Thursday, 23 June 2016

Dear friends...

We are coming back to Australia. Probably almost three if I scheduled this right.

But we might not be much fun for a little while.


Well, we don't have much to be excited about, because we are returning to Australia without work lined up, for the second time in nearly 10 years and the economic climate seems very similar, even if our skill sets are a little different.

Yes, we are happy to be coming back to Australia, but we would like to be able to support ourselves, save up for a house or apartment, put money aside for our retirement, and have something leftover so that we might go camping around Australia or whatever. You know... we just want a simple life where we don't need to worry about contracts dependent on grants coming through, so that we can settle down in one place and never have to move again.

We live in hope that this is in our future, but right now we are unemployed and that sucks and it hurts. We will have our good days and bad days, days when we're eager to catch up and others when we cannot deal, cannot adult, and being around friends who are employed and/or paying off a mortgage is too much. Seriously.

So, before we catch up there are a few things I'd like to clarify:
  • we are happy to be back in Australia, but that does not make it home; 
  • we are happy to see you, but we are not excited to be unemployed; 
  • we are happy to see familiar things, eat familiar foods, and smell familiar smells, but we have taken Jimmy away from the only home he knows;
  • you might think you know Jimmy, but he doesn't know you, so give him time to come to terms with is surroundings and then slowly engage him in something - something that involves running around preferably;
  • catching up may be emotionally very difficult for us, so if we put things off or cancel for no apparent reason, it is simply because that day or that week is hard and we can't.
This is part of reverse culture shock and life not going as we would have liked. This is part of trying to judge where we're at each day and provide Jimmy with some sort of routine and stability, until the inevitable happens and we move. Again.

For the most part, Jimmy is taking the upheaval well and has been very good about not getting in the way of cleaning. He's been enjoying being at home with Daddy, but he knows something is up and that makes him clingy and withdrawn at times. He can be drawn out, with the help of other children or an entertaining father (not necessarily Michael), but some days he is easily overwhelmed - just like anyone who has had to move a long way away from familiar people and returned more than a year later.

We will do our best to catch up and reconnect, because we don't know where the next job will take us. If it's been two (or more!) years since we've seen you, then we don't want to wait another 2 years to see you again. And we will make the effort.

We understand that your lives have changed, but please forgive us if we sound pissed off that you're not dropping everything to come and see us. As we will be living in Warwick for the foreseeable future, we cannot make it to Brisbane every weekend, even if we are unemployed - actually, especially if we're unemployed because petrol costs money, something we don't have much of and something that's not coming in.

If we are lucky and are able to remain in Australia, if we find work and are able to settle in and make a new home for ourselves, it will take us about 3 months to find our groove. Please be patient with us, because you are important to us and we want to fit our life back into yours, as best we can, given all the changes everyone and everything has been through in the past 2 year.

And for the friends we made in Manhattan, KS: you will be missed. Stay in touch as best as you can - we will do the same. Who knows, we might live in the same town or city again, and we will try to pick up where we left off, but changes that come with time (and life) might make that difficult too.

Hopefully, we receive some news to make us excited about the next stage in the life of our little family. Hopefully soon.

See you when we land,


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