Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jeremy Clarkson narrates my life

It's very odd having 2 boys in my house 24/7. My life is narrated largely by Jeremy Clarkson and Buzz Lightyear. It's a little bit like our own private edition of Celebrity Rehab or Big Brother, but I guess we're detoxing from 3 years in Dublin where I played the part of dutiful corporate wife (AKA Single Mother). We're "regrouping" (see, bits of my 3 years in Dublin were narrated by Doctor Phil) and reestablishing our priorities - our collective priorities as a family. For the most part, it's positive and good. As with all learning curves, it is also hard work.

In the lead-up to our move back to Sydney, people kept asking me if I was excited to get back to Sydney. As I've said before, I find nostalgia to be quite a dangerous thing. I said, repeatedly, that I was looking forward to September when the jet-lag had dissipated, the boxes had been unpacked, Spring would be upon us and we'd be settled and in the 'swing' of things.

Today is the 1st of September.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

G'Day Hoe Gaan Dit Wie Gehts Hello

So here we are in Oz - Down Under- in Sydney... starting again (sort of) and relishing the beauty, ease and positivity that infuses daily life here. I struggled to leave South Africa. I truly fell in love with my Home and would have been quite happy to stay there. I've never felt such patriotism, such a sense of belonging and an appreciation of the simple things in life... It was in stark contrast to our time in Dublin where I felt that everything was about money. We went there for money. We stayed there for more money. We left because, in the end, money is NOT enough of a reason to be somewhere. Three months in South Africa provided the antidote to the 3 years in Dublin. In South Africa, the vast majority of people have no money and no material possessions whatsoever. Yet, somehow, these people have the most tremendous capacity for joy and celebration. I will be eternally grateful for the time I had in my magical country as I feel I recaptured my essence. I like stuff, sure, but I don't need it.

I focused so much on the anxiety I felt about leaving South Africa that I hadn't even thought about arriving in Sydney. Our arrival here was quite bizarre. I can only equate it with those movies where the lead character dies and then returns to his/her life to see what life would be like without them. We returned after over 3 years away to find, of course, that everything had continued quite nicely without us. There are many many babies, some relationships have ended and new ones have begun... The first week was awful - jet lag and confusion, boxes and suitcases, multiple 3am screenings of Toy Story (1 and 2)... and then profound normality... We're back.

In my 20s I always broke my life down into 3 categories: House, Job, Relationship. There were very few instances in my 20s where I had all 3. Each time I did manage to secure all 3 at the same time, something cataclysmic would happen. Memorably, at about 24, I had the guy, the house and the job... then the guy upped and left for Sydney. When this girl upped and left for Sydney, I had the guy and the house, but no job. Finally, as I hit 30, I had the guy, the house, the job... and the guy took me to Dublin... where I had the guy and the house...and then a little guy, so no job. Now, we're here in Sydney... and I have the guy, the little guy, the house...and no job. It's a vicious and challenging circle, but I'm sure very soon we'll get it sorted.

It's never simple. Even when you get exactly what you've always wanted. Sometimes I'm envious of the friends I have who have opted to stay put, grow roots and pursue their path with the least possible obstacles. Mostly, I'm not. I am curious though about the 'alternative' - what would have happened had we stayed in London or in Dublin or in South Africa? Right now I'm aiming to find out what happens if we stay in Sydney. Watch this space.