Taken last year near our favourite Danish diner.

Distraction is the demon that I am currently struggling with.  I must admit that he is more like an old friend than a demon but he does put a spoke in my to do list.

My husband would argue that distraction is an inherent aspect of my daily routine however even he has to admit that I have reached above normal levels of distractive activity of late.

Rather than list the many ways that I have been distracting myself (which would be more fun) I thought I would try to work out why I am distracting myself.  The reason is simple and, unfortunately, very clear.  I am avoiding the tasks that I don’t want to do and the realities that I don’t want to face.

The purpose of this blog, initially, was to discuss some of the issues of the repatriation process as I experienced them.  I guess I am doing that in my own unique way.  To be honest, this blog is not developing quite how I thought it would.  By now I had expected that I would have finished (many weeks ago) Robin Pascoe’s book on going home, Homeward Bound.  (I had to quickly search Amazon for the title as I have managed to hide my copy from myself.)  I did start reading the introduction.  It became too much for me when she began talking about the different reasons you may be returning, including the death of a spouse, so I put it down.  Somewhere.

One of the ways I distract myself is by allowing things to irritate me without restraint.  Aspects of life irritate me every day.  However, I generally manage to suppress my irritation, paste a smile on my face and carry on.  (For those of you asking “Really?”  Yes! Really.)  As my husband pointed out recently, mid tirade of the day’s irritants, this is something I do to distance myself from my current location.  We assume to make it easier to leave.  It sounds a little self destructive, even to me.  I have no plans to change as this is no doubt hard wired into my psych since I have been moving since I was 4.

Allowing things to irritate me is distracting me from a reality that is now beginning to worry me.  We’re moving home.  In 3 months as my neighbour kindly stated this week not knowing she risked her life in the process.  (Denial is also a great friend of mine.)  My husband currently knows not what he will be doing and thus what he will be earning.  We know not where we will be living nor which school our kids will be attending.  Most frightening of all … at this point there is not much we can do about it.

What I do know.  It’s time to go home and we believe that this is the right choice for us as our family.  We firmly believe that, despite some of our little wobbles, it will work out in the end.  Until then, we have a trip to Tenerife over Easter and I’m going on a girls weekend to Amsterdam in late April.  Since I have the gift of distraction I should definitely use it to the best of my abilities.

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One Response to Distraction

  1. If you haven’t read it already, run (don’t walk) and grab Ruth Van Reken and the late David C. Pollock’s Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. Don’t let the title dissuage you; there’s a reason it’s the ‘expat bible’. It’s important that you help yourself and your family members ‘leave well to enter well’ using their RAFT approach. It will help you prepare to say goodbye to Denmark, repatriate back to Oz, and understand almost everything in between. You’ll also have insights into the impact on your children of growing up in other cultures (and yourself for living there). I would also strongly recommend checking out Maria’s I Was an Expat Wife and Judy’s Wife in a Suitcase blogs: they write at length about the hidden challenges of repatriation. Good luck

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