Unbelievably it’s now been 3 weeks since we returned to Australia. Since you are reading this, presumably you are curious about how our ‘re-entry’ experience is going. The news may or may not surprise you.
On the positive note, the girls seem to be doing great. They’ve both started school and pre-school respectively and are enjoying the ‘structure’ as well as loving being part of the new ‘community’. They both took to it like ducks to water, although they do miss spending their day together as they had been doing this past year. Yasmine in particular seems to notice this the most—she idolises her big sister and really looks forward to when they are reunited in the afternoons. Swimming lessons are going well too and we are still trying to sort out ballet lessons, which both girls have been looking forward to enrolling in throughout our year away.
But here comes the negative side.
At the risk of sounding ‘ungrateful’, re-entry
has been unexpectedly difficult. I’ve been through this twice before after our previous long trips, and I don’t recall that it was quite like this. This time, probably due to the fact that we have a family of 4’s stuff to deal with, it’s been so stressful. Unlike when we were preparing to leave on the trip when we had 8 months to get organised, everything at the moment seems to need to be done now. And coming home 1.5weeks before school started for the very first time also wasn’t ideal (but it couldn’t be helped due to flight availability when we left and the fact that the house was rented out for 365 days).
Sure, there was the initial distraction and happiness from catching up with friends. But now three weeks later, I still feel so disorganised. I hate being disorganised.
Rarely during our past year did I feel this way. But then again, life wasn’t as complicated either compared to our life at home now. If I'm not trying to organise something, by phone or internet, then I'm running around picking or dropping a kid off for school, or some other appointment. Is this the necessary result of commitments, roots, and ties??
Re-entry after a year away is in some ways akin to moving, but more. Besides unpacking (which has been haphazardly done), we’ve had to re-register the car (a bureaucratic headache), set up new accounts for the phone, mobiles and utilities (don’t know how long I’ve wasted being ‘on hold’ let alone ‘verifying my details’—wish I was a recording!), and notify the banks, etc of our ‘new’ address and contact details. We’ve had to file our tax returns for the year we missed (nice return coming to us though!). And we’ve also got the issue of employment to sort out yet.
But no matter how much I wish it to be different, I just can’t seem to get on top of it. Yes, I’ve got my lists. I’ve been trying to prioritise (as a result, the house still looks a mess!). There always seems to be something else that needs to be done now. And issues that I’ve overlooked keep popping up. Whenever one thing gets crossed off the list, another seems to quickly take its place. Just the little things you know, like changing the mailing address and informing of new phone numbers, seems endless and time consuming.
I doubt I’ll get much sympathy after the year that we’ve had, but this is the reality at the moment, the price to be paid I guess and I'm not having much fun. I am sure that it will all get worked out, sooner or later. At least life isn’t monotonous yet; on the contrary I want it to slow down!