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Wobbles

I don’t think it’s possible to move to the other side of the world without a wobble or two.

At least it's a beautiful place to have a wobble.

At least it’s a beautiful place to have a wobble.

I’ve certainly had a few over the past four weeks, and yet somehow because I’m in the place I want to be, I don’t feel I should have the ‘right’ to have anxieties, stress…. worrisome wobbles.

The men of the household arrived on Christmas Day, exactly as scheduled. Bearded and bleary-eyed, but happy to be reunited with the girls. We had a crazy Christmas. Miss Fliss made some chocolate brownies, I forgot to bring out the Christmas crackers and we all ended up jumping in the pool together despite the rain – remnants of Cyclone Evan that decided to hitch a ride on Santa’s sleigh.

We exchanged pressies, which were humble, and appropriate for the humongous amounts of money we’ve spent moving the family to the other side of the world, and for a moment just relaxed in each other’s presence. Their arrival was truly the best Christmas present of all. Ever.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine Down Under. Some of the problems we were struggling through in England have resurfaced here, albeit with a suntan and dressed in beach wear. The sun may be shining (at times – it has been an unusually wet Christmas) but we are still anxious about work, and income and resettling and finding a car and all those deeper worries – like recovering from what has been an enormously difficult year.

Some of us still need Prozac, yes even in paradise…though hopefully we’ll manage to grow through that as we settle.

Everyone is asking: ‘Is it easier going home?’

The answer is of course, both yes and no.

On the yes side – coming home to friends who love you, hell even like you! Knowing that you can shout out to people like Jane and Marty, Jo, Penny, Linaire and others (including my wonderful family! Thanks Kim for the Christmas Eve pizza!) helps you feel not quite so alone, even when your husband is on the other side of the world. Other yes’s include – knowing your way around, knowing where to buy cheaper things and provisions, knowing how to get registered with a doctor and having bank accounts all set up, and knowing how to find work opportunities. Of course, living in a beautiful place also helps….more than I can really measure. Somehow sniffing that salt air and lying in the sun I am reassured that it will be OK in the end.

On the no side – things have changed. I spent an anxious half an hour completely lost on a country road I thought I knew well, picking up the pets from quarantine, until Dark Princess pointed out that I was on State Highway 2, not 1. No one had told me that they’ve built a completely new highway in the four years I’ve been away. Little things have changed…there’s a new petrol station called Z, the council now changes for ‘wastewater’ (seriously?) and even the big shopping malls just seem that much smaller. As for charging $21 for two roast chickens!!!!! Extortion. Most noticeable of all – people have changed, and possibly most importantly, so have I.

I’m no longer as confident as I was when I left. I wish I were. Would I have the courage to move across the world with three kids, two pets and twenty boxes of books to live with a man I met in Paris, if I had to do it tomorrow?

Possibly not.

Of course you can see that as a good thing, and as a bad thing. Life provides us with experiences that help to caution us as well as those that help us grow. I may not be as bolshie as I was but perhaps I’m a little kinder, wiser, more grounded..No one said growing was easy.

A week or so ago my Englishman pointed out that if you read my Facebook statuses it would appear that life was all gin and lying by the pool. In a way I’m sorry if I gave that impression. It isn’t entirely honest, it’s lying by omission. I’ve forgotten to mention the anxiety of knowing that I have to make this work, of worrying about finding work and paying the rent and how the kids are coping and how we are coping with the inevitable separations – my Englishman and I.

I was watching a seagull in flight this morning off our deck. We have a magnificent vista from our deck that spreads from the Sky Tower to Rangitoto across the Tamaki Estuary. I love watching the yachts and the rowers in the early morning and the ferries as they toot their departures and plough through the waves en route to Auckland city and Waiheke Island.

But most of all I love watching the birds.

I was watching this seagull flapping its wings like mad as it was buffeted by the strong wind (yes we have another cyclone passing over us). It would flap frantically and then it would soar, riding the currents, propelled by all that energy it invested in its flight, moments before. But the thing was…it didn’t fall out of the sky when it stopped flapping those wings. It remained airborne and unconcerned.

I need to remind myself of all that flapping I did over the past months, and remember that like that seagull, despite my wobbles, I’m not going to fall out of the sky.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/in_expatland Adventures

    Don’t feel you have to make it on behalf of anyone else. Keep an eye out for how the others are coping? Definitely. Buck them up if they need it? Sure. Pretend it’s all rosy? Absolutely not. Be free to admit when you’re worried, and then explain that all adults are a bit concerned until things fall into place, but eventually they do. Then show them how. Acknowledge that relationships shift a bit in the light of significant change, but also know that love does make most things inherently easier. Lead the way through honesty, and all else will sort itself out.

