Here I am again, having embarked on a 10 week trip away from my home and all that is my primary day to day. This is the second time I’ve lived for a two month (or thereabouts) stay in the US, both times residing at the home of my son and his wife and my 3 gorgeous grandsons now ages 7, 3 and 2. Since they moved to this area around 7 years ago, I’ve had a longing to share with them a stay incorporating Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. For many reasons, several years went by until finally in October 2014 all things aligned and here I arrived for the first time.
For this to occur, I required several key points on my list to be ticked. These included the following:
- Motivation – Invitation
- A flexible work agreement
- An assurance of income while away
- and of course agreement on the home front
It’s pretty amazing to me that what I focus on presents…
- Due to dynamic work schedules, this family required help with the boys as they were at that time all a year younger, and there was my motivation/ invitation.
- Being contracted on a commission basis my priorities were clearly communicated and respected in my workplace, meaning that for me, family could always come first.
- After a fairly lengthy slow spell in Commercial Property Sales & Leasing in Gympie Region located 2 hours north of Brisbane, Queensland Australia where I am based, I had settled some transactions securing a substantial income at that time. There was my income while I was away.
- There’s always been a healthy appreciation between my husband Michael and me, that when one of us feels inclined to travel, we’d work towards enabling it to happen. As part of the process we would also resolve any issues that would inevitably arise. If issues are an opportunity to rise above the ‘stuff’ and connect from a wiser vantage point, then why not greet them with joy….? Hhmm no I haven’t mastered the optimum joy level yet, however I have experienced the relief of resolving issues and achieving workable solutions, satisfaction that we are in an extraordinary relationship, and for each of us amazing trips away, and yes! the issues trigger less emotional conversations.
My first stay here commenced the weekend before Thanksgiving in November 2014. Arriving here was definitely a big tick event for everyone in my family, and for the most part, we all navigated it better than anticipated. As Thanksgiving is the family event on the Calendar here, more so than Christmas for many, I imagined experiencing it like movies I’d seen. Very cold weather with blankets of show, the decorations around a theme of Gratefulness for Autumn Harvest, the extended public holidays, traffic gridlocks on highways, Macy’s parade, football games, and of course the all-important Roast Turkey Dinner.
The day itself, although the timeline was somewhat structured, unfolded in quite a casual manner with the primary goal being to sit down to eat said important dinner around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Everyone had specific tasks and there were set domains of contribution leading up to, during and following this celebration. Tradition plays a role and sets the scene. For me it was about being present and immensely grateful for everything that fell into place for me to be sitting at that dinner table with my Ozmerican family. I have said for some time that I would ideally spend 3 months per year here with my first born son and his precious family. And while it serves us all brilliantly, here I am again, though arriving this time in January (and that’s another conversation).
One thing that I am reminded of as we experience a significant weather event of blizzard status leaving us snowed in this weekend, is that everything has its season, and no experience is measurable by the previous version. So adapting to change on all levels requires entering into change with fresh eyes, an open mind and a loving heart. In this awareness I continue to make my conscious space make sense.