Monday 23rd July 2012

sophia and statues

It’s funny, moving to another country.  One day you can feel like you’re settling in and enjoying a real summers day like yesterday and then the next morning you can wake up just feeling really homesick and horrible.  Spent most of today just feeling like I was about to sob at any moment – but didn’t.  At least this time around, I understand what is happening – when I last lived over here I had a tough time some days but wasn’t sure how to cope with it.  Now, when I’m feeling like this there are a few strategies I have to manage:

  • write – this blog is partly to share the experience with those who are interested and sometimes part therapy!  I also handwrite a daily diary.
  • rest – I was lucky to be able to take a short nap this afternoon – when you’re feeling really down just curling up and sleeping for a bit seems to help
  • get outside – it can be tempting to just hibernate and stay inside but it’s good to get out.  We took a nice family trip to a “zorgborderij” I will write about below.  It was just for an hour or so but made a difference to my day.
  • take small steps – feeling really overwhelmed at the moment with so much we have to do in the coming weeks – writing a list and just ticking off a couple of things at a time (or nothing at all on some days when it’s too difficult!) means you can just work through when you’re able
  • tell someone – in the past when I was feeling down I’d tend to keep it all to myself so as not to burden others.  I’ve since learnt that i can lean on friends and family when I need to.  Just letting my husband know I’m having a difficult day can mean he may spend a bit of extra time with the kids to give me a break, and I also have some lovely friends in a private Facebook group which is a safe place to vent and get support.  I didn’t of course ring the people I’m really missing to tell them or would end up in a mess!  Better to talk to them when I’m feeling stronger.
  • enjoy the simple things – I sat and watched my daughter play in the wind today with the washing, so simple but so nice to see.
wind and washing
I’m also trying to teach my daughter strategies as she’s growing and needing to deal with a lot of things like this move – watching her consciously try to think of steps she can take to make herself feel better when she’s down is great.  She’s doing pretty well with the move so far but have also noticed from her behaviour when she finds it tough, but am proud of how adaptable she is – and hope to be the same.  Hope some of these tips from my own experiences may help others in a similar situation – I don’t want this blog to only be about all the fun and happy stuff as moving to another country is much more than that. Understanding the process – and yourself – can make things much easier though.
As I mentioned above, we took a trip to a zorgborderij down the road today.  This is a farm which has a number of mentally and physically disabled helping out for the experience and as a type of therapy.  It was a lovely place to walk around and you can buy fruit, veges and flowers there.  I love social enterprises such as this, I worked for a social enterprise in Australia and it’s a topic I’m keen to learn and write more about and become more involved with in the future.
Bas bought some flowers for our new garden.  The whole tray cost about 4 euros but we also gave some extra.
bas and flower

The girls talked to some chickens and rabbits.

sophia and chickens

girls and rabbit

and here is some of their produce:

plums

veges for sale

I’m writing this later as I didn’t feel up to it at the time, but all in all it was quite a nice day looking back, and it’s of course to be expected that with such a big move there are going to be days which are more difficult than others.

So that was another day of our Life in The Netherlands.