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2022... I’m ready for you!

expat life expat mums expat parenting expat parenting abroad Jan 10, 2022

For me, bringing in a new year feels like a clean slate, a chance to start fresh. I am not someone who sets New Year Resolutions, but I do spend time thinking about the year ahead. 

I consider the big milestones our family will face. I plan for important events. I make decisions on where my focus and energy needs to go. And 2022 is going to be an important year for our family and for me, for so many different reasons.

Madam S is going to be in Year 6 this year, she will be a leader in the Junior School. She’s a funny one, Madam S. Often not saying a lot, but when she does she has a wicked sense of humour and truly cackles when she laughs. She has the power to really brighten a room. Watching her grow into various leadership roles throughout this year is something I’m really looking forward to.

Miss J is moving into Year 7 and starting Secondary School. I am expecting this to be a bit of a shock… for all of us! While the school has done a lot to prepare the girls for the transition, with the terribly long lockdown at the end of last year they also missed out on a lot. A lot of the activities which would have really supported the transition were canceled or tried to do over zoom and this will have an impact. In addition her year group more than doubles in size… there's going to be a lot of new girls joining and the dynamics are going to change.

So as a mother, I feel that 2022 is going to draw heavily on me for emotional and social support for both girls. Navigating these big changes for each of the girls will need time and space for conversations. I think one silver lining from our long lockdown was that our relationship strengthened, we had had time to talk, we had time to just be, literally with no pressure to be anywhere else. 

Hubby’s role continues to grow and in 2022 recovering post lockdown/pandemic is going to be a challenge across all the hotels he manages. For me that means continuing to be a sounding board, listening when he needs to share frustrations, and sometimes sharing a little advice :-)

What I didn’t realise as 2021 came to a close and we packed up for a long summer break with family in Christchurch, was how worn out I was. I know I am someone who just gets on with it, I keep focusing on what needs to happen next and this is how I have dealt with dad’s death, the lock down, the home schooling, the constant restrictions. I am well aware of how I cope, but there are moments it still catches me by surprise. Arriving at the in-laws and literally unplugging from everything for the past few weeks, has been a period of rejuvenation for me. 

So starting 2022 I have a renewed focus on the minimum I am prepared to accept for myself, there are things that I’m not prepared to compromise on this year. And it’s not radical, mostly simple everyday things, but it’s the things that give me strength and keep me in tune so to speak.

For example, I start every day with hot water and lemon juice. I find it really refreshing, not only for my taste buds, but the zing of the lemon starts to activate my mind too. Hubby and I started this habit years ago, but it is one that I cherish and will continue.

Over the past few months, I have been cutting back on the amount of tea I drink and I want to continue this, drinking only a couple of cups of tea in the morning and warm water the rest of the day. If you know me well, you know I am an old tea soak. This hasn’t been an easy change to make, but when my dear friend Wick mentioned that tea can make you cough (I had had a constant niggling cough for months) I tried cutting back on tea and viola, I felt better (you can discover more of Wick’s healthy tips at www.wickedwellbeing.com).

While we are away, dear little Minty is staying at the kennel, and strangely enough I miss her. I’m not really a dog person, she’s the family pet, but it’s me that walks her every day… I have missed our daily walks and I plan to enjoy these more when we get home again later this week. Don’t get me wrong, we have done loads of walks around Christchurch this summer and it’s been so wonderful seeing and experiencing different walks, but it’s the daily routine I’m missing :-)

When dad was so sick and I was feeling a little lost I started daily meditations using Insight Timer (an app you can put on your phone). I had used it before, mostly for the girls and sometimes for myself, but not on a consistent basis. Over the past few months I have really appreciated the mental strength and focus this has given me and it is a new daily habit that I plan on keeping in 2022.

As for my business, well just between you and me, I am a little excited! I have spent the summer break reflecting and thinking a lot about my clients. What they have achieved in their lives and how I have been able to support them. In addition, I am super excited to be working with my coach Amel again, she has set me a few challenging questions, and I feel like things are really starting to take shape. I’m not ready to share anything more yet, but let’s just say I’ve got tingles all the way to my toes :-) 

We still have a few more weeks of summer holidays before the new school year begins, and I plan to cherish that time with the family. But I am doing so feeling so much stronger, more focused, more energised and ready for 2022!

What are you focusing on in 2022? Please drop me a DM on social (@expatparentingabroad) or email ([email protected]) and share with me, I always love hearing from you.

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