Let’s talk about stress!
Although I think I do not have it, there is something that wakes me up in the middle of the night. As a matter of fact I have not slept well lately and I don’t really know why….
Heaps of reasons for stress!
After an intensive six months in Brisbane of closing a 25 year chapter in our lives I like to think that I am currently not stressed. These 6 months of packing up were kind of crazy. The other day I was thinking about what we actually did. Clearing our Brisbane house and selling everything. Cleaning it to the crazy standards of Australian property managers. Leaving two kids and many dear friends behind……..
And suddenly I got this sense of ‘super stress’ in me.
I never noticed it at the time but looking back I realise I never want to do something like that again. Apart from leaving people behind, one of the worst aspects was the stuff we owned and sold. Why on earth did we have all these things?
If you imagine our house in Limoux, just think of an average historical holiday house. You’ll find everything that you need but there is no clutter. In fact I have already brought several things to the local recycling shop. Some of those bits that I bought at an earlier stage but I did not really like them for myself. So off they went.
In a couple of months and a lot later than promised we have to open our doors to a shipment from Australia. Although we did sell an incredible amount of stuff we still managed to take a fair bit. If you ask me what exactly, I would not be able to tell you exactly. Some things are books, photo albums, pictures, a mosaic table I made myself, clothes and some favourite kitchen items.
More stress to come?
I am already afraid that it will fill up my drawers and cupboards. I am sure these are items that I like and want to keep but I certainly do not need them. The shipment is also late and won’t arrive before the winter. Guess what, it has all the winter clothes we own or whatever you can call winter clothes if you are from Brisbane.
On top of that, the containers arrives when we are not there and we have to organise storage until we can have it delivered. The reason we are not going to be in Limoux for some time is the arrival of our youngest offspring in Europe. She has set her heart on studying in The Netherlands and somehow we feel that she might need some assistance. After all she does not speak Dutch and has not spent more than a month or so in Holland in her whole life.
Stress for her and ….us?
Quite a big thing for an 18 year old, I suppose, although she seems to take it all in her stride. Off course as parents you feel that you need to offer support. In fact it turns out to be an art to find the right balance between support and backing off. She has been in Australia, safely living with a family we know and who happens to be the parents of her best friend. She turned 18 there and is now officially an adult.
When she comes to Europe she obviously needs our help and advice but also she will feel that she has to sort it out herself. So where as a parent do you draw the line? We have facilitated a couple of things to get her started but for the rest it may have to be just help with the Dutch language.
It remains a grey area. I know several people who struggle with letting go of their children. Who feel they need to keep the family house going because their kids still might want to live there. Those who suffer empty nest syndrome because their kids are off to university in a different city or even country.
One reason why to stress less…
I get all that and I am not sure what is good or bad. My oldest daughter, 24 now, has created a life for herself. She saved money, moved to Melbourne and relocated her part time job. She found a graduate position to fit her degrees and is now planning a couple of months of travelling before the onslaught of the new job. We as parents look at it and are proud and happy for her despite the fact that she lives in Melbourne and we are on the other side of the world.
Off course we hope that our youngest will fall on her feet like that. She has chosen a slightly more difficult path and I am not sure if she is aware of the enormity of it. Time will tell and in the meantime we as parents have to find the right level of interference. One that she sees as help but not ‘sweeping in’ as she once accused me off.
Interesting times and many reasons for more stress ! For now though, I am looking forward heaps to see both girls in a matter of only weeks. They will both come to UK and for a short time we have the opportunity to be a family of four again. We will pick them up, re-unite with UK family, make some trips, even be part of a family wedding in UK and an old friends’s 40th birthday party in Ghent.
I am so excited!