Boundaries & Busy-ness

As I’m composing my blog this week, I have little friends hanging out with me. There’s the 8-month-old baby playing on the floor. Then his older sister who is fifteen years old, and her friend. They have been following me around. Currently they are amazed at how quickly I can type - and they want to know if it’s hard to work on a computer. I said that’s it not necessarily hard once you know what you’re doing. But it can be hard to learn how to work on a computer… I mean, how do you answer that properly to someone who has never really worked on a computer?

Our pond is finally beginning to fill up, as the rains begin.

They are rather cute. But these three have been hanging around me the past couple of hours, as John and I work overnight duty. I had to shoo them out when they stopped over while we were eating dinner - to get a little space. 

It’s hard to strike that balance - because it’s hard to say no to people who have so little. But for my sanity (and John’s), I need boundaries and space to recuperate.

I had a busy day at Hands of Hope this week, and it was invigorating. We were sending out a bunch of shipments to our customers, and I had to prepare all of the invoices, customs packing slips, etc. I really enjoyed it, and I realized that my daily work has not been so exciting lately. I’m working on several long-term projects - one of them is editing all of our products in Photoshop, to remove their background, so the images stand out on their own.

My other long-term project is finding new markets. I’m not getting a ton of responses. I’ve never worked in market development, and it is challenging! Although I worked in college admissions for 10 years and experienced many aspects of sales, this feels more like cold-calling. Now I’m reaching out to people who have never heard of us before. It’s a lot of work with little reward so far.

Therefore, I was very thankful for a day with immediate rewards for my work. The other dynamic is that there has been a shift ever since we made our decision to extend our volunteer assignment. There are a few different factors, but one is that I have experienced a little depression as I realized how much longer it would be until I would be back home with my friends and family. John speaks to this in his upcoming post as well, so forgive our repetition if you read both of our blogs.

This has been amplified by the cessation of our visitors. Life went from a full gallop to the quietest walk. In addition, we have had some personal and professional stress the past couple of weeks, and there were times when I wish I could just pick up the phone to call a friend or family member. With the time difference and my limited options to connect only via WhatsApp and Skype, that is next to impossible. I miss being able to do that.

Can you guess what's it in the photo below on the left?

Mushrooms! In our mushroom hut.

Believe it or not, things are actually looking up. Now I’m able to articulate a bit, which is because some of the funk has lifted and I’ve worked through some of those feelings. Little things help - like exercise, a second cup of coffee to get me to dance at work in the midst of the packing team at Hands of Hope, slightly cooler weather (it’s under 100 degrees almost every day now - of course it still regularly feels like 110 degrees or more - but it’s amazing what a few degrees make in this kind of heat), a bike ride and happening upon the ice cream truck. And carrying my little 8-month-old friend around.