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Thread: Unsettled weather.

  1. #1
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    Default Unsettled weather.

    It might be because it's winter (I hate winter) or because we've got to move (grrrr to renting) in a few weeks or because we're in the ten-months-in doldrums or because my sister is going to have her first baby in the UK soon or because my oldest daughter starts high school next year (major tie-down!), but my husband and I have been feeling a little low and unsettled about being here.

    Sometimes I wonder whether if we knew then what we know now would we have come? We did a paper exercise weighing up the costs and benefits of our emigration "adventure" recently and although we've gained heaps in terms of our the explicit quality of our day to day lifestyle, the slow severing of family ties and the loss of our cultural identity seems to become harder to reconcile with as each year passes, rather than easier as I'd anticipated. I think we're close to the tip point in emigrating- where it would be harder to re-establish a life in the UK than it was to make one here and where our family ties are weakened enough that our kids have slipped the anchor from their wider family. Sometimes it feels like an awful blow to acknowledge that we traded their (and our) family ties for a better climate, bigger garden etc. I wonder if they'll thank us for it?

    Maudlin I know. Perhaps it's the weather.

  2. #2
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    Damn laptop- I was going to just type that and delete it but my thumb swiped the pad and now it's posted. Think I'll leave it there though ... perhaps it might resonate with someone and be of use to know these feelings and reflections can be a part of the 'process'.

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't go beating yourself up about your children's hypothetical reactions. (And you don't do things for thanks, do you? Or you're probably doomed to frequent disappointment.) Younger children live the life they've got - they don't take themselves out of the situation and compare and contrast might-have-beens, not unless some adult upsets their equilibrium and feeds them the lines. By the time they're old enough for it to occur to them that they could have been different people, somewhere different (which is true for all of us in some sense, as everyone's life is shaped by choices, our own and other people's), it's all done and dusted and they can appreciate who they are, and understand adult motives.

    Hang in there. The sun'll come out, tomorrow...

  4. #4
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    Oh, I didn't mean that I expect them to thank us for our decision!!! More that I wonder whether they'll feel the absence of wider family in their adulthood and question our motives. I guess I'm thinking about this especially as my sister gets ready to have her first baby, which my 12 year old has already observed we'll probably meet only a handful of times before s/he is an adult.

  5. #5
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    It's all what-ifs, though, isn't it? If yours want to know their wider family, they'll be able to go and see them when they're older. In the meantime, they'll probably make more close friendships than they would if they were involved with family.

    I don't mean to disrespect your feelings. As you say yourself, it's probably part of the process, and I hope you manage to work your way to some peace soon. But questioning things can happen without having emigrated, e.g. you're in a career you've spent years training for and earning seniority, you've got a mortgage depending on your salary, and your children to raise, and then you wake up thinking that maybe you should've done some other line of work - that was me, and it's not comfortable either.

  6. #6
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    Missing out on big family events, such as new babies always brings out the worst in me Kanga and I'm very 'up and down' about being here. I no longer carry any strong desire to live in either the UK or NZ and don't see one as being any better or worse than the other. However, I don't think I would thank my parents if they had brought me here as a child and undoubtedly I would have moved towards 'brighter lights' at the first opportunity.

    I can take or leave NZ and life here for me is often far from ideal, but like you, I would also find it very hard to go back to how life used to be. It would have to be something else, somewhere different.

    It's very tough sometimes being so far removed and when you are on a downer and the weather is crap, it can be doubly hard to see the 'benefits'. I have lost my way completely and can no longer answer those questions 'Why did you emigrate to NZ?' because sometimes I truly do wonder why I am still here.

  7. #7
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    Aw Ngeru, I do hope it improves for you in time. I feel for you- I've met quite a few expats who feel 'stuck' here after many years with no easy route back and that must be very hard.

    I still have heaps I like about being here but I think it's easy to get caught up in the buzz of the explicit lifestyle factors and underestimate the wrench of leaving family. I certainly thought that by my fourth year I'd be more accustomed to living without my family than I am, but now I'm in my fourth year I realise that 3-4 years in is actually relatively new to the experience. I think I'm in a cultural limbo of sorts too as my UK identity becomes more hazy and blurred and yet I don't really have a strong sense of being a Kiwi.

  8. #8
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    What you need is a nice wet holiday in the Coromandel with some good friends. Same rain, different view. We'll soon have you laughing again.

  9. #9
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    Try and remember why you moved and think of the benefits to your children when they are older. They have UK passports(?) and will be able to return to the UK and Europe to work, they can stay in NZ or have an easier time than us Brits getting into Oz. It sounds like the weather is getting you down ..... have you been watching Wimbledon and wishing you were back in the sun of Blighty? Believe me it's only the South East getting all the sun and heat .... gales rain and cold not that much further north.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanga View Post
    I think I'm in a cultural limbo of sorts too as my UK identity becomes more hazy and blurred and yet I don't really have a strong sense of being a Kiwi.
    Is there really such a thing like a "UK identity"? Or isn't it more about regional ones: E.g. Greater London, Wales or South West with different identities.
    And what is about Northern Ireland? Is their identity part of UK or Ireland. (In football there are two teams representing Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland respectively whereas in Rugby there is only one team representing the entire island of Ireland.)

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