Posted by: jewelinthelotus | January 27, 2013

Embrace the suck – because some days it does, but remember the starfish.

Last post was bit somber but thanks to a dear friend who seeks to
explore life who reminded me sometimes you need to embrace the suck.
And, that is just it. In the big scheme of life this will be an
adventure and I will look back and remember the good and the growth,
but there are some days it does just suck and that is ok. It is part
of the ride and part of the journey.
Some days my head feels as if a knife is stuck in my eye and I crave
my soft expansive queen size bed and comfy pillows with my dog at my
feet. I am working on getting better at stay hydrated. And, some
mornings I miss a hot powerful shower. Instead I have a twin foam pad
with an indentation for my butt and cold showers with a bucket to wash
my hair. Although, it is starting to warm up so evening showers are
quite warm. There are evenings I long for the familiarity of close
friends. You know the one where conversation is easy and comfortable.
I could go on and sound like a whiner, but as a good friend reminded
some days it does just suck but that is part of the journey and my
lesson is embracing those days as part of the experience─part of the
practice. I don’t need to reframe it or lather on the guilt with
stories of how some have it worse because all of it is one big package
I will cherish when I can no longer live this lifestyle. Embracing the
suck is part of the growth. On the days it sucks I am not longing to
be elsewhere (for now) because for me to be elsewhere would be to in a
job that took everything I had just to show up every day and that is
no way to live. Of course, if I could make a wish Cody would be here.
The true test of my desire to stay came this week when there was
discussion about possibly having to go home because of what is taking
place in Mali & Algeria. My first thought, no, not ready yet. The
situation continues to be monitored, but for now we stay.
On the days I do feel down, I remind myself how amazing it is to meet
other independent spirits from all over the world who are here because
something deep in their soul calls to make a difference. So even on
the worst day I choose where I am now because WOW how amazing to wake
up in another country to the chanting of small children even if they
do sound like they are screaming and sipping morning tea in the dry
smoky dusty air listening to the birds chirp, watching small red birds
drink from the leaking water hose, and the dragon lizards scamper
about the courtyard. It’s as if one of them is communicating ok on the
count of three go then they all run like sprinters in opposite
directions then freeze flattening their bodies to the ground, their
chests heaving and heads bobbing. Some look as if they are in cobra

My work attire is comfy clothes with flip flops! Although the OT
Nurse and I had three skirts made so will be donning those soon. Loose
skirts will be perfect as daytime temperatures begin to rise to 100
degrees. Some of the expats complain endlessly about the food here,
but hey, someone else is cooking lunch and dinner and cleaning our
dishes. We get fresh baked bread daily; although, I have started
radically reducing my consumption of the bread and pasta. It is true
it is not exactly the healthiest as everything is fried in oil, but
I’m thankful after a long day I am not the one having to cook or even
worse having to decide what to eat among 12 expats.

As my friend reminded me it is ultimately about the starfish and
sometimes one of those starfish is you.

Starfish story
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to
do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning
before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the
shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered
with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As
the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the
man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an
object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the
man called out, ”Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into
the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t
return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun
gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish
on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far
as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made
a difference to that one!”


  1. Hi Debbie, thank you for sharing. Every blog I read my first thoughts are you are Making a Difference in this World to step out of your comfort zone. In one word you are Courageous!

  2. Debbie, you have having an adventure I can only imagine! I am happy you are following your own path. Someone who makes a difference in lives both here and there.

  3. The suck can exist with the comforts and then there is less story and adventure. I’m living through you and look forward to your posts.

    • 🙂 it’s more than just comforts as well, but all I chose to write about it. However, suppose the more uncomfortable the more to tell later. 🙂

  4. I hope that things are going better for you now and that you are safe and sound

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