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Hill climbing

I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be a mountain goat.

Two of Auckland's famous volcanoes - Browns Island and Rangitoto

Two of Auckland’s famous volcanoes – Browns Island and Rangitoto

Sure I’ve done my best to keep heading upwards when presented with the challenge of a hill climb, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it graciously, without swearing, grimacing or huffing and puffing. Climbing hills, just isn’t my natural thing.

So why do I encounter so many bloody hills in my life?

Metaphorical of course, though living in Auckland which is populated with over 23 volcanic cones (in various stages of soon-to-erupt-and-blow-us-sky-highwards-ness) I could just as easily be talking about walking down the street. Like my walk down to the Marina this morning to get cat biscuits before the kitty mafia ate me for breakfast, using their sculptured claws as chopsticks, nibbling off my carcass like feline vultures and then disposed of my skeleton in the swimming pool.

Nothing says ‘Good morning’ quite like a bite on the ankle from a hungry puss-cat!

After having the morning coffee and attempting a meditation – I believe, I can wish, I know love etc etc – I clipped the lead to the dog and down to the Marina. It’s not far, but as a cliff top walk it does have its share of ups and downs. I hadn’t really clocked it before, but after a while the poor old Lab was panting so hard I thought she was about to croak. Then I realised the true severity of the incline. Sure it’s not far, but in places it’s so steep that you can’t run down it for fear of losing your footing and falling arse over tit.

My walk reminded me a little about how things are for us in our bid for repatriation, right now.

We’ve set off on the path, it’s not far until the end.  We’ve arrived and found a great house and reconnected with friends and family, and the girls started school this week. With nervous smiles and thumping smiles they set off on Thursday to their large new local college with over 2000 other students! I was so proud of them. First days never get any easier do they? Whether school or work place, that first day is just awful. Thankfully they were OK and reported that they’d found friends who likewise liked Dr Who and School Houses that feature the house colour red and a lion – just like Griffendorf – I’m told.

We’ve set off on the path, but even though I can see the peaceful end to the voyage – which will be the successful resettling – I’ve encountered some challenging hills. I’m puffing. I’m swearing. At times I’m not sure how much more I can climb.

I. am. not. a. mountain. goat.

It’s been difficult financially running two households at either ends of the earth, right now. It’s beyond stressful still seeking work, and I long for a work place where I can contribute. Surely we haven’t come all this way for it to be a dismal failure! It was impossible looking for work last week as I was in Australia at a family funeral, and my Mum still has dial up! I know! Who knew dial-up was still around?

More than anything it’s been difficult being separated, living a marriage at a distance. And weirdly so much harder than it was the last time we lived in different hemispheres, before we married. Back then it was almost romantic, but now, not so much.

Maybe that’s an indication of how much closer we’ve become over the past four years? That romance has become reality?

It’s hard parenting on your own again too. Trying to make decisions that you know your spouse will agree with. It’s hard trying to choose what to do with the household, and financial arrangements, even buying a vehicle is hard – when you dearly want his input. Input that is typically fast asleep in the northern night. It’s not as if I can’t do it on my own, I have done so successfully many many times before…it’s just different now.

So I’m climbing this hill. I keep going because I know I can see the end. I know that soon (pray God very soon!) I’ll have work, the financial worries will ease, we will all be reunited and we’ll be able to truly say that we’ve resettled here in NZ, successfully.

In the meantime, I’m muttering and puffing and swearing, because I am really not a mountain goat.

Do you scamper over the hills confident in your direction, or are you a fellow plodder and mutterer? What do you use to keep going? Meditation? Prayer? Wine? Yoga?

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