It’s an incredible unforeseen upside to this whole relocation malarky that Mark and I get to go away without the tiny ones for a week. We would never have dreamed of leaving them to go on holiday before.
Of course it’s not a real holiday – there’ll be lots of school visits and house viewings and cruising residential streets in our hire car. But there will definitely be time for fun. It’s obligatory. And so as I think ahead to next week I’m thinking, “Well what do I want to do?“.
It’s the question I’m most frequently asked when people find out we’re moving abroad (especially people at work). They say, “Oh wow, how exciting!” and it’s usually followed by, “What are you going to do?”. Before I answer many people have assumed that because we’re moving for Mark’s work I’m therefore going to be a stay at home mum (especially people at work). I try to ignore their stereotyping and answer in a way that replaces what I’m going to “do” with what I’m going to “be”.
The truth is I want to be free. For me that means trying and learning as many new things as I can, and inspiring my girls and husband to do the same. Ultimately I want to discover a purpose for my life; I’m expecting that purpose to be bigger than any one brand or company and have an impact beyond my family of 4. I’ve been brewing it for a long time now, so I’m pretty sure it will be something that lives beyond Seattle, but for the next few years I’m going to mess about in Seattle and see if I can find it there.
We will be on an adventure. We will do things we’ve never done before and live life in a way that we’d never previously considered. The small details and big choices that we took for granted in London will be turned inside out. I will experiment with paid and unpaid work. We will embrace the unknown as a family. We will make the most of the opportunity to be spontaneous and flexible (as much as is possible with 2 tiny ones and the obligatory faff that accompanies the simplest of tasks, such as leaving the house).
We will be joyful. The variety of daily life will keep the simple things interesting. We will find a way to laugh at the challenges and at the unexpected holes that we will inevitably fall into. We will have more time together as a family of 4 and as a couple than we know what to do with, and so we will idle time away in a ways we couldn’t imagine, to find pleasure in just being together.
I will be my true self amongst a group of new and interesting people. We will show the girls how to find themselves in a sea of strangers, and become part of a community. We will invest more time than we’ve ever done before in getting to know new people and building friendships. Our family will be part of a community of families.
And so if I’m being all of that, I’m not really going to have much time for doing anything.
Sounds perfect. That’s what I’ll do next week. I’ll start as I mean to go on. Doing nothing.