I decided to write one.more.blog.post.
I actually have a few unfinished ones, too. But when I got back home I almost forgot about this blog. Real life took over immediately. Then the other day I fell down the rabbit hole reading old posts. First of all, I am so grateful I did this blog because the whole experience feels like a blur and like it happened a million years ago.
Secondly, I have no idea why I decided to write again today. Something popped in my head that sent me here to write…and now I can’t remember what that was. Funny.
We have been home 3 months. It truly feels like years. Coming home has been the hardest part of this whole adventure…for me. Okay. Maybe packing up my whole house was harder. I’ll never forget that last night before we left. Holy crap. THAT was so hard. But coming home hasn’t been easy. Why? That’s what I wanted to write about because it’s part of the journey, so I can’t leave it out. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t plan to share the deep stuff like how this sabbatical changed our lives. We are still figuring that out and it will take a while. We will feel the lasting effects forever, actually. And it is personal for each of us. Not really for the public. However, I do want to document the challenge of coming home and my perspective on what we did…in hindsight.
I have a whole new perspective of our sabbatical now that we are back to our normal life. I wanted major change when we got back…I felt so changed. But everything was the same. We owned less stuff, but we fell right back into our old habits. And they were not bad habits. I just hoped for some major life changing difference. Nope. Same same same. So that was a disappointment right away.
The pace of life became very intense for me when we got back. That was, without a doubt, the biggest difference between sabbatical life and normal life. As I sit here with piles of laundry and a jam packed calendar, I can’t help but think back to how different life was in Oz. It wasn’t just that we lived half a world away. We were not living real life. We owned such a small amount of things and had a small living space and it was a rental. So our “to do” list around the house was very small. Back in Denver, this list is endless. And the calendar. We have to be places all the time. The juggle is real. We had nothing like that in Australia. We were on our own time and we hardly ever had to be anywhere. The best part is that I realized these benefits when we were there, so I fully appreciated it. I miss it. Now that we are back, I am so grateful we didn’t send the kids to school or set an alarm clock. I’m so glad we had a break from the madness.
I miss so many things. I miss our friends, the Mings and Fittlers. We are so fortunate to have these Sydneysiders as our friends. I miss reading. I miss the sunrises. I miss not having a car and the short walk to get everything we needed. I miss the surf life and the accents. I miss the 5 of us being together. I miss my dates with Wes getting jucies and sitting at the beach wondering if we were doing things right. I miss nights filled with swimming and games (and no homework.) But most of all…it’s no surprise…I miss the coffee and the beach most of all. I cry thinking about my costal walks. It was heaven for me. I am not sad. I knew it was temporary…okay, I’m a little sad. But also grateful. It was a dream.
Aside from the pace of life, the other difficult part of coming back is the current political culture of our country. We left a few short days after 45’s inauguration. Now that I’m back, it has all hit me like a ton of bricks and a lot of terrible things have happened since we’ve been back. And it isn’t just the political culture…it’s the whole damn country that feels like a disaster. It has put me in a funk. I really thought the impeachment process would be under way by the time we got back. I can’t believe the hurricanes, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, white supremacists?!?!? I mean, it really is all weighing on my heart. It has nothing to do with my sabbatical, but we escaped the reality of a Trump presidency for 6 months and coming back to all this is just bananas. It feels like a scary time and I’m not handling it well on the inside.
Meanwhile, life is going on. Mae is enjoying the heck out of first grade. Luke is having a good school year and spent 3 days away from home (first time!) on a school trip. He is busy touring middle schools. Elle went to Washington DC for 3 nights with her school and she is looking at high schools. All 3 kids are in plays, which has kept us busy and is also very fun. Wes and I are back working, even though he’s technically still on sabbatical. Moving back into our own house was amazing. Less stuff. A fresh start. So good. We are happy.
The big change is actually coming. And just in time. After 8 years of living way out here in the west, we are getting a permanent visitor and we couldn’t be more excited. This may be the big change I needed. We can’t wait to welcome my twin brother to the 5280. It’s beyond exciting. Our new adventure….
*This was written October 2017 and never published….oops!!!