Sunday, September 10, 2006

Unsettled

I woke up twice last night with absolutely no idea where I was. The space didn’t quite have the feel of a hotel room, but I clearly wasn’t in my bedroom at home, either. Of course, my bedroom hadn’t felt quite right for the past several nights, either, I slowly remembered. First there had been huge cardboard boxes everywhere and then the cavernous echo of a nearly empty house. And now, I finally realized, I was in our new temporary housing, a London flat over 3700 miles away from our New Jersey home.

When we first talked about the possibility of moving abroad for a few years, it sounded exciting and adventurous and wonderful. At 2 ½ and 4 ½, our children are young enough to make the move without complaint but slowly getting old enough to enjoy and maybe even appreciate the European experience. I’ve committed to a few more years at home with them anyway, so I didn’t have to further interrupt my career to follow my husband. The job opportunity, which had essentially fallen into his lap, interested him both professionally and personally. Picking up and moving seemed an easy decision. Lying in an unfamiliar bed last night, I was far less certain. My comfortable life in the U.S. felt far too perfect to have left behind, and my new life in the U.K. felt far too unsettled and unfamiliar to be at all appealing. It took me a long time to fall back asleep as the enormity of what we’d just done finally began to hit me.

By the light of day today, things looks far less grim (though admittedly still quite daunting). We’ve found a grocery store and stocked up on a few family favorites, I’ve figured out how to start a load of laundry and our wireless connection is up and running. The kids actually seem calmer than they’ve been in weeks now that the packing process and trip are behind us, and quite frankly, the adults are, too. One day down, only about 729 to go. I suspect it will be a good long time before I truly feel comfortable here, but I can now see that the familiar rhythm and routine of daily life will be comforting in the meantime.

The Internet will no doubt be my lifeline over the next several years as I Google money and measurement conversions, map out directions, research our new surroundings and keep in touch with family and friends back home. I‘d be remiss if I didn‘t use it to write things down as well. Part travelogue, part Mommy blog, this site will be my written record of our London experience. I hope that it will help the people we love to stay connected to us while we are away. And I hope that some day, when I’ve returned to my familiar home and my familiar life, I’ll be able to re-read what I’ve written here and know with certainty that this experience was every bit as exciting and adventurous and wonderful as we’d dreamed it would be.

4 Comments:

Blogger Liesl said...

I hope you get an "all-settled" feeling soon!

11:31 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Glad you made it safely over there.

3:29 AM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

How terrific that the kids are settling down already, even if you're still feeling a mite unsettled. If you drink beer at all, you have to try the English bitter -- at a real pub where it is hand drawn / pulled whatever they do to it.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Glad you had a safe trip over! Hope things settle soon.

3:18 PM  

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