Growing into Our New Life

I don’t think I ever expected to be this homesick. By the time we sailed away from the mainland, six weeks ago, I didn’t have the slightest urge to look back. I wanted to only look forwards. And I needed to save my dwindling energy for the next steps of my journey.

As I write this, the sun streams into my new lounge room. It’s a mid-week day off from my new job, a day for catching my breath. My two older children are at their new school, dressed in their new uniforms, playing with their new friends. My youngest is nearby, clutching his treasured bug-collecting box, enjoying our time together after beginning at his new child care. It’s so easy to be positive and hopeful on a sunny day like this. It’s so easy to feel at home.

Sunny days are my temporary reprieve. A chance hiatus from any lingering grey thoughts. To many, this move might look like a step back. A step back in lifestyle. A step back in careers. But we actually decided on this move as a step forward. A step forward for our family. Because where we live is not nearly as important as how we live. And we are now striving for a simpler life with more meaning and more happiness.

But even on these bright days I’m feeling drained. So much more tired than I feel I should be. I’m yet to realise the images of relaxed cups of tea and lazy hours of writing that I arrived with. Each day I seem to wake even more exhausted than the day before. This is the heavy tiredness of manoeuvring through a life where everything is new. At no point can my brain switch over yet to autopilot and ease me through the day.

My mind swirls with thoughts of where to buy our food and when to catch the school bus, all the new names at work and finding everything in our house. School. Family day care. Swimming lessons. Circus class. Gymnastics training. Piano lessons. Playgroup. Work. Work. Work. Doctors. Referrals. Psychologists. Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. I recognise that beginning a new life can be hectic. And I know all these things will be our new normal soon enough. So why don’t I feel entitled to the fatigue that is currently defeating me?

As each day separates me further from our old life, I find myself missing the familiarity more and more, wishing I was still surrounded by all my friends. Negative thoughts keep taunting me in vulnerable moments. Have we done the best thing? How long will it take to feel right? I sit in my home and I feel lost.

It’s true, I never expected to be quite this homesick. Maybe I thought the transition would be easier. Maybe I’m more impatient than I realise. Routines will take time, and new friends cannot be hurried. I need to remind myself that six weeks is still considered early days.

But when the sun pours in through the wide bay window and when I can shake the weight of my thoughts, when I eventually drag myself back to the moment of right now and smile at my son marvelling over his little pet beetles, I can feel the word ‘home’ beginning to settle in and around me here. And it just feels right.

 

art-by-justin-vining

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