Life is too ironic. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.  This saying speaks volumes to me today.  I can say that in order to see what you really appreciate in life, you need to take a large step away for the chance to “see” it.  

Absence.  They say it makes the heart grow fonder.  You can only believe this if you have experienced the feeling.  The funny thing is it doesn’t have to be a person or place, it can relate to anything you hold dear yet sometimes take for granted.  I am reminded by this fact more and more these days.  We have only been in Australia for a little over two months, yet our family has been through so many changes and adjustments; that it seems like two years.  Not that it hasn’t been enjoyable.  It has been, probably one of the most joyous experiences of my life.  

And now, I’m exhausted.

Our capabilities are almost limitless; if we allow our minds to always look for the best.  Of course, life isn’t always simple and it’s in these challenges that create the person we were meant to become.  What challenges have pushed you lately?  How did you respond?  My heart and soul feel reinvigorated these days and I look forward with great anticipation in what lies ahead for us. 

It was just a few months ago that I was complaining, to myself and anyone who would listen, that I wanted “off” of the treadmill of my life of chaos and too much busy-ness.  I imagined a life of peace and calm by just “walking away” to greener pastures.  hmmmm….sounds like a cliche to me.  But that’s exactly what I felt we were doing.  Moving to another country to see if it would benefit our lives and family.  Slower lifestyle.  More family time.  yada yada yada…

The truth of the matter was that, in fact, I did find what I was looking for.  The unimagineable (but always dreamed about) happened to our little family.  Instead of being angry and hostile with eachother because we weren’t able to keep up with the daily tasks that overtook our days, we started to learn what each individual was lacking from the rest of us.  How can I help my daughter feel more secure?  How can I learn to listen and respond to her as an individual and not just my “child”? How can my son be challenged in order to feel capable?  How can I give him the resources to use his strengths to overcome his weaknesses? How does my husband feel like an individual who can find what truly brings him happiness?  How can I insist he decide to do just that? How can I curb my over-enthusiastic self and focus on the most important tasks that bring me the most joy and satisfaction? How can I do all these and still work on my patience? These can sometimes be overlooked with daily chores and the steady hum-drum of our lives.  

This country has helped our little family do all that and more.  I’m intrigued for more.  Then the question was, what do we do now?

We came to a unanimous decision to return to where we started and take it from there.  It really doesn’t matter exactly “where” we are but “who” we are and how we treat those around us.  I believe we have all learned invaluable lessons to help us along the next journey.  Are you taking into account what you have learned this past week? month? year?  They are there, whether or not you realize it; although you would be much better off to sit back and “realize” these subtle changes.

I’m overwhelmed.  I am truly excited for the rush of the next chapter.  When I sit back and look at what we’ve done so far, I’m amazed.  How did we do it?  Why did we do it?  That makes me smile.  Of course, it was all meant to be and I can almost hear the credits playing in the background from a movie scene.  Breathtaking.  Awesome.  Inspirational. 

I’m ready to take on our next journey.  Part 2 coming soon…


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