Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's the End of the Year As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

I'm not sure I have ever experienced a year that seemed so far apart in time and distance as this one has. As I began to gather my thoughts for the annual Familia Smith Christmas Letter, I had to really think hard about events to assure myself that they actually happened in 2010 and not some earlier year. Was it this February that Steph first left for Afghanistan? Was it really only 7 months ago that Adrie graduated from High School? Did I really perform in a musical this past spring? So much has changed so rapidly that I feel that there have been some moments that are so far distant as to be from another time and place. Perhaps this is a good thing...I have not really had any time to fret over "empty nest" syndrome...we've all flown the coop!

I guess that changing countries, jobs, living conditions, languages all play a role in the time warp continuum. I spend so much time in the "now" trying to adjust to the newness of it all that I haven't had time to reflect on how I got here or, heaven forbid, where I am going next. But the fact is that, while we are all scattered to the corners of the globe, everyone seems to be doing fairly well. Needless to say, Afghanistan is the most difficult of all four locations and I don't pretend to know exactly how difficult the day to day is for Steph. But once he has a chance to decompress, he mostly has positive things to say about the work he is doing and I think he feels that it was the right choice to make, albeit not the ideal living situation. Alex remains positive about Tokyo, enough so that he plans to officially transfer to the Temple Tokyo campus and graduate from there. And, except for the difficulty in getting out of Edinburgh in the middle of one of the worst snow storms in recent memory, Adrie adores her life at university. So we seem to have landed well and have made 2010 a year, if not to remember, at least one that is very interesting to contemplate.

For those of you on the traditional Smith mailing list, you can expect the 2010 letter sometime after the first of the year. That's if I don't warp to some other reality and forget to bring my contact list! Hoping that your year was more sequentially memorable and that you have a joyous holiday surrounded by family and friends.

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