I have read several of her blogs and oh boy, do the resonate!
Who knows why this one, from 2011 caught my attention but it did ..... another one of those situations which convinces you yet again there's no such thing as a coincidence.
7 Habits of Happy Expats, as discussed by Global Coach Centre is rather useful, especially for those down days.
A quick summary:
- Happy expats are intensely curious ( don't know that I'm intently curious, but curious yes)
- Accept others (I'm certainly getting better at it)
- Everything is a learning opportunity (you never stop learning and no one can ever take away from you what you have learnt; education in all it's forms is priceless)
- Find opportunities everywhere (well, not everywhere, but always open to suggestions)
- Know that feeling sad is OK (HALLELUJAH. Normal emotions of the roller coaster lifestyle is good)
- Are sharers (and know that Karma can be a bitch)
- Avoid criticism, sulking and stonewalling (all negatives designed to bring you down)
I had a lovely lunch today with an Australian friend I met at the chiropractors last year (you hear the accent and can't help but start chatting and sometimes, if you're lucky you make a new friend, not just because they are from 'home' but you get on well, laugh, and 'get' one another), and she was in a similar funk to me last year.
Her teenage kids didn't need her as much, tutors were needed now for help with homework, husband working long hours and travelling for work, no support network provided by school as her kids are at an independant school (no expats, unless you count the boarders), so no mentor provided, and minimal coffee mornings.
She let go on all her demons and said if it wasn't for her volunteer work she'd be in the loony bin.
I also chatted with another friend, who happens to be Australian. We were introduced by a mutual friend last year. MsJ was asking me how I'm coping now MissM's at school all day long and there's no other kids at home to look after. She's struggling now both her little ones are at school and daycare. She got so desperate last week she even looked at local colleges for a course.
To quote Oprah, I had an AHA! Moment.
AHA! Maybe part of my feeling so lost is partly due to MissM being 8 1/2 and in school full time, and slowly but surely not needing me as much as before. Maybe I'd be 'lost' no matter where I lived!
I'm going to ponder this, chat with BF's who have one child, and the child/adult and possibly havachat with you later.
But two conversations in the one day, with expats living close by shared similar thoughts, anxieties and feelings which proves I'm fine!
All I could hear was 'thank goodness, I'm normal'
I also know I am a happy expat (refer to above 7 Habits of a Happy Expat) AND MissM told me only this morning I'm a great mummy ANNNDD my husband loves me, I have friends who care.
I am a lucky expat!