It’s been a really interesting couple of months for me, and I wanted to share some of it with you today. Why am I sharing this now? Well it’s because of these recent events that I am making some changes to Expat Parenting Abroad. Changes that I think you’re going to like 🙂
Firstly, we moved house… again! This time into our own home, which I am so grateful for at the moment. We have a lovely backyard and we live on a really quiet street, the girls are able to ride their bikes, draw with chalk and just ‘play’ on our street.
As we moved and started to settle into our new home, the news started coming through about schools not reopening after Chinese New Year. I have strong connections with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, so when this virus started in that part of the world, I was really worried about friends and colleagues and was active in reaching out to see what I could do to support.
Then out of the blue, my dad got really sick at the end of February. He had emergency surgery for renal failure, which was almost fatal, only to discover there was a shadow on his kidney. Through the following weeks we discovered he has stage four cancer, it’s spread to his spine. So he is now undergoing chemo and next month we will find out if it’s started to work.
Then the virus hit New Zealand (yes it took a while to get here) and within weeks we were in full level 4 lockdown. Our school was ready for closure, so the girls started online schooling for the first couple of weeks, which they were able to do relatively independently but it was exhausting for us all nonetheless. The hospitality industry however has been hit with the travel restrictions and closing of the borders, so we have experienced loads of uncertainty for us as a family.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I feel it gives context for where I am at right now. As you can imagine, through all of this my emotions have been frankly all over the place.
I feel grateful for our sanctuary, our home that is bringing us so much joy.
I feel fearful that I may not see my dad again, pending how his treatment goes and how long our borders are closed. But at the same time I don’t feel regret or guilt, I am very close with my parents, and I have always maximised every opportunity to be with them. We FaceTime every day, and have done so for years.
I feel blessed that I have reconnected with my brother. For a number of years he just didn’t take my calls or respond to messages, but he has really stepped up to support mum and dad during this period of diagnosis and treatment. And now we talk often, sometimes a few times a day. I love it, despite the circumstances.
I feel grateful that our girls are strong and healthy, that they are creative, that they can ‘play’ so well together. This lockdown experience has not been a problem for them. In fact, they are very happy.
I worry about hubby, his stress levels have been all over the place. From panicking that he had the virus, to worrying about job security and managing the hotels through the crisis.
I feel so blessed that I have such amazing friends all over the world. That we can ‘chat’ and support each other through the various ups and downs that life is throwing at us all in various ways. I pray that as we find our new normals, that we do so mindfully and with the best of intent.
I feel privileged that through all of this, I have been able to continue to focus on my business and support my clients. Our coaching sessions have been invaluable, to them and to me. I love to see the change and progress they are making in their own lives, despite the uncertainty they have been experiencing, it gives me a true sense of reward.
Through all of this I have been listening to the conversations, and reflecting on how our worlds are shifting. I recognise that in the short to medium term (at least) life will be different for all of us.
Which leads me to think about my business and how I serve you, and I have decided to make some changes. As you can see, it’s been a topsy turvy time for me personally and all of this has led me to reflect on my priorities and focus. So as of today I am “pedal to the metal” working through this and what it means in literal terms and I can’t wait to bring you updates over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, thank you. Your continued support means the world to me and its your support that brings me so much joy.
Sending you huge virtual hugs x