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Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Life Well Lived...."Remember You Love Me" *READ THIS!!!"

While I was working the other night I got an email from Diva Dad. Even though I was really busy trying to get stuff written, the title intrigued me. "Remember You Love Me," which was a recent Mother's Day article in the Huffington Post. As I read the email that he forwarded to me further, I tried to manage my shock....

The email exchange was between two people I don't know, but it was discussing a person, I knew very briefly and vaguely, but someone who was very very close to Diva Dad. I remember that when Diva Dad and I worked at The Famous Tea House, Padma Atluri would come in, sometimes with her sister, but often by herself. She was usually there to hang out with and talk to Diva Dad, who was a bit of a local celebrity. I don't recall exactly how Diva Dad and Padma knew each other, but I knew that they had a very close and special friendship. What I do remember about Padma is that she would brighten up a room. There was no mistaking her entrance into a room and you absolutely knew when she left as the dust seemed so settle sadly on the shelves again. She was a bright light....without question. This observation is from one, who only knew her from the periphery, but this is how I remembered her. So when I read the email exchange it talked as if Padma was gone...I decided not to face this fact until after I read the article, where in fact it said that Padma had died earlier this year of cancer.

PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/padma-atluri/learning-to-love-my-mother_b_858872.html

The email also said that the article is published in its entirety using all of Padma's words without major edits, the only thing they changed was the title, which she had originally written as "Remember You Love Me" which I personally think is more fitting...but I'm not a journalist.

So, in reading this beautiful article about a daughter and a mother and LIFE, I began to think about what is a life well lived. When are we given the freedom and license to die having achieved our purpose on this earth what is our legacy? What do we leave behind. I believe that Padma's life was a life well lived and yet the love she showed and the maturity she gained in loving, accepting and forging a new kind of friendship with her mother, seems even more extraordinary to me.

In my estimation, our purpose is self directed and God-guided but usually (for me)it is a reflection of the influence our life has had on others. And by influence I mean those we have touched in some way, shape or form. And Padma, has touched me and others greatly and while reading her amazing article I reflect on the fact that I too am embarking on a journey with my own mother and her words sit with me from heaven and guide and direct me as I go...Thank you for your beautiful life and words Padma...THANK YOU!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Faith, Failure, a Friend and Photos That Look Like Mugshots

*Just a warning, this post gets a little raw* We all get raw, just most of us don't broadcast it to the world, so Imma little crazy, I like to tell it all...cause I love stories, even mine.

So.. FAITH

We all know I have it and that it waivers greatly! I think on a whole, I'm a great believer in something, but I truly don't know what it is and I don't totally believe that I trust in it...which might actually be my problem. See if I believed in Kabbalah, I could just manifest with love all that I desire, but ya know (and most of you do) I have been manifesting FOR YEARS....daily. I have been grateful, loving, caring, giving...in essence GOOD!! In fact too good in most cases. And sometimes...well, sometimes I just don't always see it working. Ya know. Not for the big stuff, like finances and fulfilling life long dreams. Kids, I'm covered, I got those and they are amazing!!! Health, other than now being over weight (which I have never been before) I'm good (thank God!!! really) loved (check) creative (check) happy (mostly!) so life isn't bad, it just isn't what I have been manifesting. So THE MOVE TO CHINA....

Brings me to FAILURE! (just wait, I get there in the end...but roll with me here)

So when I was young I wanted to be an actress (but I have always really been a writer, ever since I was very young.) I was a good actress and eventually, just as my career was ending, was a really good actress...but alas... I failed as an actor.

I then became a filmmaker (but I'm still a writer), and was a REALLY GOOD filmmaker and made films that were in film festivals and were on the big screen and it was fun...but I wasn't able to make my living as a filmmaker...so I failed as a filmmaker.

I was almost a development executive at a big company and I worked hard, brought in cool ideas, tried to make it with the big guys and...was laid off, FAIL.

I then tried to make it as a writer, my true gift, my true voice and my true calling...and I have for the last five years, by the skin of my teeth have been working exclusively (except for the Daycare years) as a writer...mini succeed. But I didn't write my own works, but the works of others until recently when I was awarded a 10 book horror series which will bare my name...mini succeed. Still NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE....MOVE TO CHINA....fail?

I am a MOTHER...this I can say I do well. My kids are happy, loved, smart, they want for nothing, they haven't faced too much hardship and they wake up smiling and ready to greet the world every day. I feel like so far...I AM A SUCCESS as a mother. And a single mom at that, apart from help from my family and friends (when I need it) and the stipend from the state, I have done this parenting thing...alone, included feeding, housing and entertaining us. I guess in this regard, I have succeeded. But now, I have found a house that feels like a home and it is bigger than any place we have ever lived and I have nice things that I love and in the next week and until the end of the month we are giving away/selling IT ALL (but for whatever will fit in an 8 x 5 box)...today, I can't help but feel like this is a failure too. :( I mean, I guess if you measure your life in things, this would mean I have failed. Failed to keep the things we own.

