I've always had a lot of respect for parents of young children, but after a day spent tending my niece, my admiration is through the roof. I had no idea how tired watching over an 8 month old could make a person. Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of it, she's a sweetheart who was pretty much an angel (she even saved her messy diapers until her mom got home.) But still, you have to be on watch the entire time to make sure they don't roll off the bed, pull the dog's tail or put something in their mouths.
I can hardly believe how much she changes every day. When I left in February, her major occupation was spitting up - so much so that she wore a bib at all times and you didn't pick her up without a rag. Now she hardly spits up, but drools and babbles a lot. The one thing that hasn't changed is how much she loves her mom and prefers her over every other person, and I think that is just as it should be.
A line from an old Rolling Stones song always makes me think of her, "Ruby Tuesday":
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
It's difficult to explain just how wonderful it feels to be home. Sleeping in my own bed Thursday night was heavenly. Using my very own washing machine AND dryer was a luxury and getting behind the wheel was only a little bit scary.
The best part was going to Aurora Friday night to spend the weekend with my family. Hanging out with Sadie (my dog) was so fun. I know she doesn't see me a lot, but I swear she remembers me. Perhaps even better was seeing how much my niece Maggie has grown and how much more fun she is to be with now, she's more active and has the cutest laugh. I'll do about anything to make her giggle. I truly love spending time with my family, they make me laugh, they love me for exactly who I am and support what I do, even when they don't understand it.
Being home in Aurora, surrounded by the family is the place I feel safest in the world. It's a place where I can leave the stress of the world behind and just feel at peace.
Little Big Town had a song a couple of years ago that evokes the sense of peace I feel when I go home, "Bring it on Home"
Wants to make it all right
Someone that loves you more
Than life right here
You've got willing arms that'll hold you tight
A hand to lead you on through the night right here
I know your heart can get
All tangled up inside
But don't you keep it to yourself
When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
The weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me
The best part about a 14 hour flight (if you are lucky enough to be on an airline that offers video on demand) is the chance to catch up on the movies you've missed. Between Doha, Qatar and Washington DC I managed to watch:
National Treasure 2
I Am Legend
A good way to pass the time. To bad I had another 8 1/2 hours in flight on planes with no movies. I filled this time reading and listening to music. As usually, the Shuffle genie picked a song that was a perfect accompaniment for my trip, Julie Robert's "Mama Don't Cry"
Looking down that highway wondering how far it goes
And I can feel your hand resting on my shoulder
Hear you saying, baby, don't forget when you're grown
That road will always lead you home
It's a wide, wide world looking out this window
Thirty thousand feet above the ground I grew up on
Just a small town girl out here chasing rainbows
Doing what I can to stand up on my own
You taught me well, you raised me right
So Mama don't cry
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I'm finally on my way home, it'll take a couple of days, but soon I'll get to see my wonderful home, family and friends. This visit to India has been an incredible experience. It's opened my eyes and my heart to so many things. It's been difficult to be surrounded by the overwhelming poverty here every day, I don't know how you can spend much time here with out having your heart break a little each time you see a dirty child in the street begging for a few coins so they can eat. Or driving past the "tent" cities in the most unimaginable places. The only thing that helped me get through each experience was my faith and the knowledge that there is a greater plan and that there are things in life that are much more important than money or possessions.
India a place that makes you question who you are and how you live your life. I hope the lessons and things I've learned here will be with me forever. The last couple of days I've found myself singing a song I thought was completely cheesy when it first came out, but after experiencing India, I think I have a better understanding of it now: "Thank U" from Alanis Morissette:
The moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it was
The moment I touched down
Thank you India
Thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you silence
Monday, May 19, 2008
This weekend L and I checked out a fancy new shopping mall here in
In honor of my sudden onset of insomnia and the lack of sleep I'm going to get over the next couple of nights while I'm traveling, here's one of my favorites, The Corrs "Long Night"
Friday, May 16, 2008
I couldn't sleep last night because I couldn't turn my mind off, I kept going over all the things I need to do in the next couple of days to get ready to leave. Deciding which things to take home with me and what to leave here, finishing a transition plan for work and saying good bye. I must have carried these thoughts in my head all night because when I woke up this morning I couldn't get a line from a song out of my head:
Back to the place I belong
I wanted to hear the rest of it (I could only remember the one line.) I was sure it was a 3 Doors Down song, but couldn't remember which one, so I started digging through my files trying to find it. I finally turned to google and discovered I was searching in the wrong place, the line comes from Daughtry's "Home."
No matter who sings it, its the perfect song to get me going today. Working through my list of to dos is much easier when I remember why I'm doing all this work.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I'm in full countdown mode - mind full of things I need to wrap up so I can leave India for a few weeks and yet unable to concentrate because all I can think about is getting home to see my family, my cute little house up on the hill, adorable Sadie and amazing Maggie.
It seems that when I get into countdown mode all I listen to are songs that remind me of home, I downloaded a new song this week which is a perfect fit for my mood, "Home" by Blake Shelton. It's a beautiful song, and the lyrics describe just how I feel about life right now, I'm a very lucky girl who loves her job and the adventure of India, but still, all I can think about this week is how much I want to go home.
I can't wait for my plane to land in DC next Wednesday so I can spend my first night in 3 months in the US or to drop in on my old home Dallas on Thursday, even if all I get to see is the airport for a couple of hours, but more than anything I can't wait to see those Wasatch Front Mountains out of the window of the airplane. It doesn't matter how long I've been gone or where I've been, when I see those mountains below me I feel at peace. I know I'll soon be back Home.