    • vegemitevix

      You are right honesty is the only way, even if it means acknowledging the wobbles.

  • uniquenique01

    A few wobbles are to be expected and no matter where in the world we find ourselves it seems the same worries rear their heads, it has been a hard year and you have survived still with your sense of humour intact that in itself is a huge accomplishment. Nice to be with people that you know and love and who know and love you but sometimes hard to realise that while we are growing and learning in another country the people we left behind have grown and learnt in different ways. It takes a little while and then it seems like you never left. I am glad that you seem to have found a place where you feel at home that always gives you a head start on enjoying the new adventures that life is sure to bring your way. Wishing you all the best for the New Year may it prove to be your most successful year yet.

    • vegemitevix

      I’m so pleased I have my sense of humour. It was very funny driving this little wee rental car to the new house and when we arrived all eager to see it I couldn’t remove the key from the ignition. It took me twenty minutes of Celtic commentary to realise that I needed to put the car into Park before it would let me release the key.

      • uniquenique01

        lol I have those days :D

  • http://twitter.com/MonacoNailArt Monaco Nails&Beauty

    Even if you don’t think you could do it all again if you had to tomorrow, you make me feel like I could. Not just could, but could do anything just because it felt right xxx

    • vegemitevix

      Thank you for your lovely encouragement. It makes all the struggle worthwhile, knowing that I can help others. xx

  • mrsworthington

    You’re only human so wobbles are to be expected especially when you’ve taken a giant step half way round world. Share your thoughts with your children, family and friends wherever they maybe and you’ll be amazed at what you get back.

    • vegemitevix

      Thank you for saying that, that is one of the reasons I blog. Nolites bastardes carborundum (don’t let the bastards get you down!) x

  • MidlifeSinglemum

    I thank you for your honesty. I was wondering if it was all as rosy as you’d written. On the other hand, as you say, these anxieties are just wobbles and to be expected until you are secure with an income. Good luck with the employment thing – I know money can’t buy happiness but the lack of it must be one of the most stressful situations on earth, for all of us. Happy New Year xxx.

    • vegemitevix

      On the upside it’s fab having time off to ease back into it…not so fab not having any financial security mind you. Happy New Year to you too! xx

  • http://bloggertropolis.blogspot.com/ Steve

    Such huge moves like this inevitably prove themselves by time. There is no shortcut around it. But you know this. The good thing is you’re all together and that’s a good way to be going forwards.

    • vegemitevix

      You know even though I’m wobbling I do get a sense of that. I do think this is right for all of us…even if it seems as if ‘Mum’s gone nutso’ sometimes..

  • Looking for Blue Sky

    It sounds like a beautiful place, but any move like that is stressful, especially as you get older I think – I found it took me months to calm down after all my recent moves, but you will get there. And more gorgeous pictures please :)

    • vegemitevix

      It is a beautiful place, and I am so thankful we are here. This morning I went on my run down to the beach and took some pictures with you in mind. They’re coming up on the next blog post.

  • poppyredifa

    A beautiful and honest blog VM. I’m sure once Christmas & New Years passes, the work front will improve. Getting a car is a pain in the backside though. Hey, if you can move a family overseas and back, you can sort these things no problem.

    FYI, I picked up a chicken at Tesco the other day for £2.58/kg. Good value when you think about it. Love the seagull analogy; birds can always see the big picture. You’ll be right. :)

    • vegemitevix

      That is not bad is it. I guess part of the cost adjustment is remembering that whilst the numbers are double the UK prices, the salaries seem to be double too.

  • Di

    I am sorry that you have had a few wobbles. As a traveller myself, I think it is fair to say that there is always an adjustment period before you feel completely comfortable with where you are; and also with everything else that goes with a move. Great post and thanks for being real. Happy New Year.

    • vegemitevix

      Thanks Di! Happy New Year to you too. Yes moving is a little like a rollercoaster ride. The highs can be fantastic and the lows punishing, but the ride will come to an end and a calm standstill eventually, we just have to hang on until then. xx

  • http://www.mrsteepot.co.uk Mrs TeePot

    Sending strength to you, and wanted you to know I’m reading even though I don’t comment very often. I find myself not knowing what to say

    • vegemitevix

      Thank you my dear. Very much appreciated! x

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicola.degouveia Nicola De Gouveia

    You give me hope. You give me so much hope for my life and my future. Thank you for that and a wonderful new year to you and your loved ones. May 2013 be an astoundingly good year! xx

    • vegemitevix

      Oh Nicola thank you so much. Happy New Year to you and yours also, and may it also be a wonderful year for you too. Vx