Now..on the FAITH side, I am giving my things that I have truly LOVED to people who I know will also truly love them and need them as I needed them when I got them. Each deal and opportunity to buy something that I had coveted that others had was a great feeling for me. And yet now, I am giving those things, that I still love, to others. I can't lie...it hurts. And yet, isn't that a test of FAITH, to give to people who want and are in need in the hope that your life will be provided for and the you will benefit one day. Or maybe it won't...maybe we just simply will go back to not having those things anymore...even if we really loved them. :( This is where my faith waivers...I am leaping, but this is the biggest, blindest leap I have ever taken. Most would not take it and yet I am...and I am believing that this brings me one step closer to SUCCESS...

SUCCESS because I WILL continue to write in China, I WILL finish my book that has been 5 years in the making and I WILL sell it and IT ABSOLUTELY WILL BE A SUCCESS. China will probably bring me to the next level, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared.

I am happy that I'm going to talk with Nice Therapist today, cause I need to...She of course doesn't think that moving to China is a failure, she believes it is an amazing accomplishment as not many are given this opportunity and I sort of have to agree, the recruiter did tell me that hundreds of people apply for the job I was given every day...so I know, that I am lucky to have been given this chance. Things are just things, but life experiences and adventures can not be bought and sold and last a life time, this again is a gift I am giving me and my children and I have to focus on that.

So I commit to finishing my crazy horror series, my amazing book and finishing the Diva Memoir and raise my kids in China, give my mom a chance to live abroad and try on a whole new life, not knowing if it is better, worse or the same....ahhhh blah!

A FRIEND

Part of Disney's ongoing coolness as a company (at least so far) is to make sure that me and the kids are happy living in China, so my recruiter has hooked us up with another teacher working for Disney in Beijing. I get an email from him today and it turns out HE HAS A SON!!!! who is 2, so instant friend. We are meeting when we get to China and I have a family and a "friend" to help me understand the challenges of raising kids in China...who is in China working for the same company. This is very cool and it gives me just a little piece of mind. He did say housing prices are really expensive, but again, he is living in an expansive ex-pat neighborhood, so as I suspected, finding a house is my greatest concern outside of finding a home for my amazing dog :(

And finally THE WORST PHOTOS I HAVE EVER SEEN EVER OF MY KIDS...

I PRESENT TO YOU, THE PASSPORT PHOTOS OF BIG AND LITTLE DIVA!!!!!



Needless to say, my kids look a little freaked about the move as well. :) Onward to adventure....eeek!

EDITED TO ADD: I just got this post from a friend who has not only lived abroad with his family but just picked them up and moved them again on another adventure :) just about month before we did...with THE MOUSE as well.

Lorie - what a great adventure ahead of you. So proud of you for taking chances and showing your kids that some of the best lessons in life test our faith, hope and push the boundaries. Wishing you all the best and look forward to your continued blog updates.

And there you have that pesky faith again, giving you signs from...I don't know...GOD/Blue Fairy, Alien 754...that you are in fact on the right track...thanks friend... God (or whoever) I really needed that today!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Doing Laundry is Kinda Fun When You are Giving 3/4's of the Stuff Away....

I'm actually enjoying giving away most of the kid's clothes. I must admit that most of the girl's clothes were third or fourth generation hand me downs, that were really cute, gently used and really expensive at the time, but by the time they have gotten to Little Diva they were looking a bit...um...used. So getting rid of them is such a nice feeling. Now, the kids still have an insane amount of brand new, beautiful clothes that I doubt I will be able to part with but each of my kids had about two dressers full of clothes so pairing it down to one big suitcase is very freeing.

I told my landlord that we are moving and she is fully willing and ready to kick the new renters out of my home when we get back... :) um, I'm sorta not kidding. It feels nice to be loved either way.

The issue of where we are going to live is still very unresolved, but I'm getting better with that. We have a HUGE selection of places to live in Beijing, from glamorous micro accomodations, where we will all be crammed into 100 square feet of space or rent a palace on the hill way out of the way (in the burbs) with a nice lay out and some elbow room. So the age old question is...commute or cram???? I still haven't decided yet.

I have joined a mommy's group in Beijing and they are having their first playdate this Friday. I told them we were arriving in July and hope to be kept in the loop for future playdates...that, I must admit was simply a weird experience. I will be missing this playdate in Xiuxu-Wanfu...not sure how to say it park....but there will be more. Um...just a little weirdly normal.

