Friday, August 29, 2008

Europe is Out of Raisins

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Folks, something has happened. I have achieved a level of calmness, particularly regarding the many things that usually annoy me, that is quite unfamiliar to me. As a good friend said to me quite recently, it is very strange NOT to be able to summon up the feelings of anxiety and worry that we are so used to having fill our days. Now there is a strange space where all that stress used to be.

Case in point. I went to the "campus" the other day to run a bunch of errands. (This is the place where many of my husband's co-workers and their families live while overseas.) At every turn, typical annoyances cropped up. For example, when I went to renew my daughter's registration for the on-campus daycare services, I was greeted by a sign that said the office was closed for training and to come back later. No sweat! When I did come back later, I learned that drop-ins were no longer welcome and that everything--even just renewals--had to be done by appointment. Again, no sweat. Can't fit me for a whole nother week? No biggie! I suppose I've just become immune. I EXPECT simple procedures on the campus to be rather unsimple. Situations just like this occurred at all five agencies I visited on the campus. And me? I was Teflon.

The icing on the cake, however, the sign that I knew something had really changed within me, happened at the Subway sandwich shop. I was getting Jillson a "kid's pack" which usually consists of a tiny sandwich, a box of raisins, and a juice box. The sandwich was all set to go, and then the conversation went like this:

"What kind of cookie would your daughter like?"
"Oh, no cookie, thank you. Raisins, please."
"We are out of raisins."
"Can she have some baked chips instead?"
"No, those are only for full-sized meals." (Never mind that the cookies and the chips are interchangeable on the full-sized meals.)
"How about apple slices, then?"
"No. We never have apple slices, and Europe is out of raisins."

'Kay. Got it. The guy really wanted to charge me for the meal deal, but since he wouldn't let me do it in a healthy way, I just got the plain old sandwich and went on my merry way. I think I laughed a long time on the drive home thinking about the phrase "Europe is out of raisins." Except that we can buy them at all the grocery stores, on-campus or off.

I realize most people are equipped with the strength to just let these things slide on a regular basis, but so many of us over here enduring the RLBT are not adequately equipped. I think this is because our base-level anxiety is usually so high that any little mishap can send us over the edge. But not any more.

I am fine. It is so weird, but I am fine.

And, if YOU are not feeling fine today, maybe this picture of Jillson with some of her cousins will make you feel better. I love all those butts lined up.And if that doesn't do it for you, check out this series. Jillson, in Maine, hitting the jackpot. Bonus points go to anyone (not present at the event) who can correctly identify the brand and flavor of what is being consumed.

And that's your hodge-podge for today from the Gutsy Mom.


Mom said...

I was there and know the answer. Clue: Aunt Alison would get it right in a flash.
Clue: The new fridge.

Vicki said...

I would guess Maine Blueberry Yogurt

Vicki said...

I amend that to Maine blueberry ice cream. I just saw the edge of an old school scooper in the picture frame. :)

Rachel said...

I just had some raisins the other day. They were good, but I failed to appreciate them for the exotic delicacy they are.

The pictures are adorable...I don't know what she was eating, but I can tell she was enjoying it!

I'm loving the new, stress-free Margaret!

P.S. My good friend who works at the day-care registration place is no doubt thankful you were so accomodating. Not everyone has been and it got to the point she quit.

The Gutsy Mom said...

Yes, it is ice cream... no, it is not blueberry, but that is a very good guess. Come on, Gutsy Dad, where are you? You know you know this.