London fireworks in 2013

This time of year is when people regroup, reorganize and think about plans and the future and what’s in store for them. They make promises to eat better, be better people, better parents, or just be BETTER in general. It’s like being clensed. The year is over and if it was a bad one, it’s forgotten and if it was a good one, it’s celebrated but either way, it’s time to move on.

We spent a wonderful couple of days including new year’s eve day with my college friend, Heidi Walker and her British husband and their 3 children. They recently moved to North Carolina USA from Beijing where they had lived for 2 years. Heidi had lived as an American expat in the UK for 15 years before that. I found it amazing how adaptable their children were. They loved Beijing and settled into life in the US very smoothly. Her eldest sounds American now! The kids take the school bus, play outside all the time and are enjoying the all American lifestyle. Both of our youngest formed the cutest friendship and for the first time ever, Jonah had a friend all to himself and we hardly saw him during our two day visit.

Hearing about their adventures and moves and new places and new lives made me think about what’s in store for us, for my family. Will I ever repatriate? Will my husband and children ever experience life in America? Will I ever have a washing machine that is NOT in my kitchen? I think here in England for us, it’s as good as it gets. We will never be able to afford a bigger house (a house with a laundry room – something that comes as standard in American houses), never live in a better area. We are giving our children a safe and secure upbringing, a childhood by the beach, great schools and a  good start in life. We are happy in the here and now….. but for how long? Jobs change, circumstances change. And, we have options. Both Nick and myself are very good with change, with challenges and learning new things. We’ve had a combined experience of living in 6 different countries. I feel I am still adapting to my adopted country and still having those unique and eye-opening experiences that come with living life abroad. We are also successful in our jobs, our work. So how come our lifestyle doesn’t reflect our success and why do I feel we will never feel successful here in England? We live in a house with no closets and only 1 bathroom and where we can’t always park our car. We have no place to park our car at our house. How many times do I come home and have to drop the kids off in front of the house and then go and find a place to park two blocks away? How annoying is that??!! We just spent 2 days in an AMAZING house worth 1.6 million pounds and it didn’t have a place to park a car apart from out on the street. 1.6 million pounds does not even guarantee a place to park your car at your own home here in England. That in itself is astonishing. It’s a different lifestyle and a different perspective. It is my life now (not the 1.6 million pound house, mind you!). For how long will this be my life? I bet I’m not the only one asking myself this question in the first few days of 2013. Move over 2012, here we are in 2013. What’s in store for you this year?

 

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