I am sitting here, in our hotel room on the eve of leaving our beautiful country. I am reflecting on this whole journey so far and I am so excited by the next chapter.
I had wondered how it would feel closing the front door of our home by the sea for the last time. Now I know.
Our last day was so busy. We didn’t think there was that much left to do but we were wrong. We worked non-stop and thankfully had the help of my parents to do some odd jobs and look after the children. When it was time for me to leave, I was so exhausted yet I walked from room to room and remembered bringing my new babies home for the first time and giving them a grand tour of our home. I remembered the sound the cat door would make as one of our beloved cats would come in and go out again. I remembered cooking and entertaining in our kitchen. It really is the heart of the home. For me anyway. My eyes welled up and I said ‘thank you’ and ‘be safe, be protected’ for the last time, for a long time. Then I left.
Earlier that afternoon I had brought the children to our hotel with my parents to get some well deserved rest and relaxation so when I got back here it was all about finding bathers to go swimming. The children have had their swim, had dinner and are now drifting off to sleep. We are sharing a room so I have the room dark with just the glow of my IPad as I write this. I can see FB’s big brown eyes through the darkness watching me as she succumbs to her world of dream.
Now it is time to reflect. I have read through my blog posts. To remember. Gosh what a road travelled. It is time to celebrate the journey so far and to give thought to the lessons learned.
Here are my top 11 lessons learned.
1. Never underestimate your capacity to cope. Okay not a new lesson for me, but one worth remembering regularly.
2. Don’t close of your mind to new, unusual opportunities. Everything is at least worth a conversation.
3. People want to help. If it is offered, say yes more frequently. You get to connect more often, they feel involved, you feel loved and supported. This gives them the chance to grieve and celebrate in their way.
4. Everyone copes with change differently and that is ok. Accept it, don’t judge it, keep moving forwards. Unexpected people step up, unexpected people step away – this is as much their journey as it is ours, let them be.
5. Thank goodness we live in a time of technology. OMG imagine doing this 30 years ago before mobile phones, laptops, IPads, wi-fi etc….
6. Get busy starting to make connections in your new home early.
7. Remember to breathe. Take regular time out to have fun, play, break the routine that has been created.
8. Try to keep healthy. Regular, consistent sleep is important. Healthy eating is crucial.
9. In your relationship, don’t stop looking at each other, hearing each other and caring for each other. Remember you are doing this together. You have different worries, but they are all relative and deserving of support.
1o. This change isn’t just affecting you. It is affecting your wider family. They may not show it to be supportive, but it is there. If you have a family who are resistant, set clear expectations and boundaries.
11. Be mindful of all that is going on around you and make good decisions based on that which is closest to your heart.
So for now, good-night. A friend is on her way over for a glass of Champagne, then it is off to sleep. The next time I post we will be in our new city. If I can I will use Facebook to update and share.
See you on the other side. Xxxx