to family gatherings and to receive the happy news that two of our best friends are pregnant.
Isaiah video chatted with his mom the other day, receiving one last tour of their beautiful house in the woods – now empty as she moves on to her next adventure. Looking through the computer out the huge windows of the Goertz house at the brilliant orange and yellow fall leaves put me right in the middle of a midwest fall day, and I soaked it up.
How grateful we are to have this technology to bridge the great distance that separates us from these milestones or the everyday. Though it is such a balancing act. To send my mind flying to a sunny fall day in the midwest (my favorite season), can make the sudden journey back to spring in Paraguay a little jarring.
To all but reach out and touch the beautiful bellies of my friends that are growing along with the precious gift tucked inside, and then feel the thousands of miles that separates us crash down on me upon disconnecting can take its toll.
I am happy in Paraguay and I’m not quite ready to leave. At the same time, I’d love to be a part of all the things going on without us in the States. Of course it’s not possible. Even if we were in the States we’d be distanced from some friends or some family as, even there, they are spread out across the miles.
The art seems to be in the balancing. To give up the idea that I can have it all, be a part of everything, have my hand in every delicious cookie jar. There’s something powerful about admitting that “defeat”. I cannot be everywhere and try everything. I cannot live eight simultaneous lives as to not miss out on anything, and get to see all of life’s choices play out in full like a Sliding Doors movie (which I still remember from high school since the idea appealed to me so).
I’m still working on releasing that idea fully. I am, however, already celebrating the fact that I can usually juggle diving into work at our Paraguayan soup kitchen, and then returning home to shoot off an email to my mom to say hello. The balance is nice. When I need more “home,” I can request a video chat or send out more emails. When I need more focus on the here and now, I can immerse myself in local projects. And when I lose my sense of balance (or intentionally throw it out the window) Isaiah is there to gently add some weight to the side that’s lacking and get my scales and my mind in good balance once again.
Thank you, technology and those who develop it, for making this possible. Now excuse me, I’ve got some
bellies friends to smile at in my video chat date tonight.