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Monday, April 20, 2015

Diary of a Traveller's Wife

It's now 11.28pm on a Sunday night, and everyone else had gone upstairs all ready to tuck in to bed. This is the only time that I can have some form of peace and quiet, just me and the sound of my nails on the keyboard.

My past month had been quite a blur. Everything happened in a flash yet went by too slowly, all at the same time.

The husby started his work travels again over a month ago. Spent a month at JB managing a project where I flew over to spend 8 days with him there. When I was there, he worked from 7am-7pm, and I was happy to spend just those few hours with him when he returned to the hotel. While he worked, I buried my face in my laptop in the hotel room, looking forward to his return and our dinner together.

He was suddenly called to go offshore at Miri and been there since Tuesday, will be back on Thursday and going back to JB again on Saturday for another week or two. At least we have Friday together. And no, this does not mark the end of his work travels this season. It's only the beginning and we don't even know where he'll be posted to next. All he tells me is that I can expect him to be travelling a lot all the way until probably October-November.

Each time the husby is away for work, I'm mostly staying with the family. My sisters anticipate the times that I can sleepover just like old times, and my parents love the fact that they can take care of me and cook for me again, just like pre-marriage days. I'm grateful for that.

One of the things that comfort me when the husby travels for work is that I still have my family, and I can still be with them. Having so many people to return home to makes it less likely to feel lonely, as opposed to returning to an empty nest, seeing all his things but he's not home. I tried living alone when he's not around, and it felt miserable.

I would say that I'm the kind of person who can easily adapt to changes. I'm flexible and having changes to my routine is alright for me. I guess that's because I have been trained since 2 years ago after we're married. Before we were married, Boon travelling for work was tough on me emotionally. I would miss him terribly and count down the days til his homecoming. But nothing really changed my routine. I still went for classes and lived with my family.

Now that we're married, it's all that, and more. It's tough on me emotionally, mentally and also physically.

When he's not around, I usually live with my family so that means that when he packs his bags, I pack mine too. I try not to go home to take my stuff alone when he's not around cos most of the time when I enter our home by myself, I wouldn't be able to hold back my tears. So I try to pack everything that I need, from my laptop and work stuff, everyday toiletries to multiple changes of clothes for work, events, cell group, meetings, church, and just about any event. You can imagine how much I need to pack. For a month.

Sometimes he returns for a few days cos of commitments back home like friends' weddings, so I pack my bags again, return home, get the place cleaned and tidied up, unpack and live like normal married couples do for a few days. And when he packs to go off again, so do I.

For the past two years, each time Boon travels, I travel too. It might not sound very positive, but I do many times feel like I live like a nomad. I have no routine. My days are uncertain and I literally live by the day. I don't know when exactly he can come home, so it's difficult to make plans. So we hardly make plans for the days, months ahead. We live by the day.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support him in his career and never once discouraged him from travelling for work, because I know that this is a part of his job scope and if I want my husband to do well, I gotta support him, and I do. Wholeheartedly.

But I guess it's also normal that I grow weary and just, tired. Physically and mentally. And I guess it's acceptable that I express my feelings on my own blog? Writing is my form of release, and this is probably how I cope with the situation right now. These words have been in my head, in my heart, and Boon knows them. We're very open with how we feel and he knows all of these things, and is cheering me on as I cheer him on. It's not easy for him too. It's tiring to always travel, deal and live with strangers and work 24/7, no off-days with limited sleep. Just whatever it takes for his project to be a success. I'm proud of him for giving his all every time, and I'm thankful for a husband who works so hard for us.

But for now, I'm just...burned out? I hate to use that word. I used to think that only weak people use the excuse of being burn out to slack off and gain sympathy, but now I take back my judgments. Being burned out is real. It's exhausting in all aspects. It's a feeling of slight depression. I feel easily annoyed these days, finding myself thinking of a getaway away from work and everything, and just needing my alone time more than ever. Yet, I don't really wish to be alone. How conflicting can I be.

