I am generally a homebody who likes routines and yet I know in my heart that change is important in life so that we may continue to grow and thrive. Too much of a good thing is still too much and my homebody status can quickly cross a line I prefer to avoid.
This week was another weird one full of ups and downs – perhaps that really is my normal life and I simply fail to notice sometimes? I seem to have very little in the way of boring stable weeks any more.
What comes out of ups and downs? a whole lot of gratitude. When we have dark, we appreciate light. When we see what we can lose we appreciate what we have. When we are in pain we vow never to take our health for granted again. and so it goes.
This week I am grateful that we finally booked our tickets to New York for the end of the year. Apart from a week in 2009 when I went to NYC solo (thanks hubby!) this is my only other trip “home” since Alice was 11 months old in 2004. It was on that trip I found out I was pregnant with Lulu and travel as a family of 4 became too expensive (hence the solo trip 5 years later after another failed attempt to return home). I get teary thinking about this trip. My family are not world travellers and in my 18 years overseas only my mother and sister have ever visited me. This means that on this trip my family and friends will meet my girls finally – at ages 7 3/4 and 9 1/2. After only glimpsing them on Facebook for rare photo postings or a few moments on the phone or relayed stories via my mother or sister – all these people will meet my wonderful girls. So exciting!
After a couple of back and forth months wondering if we would have the money for the trip (thank you stupid breaking down car) or if my husband would be able to get away (thank you stupid limbo land of too little or too much work) we decided to just go for it and book it. Either they will be missing him when busy or grateful he is gone when it is slow. I will finally sell on ebay all the stuff I stashed in the garage and am finally making a tiny bit of money from writing – it will all be well spent on knishes, pizza, Chinatown visits and canolli along with craft supplies, shoes, Disney adventures and a road trip of semi-epic proportions. And I will be blogging from the States for almost 6 weeks so that should be interesting!
What else? I am so grateful for my girls growing up and slightly away from me. Does that sound crazy? Usually we want our children to stay young and close and safe. In my case in order to get things done for that new “tiny bit of money” I mentioned above I need to work during the upcoming school holidays that start end of next week. This year my kids started going to a little vacation care at their gymnastics centre to give me a break over school holidays. This time I need the care to get work done rather than indulge my introvert needs.
I talked to them and now that many of their friends have working mothers (this is THE year for returning to work in our world) they are actually keen to go to the school vacation care since they will know some of the kids, so will add that in a little too. My 7 year old was the major hold out as she has always wanted to be as close to me as possible (this is the child who wished I could stay at school with her). Yesterday she said “when I was little I did not want to go to care because I did not want to be away from you, but I am big now and I am ready to go and know it will be fun. I hope they have fried rice for snack when I get to go.” I love how she refers to when she was little as if it was ages ago and not simply in the last few months this change has occurred. And I hope they have fried rice too – it looked good on the day we stopped by to check it out.
Finally I am optimistically sharing this grateful and hoping it stays true for a long time. This week many people (like 14,000 many) in Queensland have lost their jobs thanks to the recent budget announcement and cutbacks in the health sector. This week at least a half dozen people were also made redundant at my husband’s office (including a close friend who is about to head overseas on holiday and will return to no job). My heart aches for these families that face uncertainty, stress, financial pressures and more. I feel very grateful that my husband has a job and, despite my urgings otherwise, has stayed with the same employer all 18 years we have been overseas. In our case it truly helps not being the last one in the door as those people are usually the first ones out as well. Definitely grateful for stability and loyalty – long may it last.
What are you grateful for this week?
Find your simple,