Four years ago, I simultaneously took on two new jobs.  I agreed to find homes for Spanish exchange students for the summer, and to find homes for academic semester or year students from all over the globe. 

I fervently and completely believe in the inherent value of international exchange.  It changes peoples’ lives. It increases understanding.  Heck, I even think it leads us towards world peace.  It’s very positive work. 

But, oh, is it hard.  I grossly miscalculated the amount of time it would take out of my already rather full life.

This year, there are no Spanish students coming to our area.  Most of the academic year students have already gone home.  The high school also decided to not allow international students for the fall.  The dairy students can’t travel either. 

I have suddenly gained a lot of time.  I’ve lost a lot (essentially all) of my income, too. 

But I’m not going to concentrate on that for now.  As readers of “Silver Linings” already know, during this whole thing, I’ve found it best to accentuate the positive.  The negatives… well, I’ll deal with them as best as I can. 

So today, I’m more relaxed and calmer than I have been in years.  This is a silver lining to life right now.