At the start of his travels in mid-March, I was fully motivated. I told Boon, let's focus on our careers this season. While you're away for work, I'll immerse myself in mine and be occupied so that time passes faster. Let's work hard, make all the money, travel to our dream destinations, and get ready for a baby.

God granted our wishes. We've both been fully occupied with work since and there's no sign of slowing down. Open doors, opportunities one after another. I'm truly thankful. God has been faithful. But because I've been so drowned with work from all directions- blogging, emceeing and Chiq Fliq that are all progressing well, I'm being torn at all directions and it's left me feeling worn out. And it doesn't help at all that he's not around. It's to a point that my heart yearns for a getaway. A break, just me and him, to regain sanity and focus on our marriage. Because how are we supposed to try for a baby when we're always apart?

People think that for these 6 months we've been trying for a baby, but I won't call it, 'try'. Simply because we're not even around with each other to fully 'try'. It doesn't help that people out of a good heart start giving advice on how to strategically get pregnant, doing it on such and such days, eating such and such because we don't seem to be making it. I'm always open to advice because I want to learn, but the fact that we're actually not even able to try, makes me feel really uneasy that people think we've been trying and not making it, and start assuming that we both might have difficulty conceiving. I don't think we do. I think our biggest difficulty is actually physically being together to even try.

We wanted to have a major vacation at the end of the year, save up now so that we can spend comfortably on our trip, but we're just so tired that we agreed we need one as soon as we can. And the soonest that he can is in June-July. That's 2 more months. At least that's something we can hold on and look forward to.

I'm encouraging myself everyday. I tell myself positive things, focus on the great things that are happening in our lives. Yet, deep inside, I still feel down. I find myself frustrated at many little things, and forcing a smile when I'm with people. I hate being like this. But it seems that I don't actually have control over myself, and I really dislike it when it happens.

I guess I just really miss returning to our own home, falling asleep together on our own bed, fetching him for work, and eating Hokkien Mee in the evening. I miss being chauffeured, our random movie nights, and watching Masterchef on the couch. I miss being a normal married couple doing boring married couple things. And I know he misses all of these the same, if not even more than I do.

It's tough but as proven in the past years, we will get through it.

For now, it's my downtime but I intend to feel better. 
I need to so I will have to.

It's just the season.


  1. Hang in there Careen! I think its really admirable that you want a baby even though your husband is always travelling so much for work. It cant be easy especially after you have the baby, haha. My husband works shift and already I'm finding it tough cos im doing the 9 to 5. Cant imagine being in your shoes. Jiayou jiayou!

    1. Hey there! Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Appreciate it! You jiayou too! <3

  2. Feel better, Careen *hugs*

    When you mentioned about season, a few verses came, & I just wanted to share this with you :) hopefully, this will encourage you a lil'.

    For everything there is a season, and
    a time for every matter under heaven:
    a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
    what is planted;
    a time to kill, and a time to heal;
    a time to break down, and a time to
    build up;
    a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    a time to throw away stones, and a
    time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to
    refrain from embracing;
    a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to
    throw away;
    a time to tear, and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silence, and a time to
    a time to love, and a time to hate;
    a time for war, and a time for peace.
    -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

    Whether the the absence of his presence, or the birth of a new born, God is in control of everything. Keeping you in my prayers, and hoping that this season will bring you a profound strength, courage, and faith to journey on. May God continue to bless you and your husband through it all.

    Love, <3

    1. Hi there, I don't know who you are (though I do wish to find out!), but I really appreciate you taking time to share the verses to me. I'm blessed and touched by your words of encouragement. Thank you so much. And God bless you too! <3

  3. Hi careen, I'm feeling every word u wrote there because my husband work offshore too. I showed him this post and asked him to read it. Turn out he knew boon from work. Such a small world. Hang on there, hopefully one day our husband will be by our side 24/7 365 days lol

    1. Hi Carmen! Wow it really is a small world! Big hugs to you too cos I'm sure it isn't easy for you (and your husband as well). Hahaha yes waiting for that day!! Thanks for dropping such an encouraging comment <3


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