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home
Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I wanna go home
Another sunny place
I'm lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Let me go home
I'm to far from where you are
I wanna come home
And I feel just like I'm living someone else's life
It's like I stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
This was not your dream
But you always believed in me
Let me come home
I've had my run
Baby I'm done
I'm coming back home
Let me come home
It will all be alright
I'll be home tonight
I'm coming back home
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
After a great dinner, my flat mates and I jumped into rickshaws (pedal powered type) and headed home. I'd grabbed the first one and was in the lead. Just as we passed over the bridge, P & E pulled pass and informed me we were racing and they were now in the lead. My driver picked up the pace and Sawyer Brown started playing in my head,
Pride in the backstretch
Heartaches going to the inside
I lost the race, but I have a feeling I'll be singing this song for the rest of the week.
Just as I was getting ready to go to bed last night, I heard that there had been some bombs in Jaipur a city about 160 miles from Delhi. After a quick call home to assure everyone I was fine and that I was no where near the problems I quickly fell asleep. I got up this morning and have worked like mad to prepare for a presentation this afternoon. I finally got a break stopped to read the reports on the bombing and to reflect. With the cyclone in Myanmar, the earthquake in China and now the bombing in India, this has not been a great week for Asia. It's a simple reminder that life is precious and we should cherish each day we have. Pin It
Posted by Jamie at 3:42 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Just one week left here in Delhi (on this trip at least) and a line from a Mandy Moore song keeps running through my head:
Still, when I walk past women like this I feel very blessed.
The baskets at their feet will soon be on their heads as they carry the dirt and rocks all over the building sites. And, yet, even doing dirty work like this, they are dressed in beautiful, colorful sarees. (Thanks to Leo for the great photo.)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mom - you taught me I could be anything I wanted, that I could make any dream come true. Through your example I learned the importance of dedication, of taking responsibility, and thinking of the feelings of others before yourself. Without you, I'd be nothing.
I won't be with you today, but I'll be thinking of you. In your honor, from one of my favorites, Jeff Buckley, "Mama, You Been on My Mind"
An' cov'rin' the crossroads I'm standing at,
Or maybe it's the weather or something like that,
But mama, you been on my mind.
When you wake up in the mornin' and look inside your mirror,
You know I won't be next to you, no, I won't be near.
I'd just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
As someone who has had you on his mind.
I hope you can see yourself the way we see you, as the woman who gave us the best of herself and showed us through example how to be strong, resourceful and loving. I love you. Pin It
Friday, May 9, 2008
I had an early morning visitor in my apartment yesterday. He was so big I could see him from across the room without my contacts in. I'm proud to say I didn't scream (but I did move far from him until I came up with a strategy to get him far from me.) I let him keep his life, just returned him to nature - I hope he doesn't repay my kindness by bringing friends back to party.
After removing my little friend I was off to the airport for a overnight visit to Pune, India, a great city. The entire flight, Mary Chapin Carpenter's "The Bug" kept playing over and over in my head
Sometimes your the bug
Here's hoping that by sparing the bug I get a dose of good karma. Pin It
Sunday, May 4, 2008
It's been a Ray LaMontagne day for me, listening to his voice makes me feel like I'm wrapped up in a bubble of comfort and peace. He is somehow gruff and warm at the same time - perfect for a rainy day or a day when it's 112 and too hot to go out.
I could never pick a favorite song, but today I've hit repeat on "Be Here Now" several times. I think the lyrics resonate with me as I start counting down the days until I leave Delhi (for a while at least.)
Your will be still, don't try
Don't let your heart get heavy child
Inside you there's a strength that lies
Don't let your soul get lonely child
It's only time, it will go by
Don't look for love in faces, places
It's in you, that's where you'll find kindness
Be here now, here now
I'm working on being more "present" in my life and not just looking forward to the next thing. For years I thought life will really begin when...(insert random thing I thought I needed for happiness.) I'm slowly realizing that I have an amazing life, I have adventures that I couldn't even imagine a decade ago and I should be enjoying every minute and not waste time thinking things would be perfect if I had more money, a great guy to share life with or a kid to raise.
I know without a doubt there is a reason I'm on this path in life, which I'll admit can be lonely at times, I may not know the reason today, but I'm sure it will slap me in the face eventually. In the meantime, I'm going to keep trying to find happiness and contentment in each day, enjoying each experience for exactly what it is.
Friday, May 2, 2008
It doesn't matter how much I enjoy my job, by 6:00 PM Friday I am ready for "Something More"
Thursday, May 1, 2008
After two months here I thought I was getting the hang of the wrong-side of the road business, but I recently came out of the house to get in the car with our driver to go to the market, I walked right up to the car and opened the door and then I heard laughter, our very polite driver was laughing at me because I was about to get in the drivers side.
I joined in the laughter and asked Pankaj (who is a genius driver) if he didn't want me to drive him to the market today. A look of horror crossed his face before he laughed a bit harder and assured me he was happy to take me anywhere I wanted to go, which is quite a blessing since I don't think I'm up for the adventure of driving in Delhi.
In honor of time in India, here's a song that I use to pump myself up for new experiences, here is Angels & Airwaves "The Adventure"
I'm the first to know my dearest friends
Even if your hope as burned with time
Anything that's dead shall be re-grown
Hey, oh, here I am (do this with me)
And here we go, life's waiting to begin