Sunday, 23 November 2008

Melbourne Beckons!

Apparently, one of the top FIVE most stressful events (alongside divorce and death) is MOVING... and, boy don’t I know it! With an upbringing as a diplomat’s daughter (my father worked for the UN), MOVING is something that I am well accustomed to. As a child, we moved from Egypt, to Jerusalem, and then to Syria (which was my father’s final duty station). After boarding schools in Shropshire and then Kent, I went on to university in Virginia (US), and then returned to the UK to complete further studies in Hertfordshire. In adulthood, I have moved around a lot within the UK: London, Gloucester, and Birmingham. But now I am preparing for the biggest move of my life - a relocation to Melbourne, Australia - to establish house and family with hubby, Joel (who I married last July).

Despite the fact that I moved around a lot in my youth (which I did come to resent in my twenties), England has been home for 20 years or so... hence, this relocation to Australia is a huge upheaval. To be honest, it has taken me about a year to come to terms with this relocation; that is getting my mind and heart in the right frame of mind for such a mega move. However, now that D-Day is looming I feel my stress levels rising with all the things that still need to be organised between now and Jan '09. I finish my teaching term in four weeks, and around working fulltime, I am busy with packing up my current house to move into temporary accommodation until I fly out in Jan. To give you an idea of the things I’ve had to sort out in recent months: pack up all my books, CDs, photographs, bags, shoes, bike, etc. (38 boxes in all)... and put them in storage; sort out all my furniture, kitchenware, etc. and organise charity collections; and pack my suitcase for the move into my temporary digs. This week... I have arranged the final charity pickup, I will need to defrost the fridge, and then clean the entire house from ‘top-to-toe’... YIKES... so much to do, so little time. Well, I’ll be out of here on the weekend, and that will be such a HUGE relief. Then, it’s a matter of awaiting visas, organising my tickets for travel, and making arrangements to ship my things across.

I must say, that the way I have managed to keep my stress levels in check over the last few months is in the following ways:-
· Writing: I am working on some great short stories at the moment.
· Knitting: I have rediscovered knitting again in the last month (mum taught me how to knit when I was about 9 or 10 years), and I’m loving it. My current project is knitting a scarf for Joel.
· Scrapbooking: Yes – I’ve recently started a scrapbook, and again I’m enjoying the process of collecting my interests and memories in a collage.

Indeed, I am finding writing, knitting, and scrapbooking very therapeutic in keeping the ‘zin-zen balance’ of my soul. And of course, my friendships; daily walks to and from school; and lots of prayer is all part of what’s keeping me sane during this stressful juncture in my life.

Two nuggets of wisdom that I hold on to at this time:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful worldas it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things rightif I surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. (Reinhold Niebuhr)
Trust in the LORD with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge him,and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3, 5-6)

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