There are big brownie points up for grabs here, everyone: do you remember the verse one opening line of All Saints’ seminal 1997 hit, Never Ever?
Come on! You’re missing out. It’s poetic and supremely relevant stuff:
My head’s spinning
Boy, I’m in a daze
I feel isolated
Don’t want to communicate
Too right my head’s spinning and I feel dazed, isolated, and sick of trying to communicate like a real, live, adult human being. Take for example my experience over the holiday period. While everyone was busy chatting about what they were cooking for Christmas dinner, I was (see: am) sitting at home, staring at the desolate interior of my fridge, and trying to decide what to have for our own normal, run-of-the-mill, non-festive evening meal.
Leftovers again. Yep. More bland, beige food for the kids.
The last third of 2017 was an absolute whirlwind for us, so it’s no surprise my brain is shutting down. Looking at this list, 2017 really was no mean feat:
- We made the decision to move to the United States after months of debate, research and flip-flopping amongst different options
- Cam and I planned a small, last-minute wedding… and we did it!
- We applied for (and were granted) our visas
- I got made redundant from my job on the same day Cam accepted his new one
- Our family of five moved house four times in as many weeks
- We said goodbye to our dear Australian friends and family, and goodbye to our brilliant kindergarten and childcare friends and teachers
- We hosted a fake fourth birthday party for Clara in Australia, and a real one for her in Palo Alto once we arrived – lucky girl!
- We had our own farewell party
- We sold our car and got a new one
- We bought new furniture to fill the new house
- We went slightly nuts, obviously
And all whilst juggling between us the girls and their daily routines. Cam and I practically had to write ourselves notes just to remember to celebrate Christmas. Our tree went up only one week before!
Now, if you’re rolling your eyes and asking me if I think I deserve a medal, the answer is yes. Yes, I do. And so does Cam. This relocation business has been one hell of a ride. I know plenty of people who pack up and move countries, but do they have in tow three children under school age as well? Unlikely.
So yes. Medal, please.
What am I usually like, you wonder? I’d say a pretty intelligent, high-functioning, reliable person, to be honest. Send me a text or email and you’ll get a prompt response. Need a favour? You can ask me, and I’ll do it. Need a cocktail? I’m your girl! I’m never late to events. I’ll bring you a birthday card and gift, and I’ll even bring one for your kids! Hell, I’ll probably volunteer to organise the whole bloody event along with everyone’s gift contribution!
That was me. Until now.
Now, I can’t keep up with the notifications on my phone. I’m drowning in texts, emails, WhatsApp messages, and Instagram posts. Want to get in touch? Try me. But whatever you do, DO NOT CALL! I never check voicemails and I’ll forget to get back to you. I’m doing my best to keep up. I promise. But my response time really is slowing.
My head’s not just spinning. It’s in some weird, wild, and sleep-deprived tango and I’ve no way of getting out of it.
Think I’m exaggerating? Well, consider this: I’m ashamed to admit it, but I didn’t even go Christmas shopping. What an embarrassment I was to American Christmas culture! I didn’t even go birthday shopping for Clara.* Thankfully, however, she never even asked for a gift. All she wanted was cake (thatta girl!) and the few new friends we did invite completely over-spoilt her. I’m grateful for that, I have to admit.
So do you believe me yet? Have I lost control? Is this mess-of-a-post not proof enough?
Please. Heed my call: forgive me if my eyes glaze over when you talk to me about your Christmas lunch, your recipe plans, and the myriad gifts your children are getting. I can’t bear the though of a mundane luxury like your next spa appointment or trip to the nail salon. But it’s not personal. I promise. It’s just that I’m probably trying to figure out what day it is, what I’m going to put in Clara’s lunchbox, or to whom I owe those thousand damned emails.
New Year’s resolutions? Maybe I need a weekly goal instead of a yearly one. Something simple. Something achievable.
How about: cook a semi-interesting meal with whatever’s left in the fridge?
Wish me luck.
* Okay. I did actually buy Clara a little dinosaur finger printing art set, but I totally forgot to give it to her. I found it with her card, both still wrapped in plastic, in my pile of admin and paperwork. A week ago. Good try, Clare.
A flavour of our last few months….. (with captions for context)