Tale of a Trailing Spouse

After 9 years and 3 countries, I’m making the transition from expatriate to repatriate. It’s a brand new chapter with new stories to tell! I now come to you from the home of baseball and birthplace of Frank Sinatra— Hoboken, New Jersey.

A good place

On a recent tour of Indonesia’s famous Borobudur temple, my husband and I ascended ancient stairwells to reach the uppermost level–an impressive physical plateau that metaphorically represented the highest spiritual level of Buddhist enlightenment.

Supy, a well-known area guide, then led us to a particular stupa, which housed one of 72 Buddha statues. While all of these stone figures have sat watch over the temple grounds for more than 1300 years, this particular relic was special.  Supy explained if you touched it and made a wish, Buddah would grant it.

“Go ahead,” he said. “Make your wish.”

While others in our group happily complied, I could not.

“No, that’s ok,” I muttered sheepishly.

“You don’t want to make a wish?” Supy asked with more than a hint of curiosity in his voice.

“No… not really,” I insisted.

My husband and I at the  perforated stupa  at Borobudur

My husband and I at the perforated stupa at Borobudur

I didn’t offer him an explanation for my refusal because I wasn’t sure he would understand.  In truth, I haven’t completely figured out the motivation for my hesitation. All I do know is that in that very moment, nothing came to my mind. I don’t have any personal wishes to make.  I’m satisfied with who I am, where I am, and what I have in my life. Touching a cold, hard statue couldn’t possibly offer me something I don’t already possess. Besides, the mere thought of asking for something more felt selfish.

Don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t reached anything close to spiritually or emotionally Nirvana. Unlike the most enlightened Buddhists, I’m still preoccupied with the physical world and material possessions.  Moreover, there are aspects of life I would actually change if I could. For example, I wish scientists would find a cure for cancer in my lifetime. I would also be thrilled if the food pyramid primarily consisted of the three Cs—chocolate, cheese, and cosmos—and that consuming these staples didn’t count against daily caloric intake.  Finally, I wish that the Earth turned a little slower so that our days, and weeks, and months on this planet didn’t pass by so quickly.

But in my personal life, I can’t think of a single thing I would want to be substantially different. Truth be told, I would not change my life for anyone’s.

Determining whether these feelings stem from a true sense of contentment or rather deep-seated complacency might take soul searching and meditation worthy of Buddha. But I won’t bother to make that effort.

I’m in a good place.

11 comments on “A good place

  1. Ingela Johansson
    March 11, 2014

    I meet an artist friend that is 74 yesterday. She said that she had always wished for an interesting life, and that is really what she has.

    • Diana Mahmoud
      March 11, 2014

      I hope when I am 74 I also look back and realize I had the life I always wanted.

  2. kenju99
    March 11, 2014

    Were I lucky enough to have your life, I would not ask for anything else either.
    (I so enjoy your travel photos!)

  3. Rosamaria Cárdenas Díaz
    March 11, 2014

    Que hermosa tu vida!! El hombre que amas, el hombre que te ama! Y tus viajes. Yo disfruto todas tus fotos. Ojalá un día vengan a la Cd. De México! Les mando cariños y bendiciones! 🙂

    • Diana Mahmoud
      March 12, 2014

      Gracias amiga! Espero que Nader y yo vamos viajar a Mexico un dia pronto! Besos!

  4. ulli
    March 11, 2014

    What an amazing place to be…..I need to get there….:) I am a bit in the middle 😉

    • Diana Mahmoud
      March 12, 2014

      Middle isn’t so bad, considering the alternative! I know you’ll get there!

  5. Diana Mahmoud
    March 12, 2014

    Middle isn’t so bad, considering the alternative! I know you’ll get there!

  6. Laura
    March 13, 2014

    I love this about you!

  7. Kath
    April 1, 2014

    <3, as always!

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