Friday, January 1, 2010

Excited and anxious all at the same time

We are finally going to live together as husband and wife. I won't give away how long we had been married already, lest readers totally think me a saint for staying too long in a marriage that was spent mostly apart, but let's just say ours is truly an epic love affair.

But finally we are nearing the end of our long moment of separation, and my husband and I will be living together in one roof, just he and I day in and day out. My mother and brother lives a good 1.5 hour drive south of Metro Manila, and an Aunt lives north of where we live by a 10 minute drive, so certainly you can see how unlike other American-Filipino couples, we don't live with an extended family under the same roof.

I initially wanted us to live with my mother, in a house with an extra room with its own lanai. I take care of my mother who has a heart ailment and I felt it was the easiest way to hit two birds with one stone (so to speak), to have both my Asawa and mother under one roof to take care of. But my mother valued her privacy too much (so unfilipino, huh?) that she suggested that we just find our own place. At first I was a little offended, but a few days after I realized it was actually the better option. Of course I still had to support my mother and brother. So when I added up my estimate of my husband's pension and my own salary, I realized we can certainly make it. The first few months would be difficult because I had to buy so many things for our "start-up" like a refrigerator, aircondition and gas range, luckily I had enough bonuses from 2009 to sustain a bit of our start-up. So I said... go go go!

When I think of what really makes me anxious somewhat, it is probably the fear of the unknown. Like my husband suddenly getting sick, or my losing my job. But certainly I cannot live my life in fear. All marriages must have its ups and down sometimes, and whether those things happen here (in the Philippines) or there in the US, the capacity to endure and be resilient doesn't change. In a lot of ways, especially on the short-term, the choice of living in the Philippines and my husband retiring here certainly is the path of least resistance.

For someone who has a job that is almost always country-based, starting all over again in the US means starting over at great expense. It would mean taking the bar there and preparing for the bar there, while over here I already have 7 years of practice.

On the other hand, they say a lowly employee there certainly gets paid much more than a government lawyer over here. It may be true that I may have to start as a "lowly" employee over there, but even as a paralegal (which I suppose is what I would qualify) I could still earn so much more there than if I stay as a government lawyer over here.

But I have to say, my life here, even as a lawyer is so laid back. I work 9 to 5 and on rare occasions have to work late to rush a pleading. Other than that the quality of the relationship I could have with my husband would be so much better here.

As I said my only real source of anxiety is my husband getting sick. But right now, except for a high blood pressure which is maintained and his ADD, he is a perfectly healthy man for a senior person. At any rate, we still have that exit plan open to us if we choose to take the other route. Everyday I just lay my concerns to God and pray that He keeps my husband healthy to spend so many more years with me.

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