The last time I wrote, I mentioned something about being over my head. I was proud that I could make a gutsy decision to relocate my family to England. Well now I’m not sure if I was gutsy or stupid. Life seems busy until you hit a new level of busyness, like being used to three kids and having one more. It isn’t until that defining moment when the baby is screaming, dinner is burning in the oven, your ten year old has your eight year old in a headlock, and your daughter is screaming to turn down the TV, that you realize how lucky you were to have three.
When my husband and I talked about moving the kids overseas to England temporarily, I envisioned throwing a few things in a suitcase and off we go. After realizing that I couldn’t have been more inaccurate, I decided to adopt a mantra, and each step of the way I used it to hold strong. It was either that or employ the “hee hee ha ha’s”
learned in maternity classes.
“One day at a time. One day at a time.”
It was good until two week before our departure, when I realized I needed a new one.
“One hour at a time. One hour at a time.”
At that point in our journey preparation, I was getting up at 5:30 and working straight until midnight trying to fit it all in. I walked around in an abyss, identifying each day by twelve days left, ten days left.
My adventure into moving involved many phases, and each day I was one step closer.
Phase 1: Where Did I Get All This Shit?“Go to BJ’s and buy 12 rolling duffels” my buddy Patty, told me. “They are the only things you can store under a bed and they have NO closets over there.”
When people looked at me rolling a flat bed with an inventory of luggage, I politely told them that I decided to leave home and asked if they had any suggestions for the great escape.
There could be NO FOOD packed into our shipments, only in our suitcases, so it was time to say the final good byes to Fruit Loops, Pop Tarts, Pretzels, and PB&J’s…all the things that often got me through my long days. Thank God they had good chocolate over there. Our bare necessities and outfits for a week would be in the suitcase along with as many Pop tarts and jars of peanut butter and jelly as I could fit.
What could a family of six live without? I walked into my house to see what was remaining and was surprised to see how many things were left behind. I considered closing my eyes and giving all of it to Good Will, since these were the items that were cluttering my life. How did I become so dependent on material things for my happiness?
Phase 2: One More Form and I'm Jumping Off a Bridge
The paperwork was an ongoing process that reminded me of a toilet paper roll, but then again even toilet paper comes to an end. I know that because every time I go into the bathroom, I find the empty roll. My school applications resembled college admissions. Can someone please tell these people I have ADHD and that I’m not capable of paperwork? I had paperwork for medical forms, paperwork for closing accounts down, paperwork for opening accounts up. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without filling out a form. I now have a new understanding of what it is like to move to a foreign country.
For more adventures about moving my family to England, visit LifeWithWendy.