Hello from Hong Kong circa 2017, where we are fresh off a plane from Australia and battling mild jet lag with 4am starts. I say mild in case my friend Liz reads this, as she is just off a plane from Boston where there is a 12 hour time difference and so is officially my hero.
Travelling with three kids is a whole other business I must say, lots of fun but very exhausting. When people with three kids joke and say they’re outnumbered, there’s truth to their words – suddenly you seem to have one child more than you can manage at any given time. But oh it was worth it to take miss Ruby Elizabeth back to the homeland. Look at that face.
We had a wonderful trip despite battling sickness much of the time. It is always amazing to catch up with family, relax at my parents’ place and laugh with old friends. Not to mention the ever present drone of cicadas, the clean air that smells of soil and freshly mowed grass, the sun that stings you and the clear blue water. How I miss Australia. Here is a quote from the book I’m reading that made me think of home:
“Love for an island is the sternest passion: pulsing beyond blood, through roots and loam” – Phyllis Allfrey
I’ve realised that Australia will always be home for me, and despite having the constant sense of not quite belonging anywhere that I think happens as soon as one tries expat life, I’ll always want to be back there, not least to enjoy my family while I can. That said, there is another island I also love and we are quite happy to be back here.
One thing I love about leaving Hong Kong is how happy I always feel to be back. It’s a place that can wear you down after a while so you do need to leave frequently just to get a fresh perspective. How lucky are we to live here? Our children have an amazing life and I’m so happy to be able to give them this experience. I’m so privileged to get to spend so much time with them, but also get so much time for myself.
Which brings me to 2017. Happily I am not pregnant entering this new year (*rejoice*) and I am just so excited to have this year to really focus on my children and on myself. To be the best mother I can be for each of my kids, who are all very different, while also working on my own things and of course my marriage.
Each of the kids has a few things they need help with at the moment, with Heike some concentration issues at school and working more on reading, with Walter some cheeky 2-year-old behaviour and finally getting rid of the dummies and getting him potty trained (he may be the middle child but let’s face it, he’s my baby!) and with Ruby starting solids and helping her to keep her weight gain up so she can get a little stronger. I feel like I am in a really good place mentally now to focus on this and not be so hard on myself, feeling like I should be doing more or wanting more. This is where I need and want to be right now. And hopefully there will be plenty to blog about along the way too.
So, I don’t have any resolutions, just to start fresh, ease up on myself and of course, enjoy life! I hope you are set to enjoy 2017 too.