No not chiropractic instruction.
Although, being 38++ weeks pregnant and all, not a bad thought.
This was a workshop put on for expat women here in the city, by others who have been here for varying amounts of time–called “Bloom Where You’re Transplanted”–to provide insights into how to handle transitions.
I figured it would be good for me, since we’ve had a lot of transitions in the past few months. Count them:
1) Quitting our jobs (April)
2) Selling our house and moving in with friends (April)
3) Traveling to Minnesota and staying with (then) perfect strangers for nearly 2 weeks) during a seminar (April)
4) Saying goodbye to everyone in our home state and departing on our 3 week road trip from Ohio to California via Georgia with 3 kids and all our earthly goods in a minivan (May-June)
5) Surviving a broken arm and stitches in the head in a 3 day period (June)
6) Moving to China: new home, new schools, new language, new culture… (June)
7) Finding out we’re 5 months pregnant (July)
But back to the seminar.
It was so nice to walk into a room decorated for fall with harvest table centerpieces, homemade muffins and fall yummies, and drink coffee out of a mug instead of paper.
We heard about culture stress, and how to deal with it effectively. One woman said she noticed a difference in attitudes between those who only planned to stay for a short time, and those who were staying for the long haul.
The short termers said, “I can handle anything for __ months–I’m going back to the good-ole USA where life is much better soon anyway.”
The long termers tended to say, effectively, “I will make a choice to smile, and find the positive in all my circumstances, and to bloom where I’m transplanted.”
I heard about a child who had grown up somewhere in Asia, and they were back in the US for a while. They passed by a large foul smelling dumpster in a New York alley, which the dad was not so keen on, but the son said fondly, “Oh dad, doesn’t that remind you of home?” To him it was a familiar and comforting memory.
We got some pointers on cooking and making substitutions to get hard-to-find ingredients, and sampled some of the wares over lunch.
They even provided child care so Lu Ming was taken care of and I was completely hands-free for a few hours!
And, maybe most importantly, we talked about how instead of viewing the transitional period as a time to stay afloat and hurry up and get to solid ground on the other side, to consider how God might be wanting to meet us in the midst of the transition and change our hearts towards Him.