In fact most of the things discussed on my brand new-living-in-Beijing-CHINA!!!! mommy board are simply boring. Many are selling their sit/stand strollers (Momma Drama Pats back for deciding this was the best stroller for Beijing even BEFORE reading that it was in fact the best stroller for Beijing). Um, apparently there are only two weeks left to sign up for Drama camp at the price of my left arm...no thanks. Although Drama camp would be fun DRAT!!!! And someone is in desperate need of a breast pump....hmmmm sounds just like home.

So speaking of home here are the strange and odd housing choices I have found so far.

CLASSIFIED UNDER: SCARY!!!! (but right in the middle of town)


BRING YOUR OWN SEALANT AND PAINT...


AMPLE STORAGE




LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM and BEDROOM AT YOUR FINGER TIPS....RUN!!!!!!

CLASSIFIED UNDER: MAKE YOUR LIVING ROOM YOUR FOOTBALL FIELD







BEAUTIFUL, BIG, NEAR A SUBWAY, BUT NOT NEAR WORK, BUT DOABLE....MUST CHECK IF IT IS LOCATED ON TOP OF A LAND MINE, NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP, OR ZOMBIE INFESTED ANCIENT BURIAL GROUND...THIS ONE SEEMS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

CLASSIFIED UNDER: FANTASY HOUSING IN FOREST FAR FAR AWAY






NICE :) IN MY PRICE RANGE AND ALL I WOULD NEED IS A PRIVATE JET TO GET TO WORK.

CLASSIFIED UNDER: AHHH WHATEVER, I'LL CLEAN IT TOMORROW

THIS BATHROOM MAKES ME ITCH

CLASSIFIED UNDER STRANGE AND UNUSUAL BILLBOARDS


NO MEN!!!! KEEP OUT!!!! GRRRR.

CLASSIFIED UNDER: BAD, DARKLY LIT, INDY CHINESE FILM WHERE SOMEONE DIES...


NOODLES ANYONE????

CLASSIFIED UNDER: ANGELS CHORUS PART THE CLOUDS...




WOOOO THIS ONE IS BEAUTIFUL AND IN TOWN AND NEAR A SUBWAY....INQUIRE ABOUT ZOMBIES???


http://rent.soufun.com/chuzu/3_17343842_1.htm

This Cheap Dump as advertised on the website looks fun....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Okay, Back from Being MIA...

So I have been kind of missing in action because, I have been on vacation with my cousin/sister and her family in Denver which was so much fun and I love them so much, two I back yard camped in my sister's yard and um...well, lets just say, Mama Music and I will go to our graves laughing over this one!!!! Wink* love ya sis and three...I AM LOSING MY MIND. So um, that's the reason for the silence.

I have signed paperwork and we are working on getting a work visa for China, the girls are going to get their passports tonight and I have decided to sell most of what I own, but for one of those big blue storage thingys and jump headlong into this adventure. I would love to say that I am excited and would even more love to say that everything is arranged and we are ready to go. In truth my mind is a mishmash of "things" that need to be done. I'm still working on my writing assignments, I have to finish boring bureaucratic stuff and um...SELL MY ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD! Never mind the sadness that I am leaving the coolest place I have ever lived in, or my friends and family or that I don't know what I am going to do for Big Diva's first year of Kindergarten, which I might add, I spent almost an entire year getting her into a good school, now...its homeschool? Chinese local school???? Um...tutor...who knows. Little Diva who just started school will have the same problem, Chinese school? Daycare? (in Chinese???) Chill out with Gaga Diva (which is the plan at the moment) SO CONFUSING!!!!!

But the saddest part is, I found out that I can't really take our dog :( I looked into the reality of bringing her (which was my first choice) and with her advanced age, a 30 day quarantine at the airport and a size restriction in Beijing, I am stuck leaving her here. So far, I don't have any takers to foster/care for her while I'm gone and I have to confess this has reduced me to tears. Not so much that people can't take her, I understand people's needs and 15 months is a long time. But, I love my little doggie, she has been and is the best dog in the world. I owe it to her to be happy. I don't want this move, which is sort of a necessity at the moment, to ruin her life.

See...I'm kinda in a haze about everything. I know that since so many doors flung wide open and quickly for this opportunity, there will be an answer for her too, its just sad to look at my little girl and know that her future (like ours) is uncertain.

While I know this is a great life adventure, the stay-put-and-just-raise-your-family side of me is really stressed. The go-for-your-dreams-create-an-incredible-life side of me is giving me a serious high five, but I am of two minds...so there it is..The Raw and the Real of Uprooting Your Entire Family and Moving to CHINA....for Pete's sake.