Only as life is starting to become more normal am I realizing how stressed out and chaotic my life has been for the last 10 months. As I was living through it, I just kept slogging through it.
The move from the Pension in Prenzlauer-Berg, where we shivered and got sick, arriving in Berlin with inadequate clothing, coming from 80+F temperatures and landing in 60F and raining (and raining) and where I realized that SADD is real and that having constant rain = having no sun.
The extension, the new temporary, furnished short stay apartment. The Alien Registration, and Citizen and Marriage and Family registration and Schools registration and Driver's license registration. The 'my school' registration, and then the forms to allow the girls to go to school and then their school registration. The arranging of bus service and children's seats (resulting in my needing to carry the carseat for Thing1, considered old enough here to not require a 5-point harness, with which I disagree, up and down the stairs every day).
The arrival of the container and the arrival of the extra pallet, both delivered 5+ hours west of here. The unpacking of those and the dealing with red tape and idiots at the ports who can't find boats or containers or lading documents. The unpacking and repacking of boxes damaged by being left on a dock in Bremerhavn. The winnowing of our possessions as we decided what we needed in Berlin versus what should stay. The total inconveniencing of my kind in-laws, whose house we took a portion of and whose belongings we displaced and whose garage we filled. The additional extension of time in Berlin.
The waves of sickness for all of us, life starting to happen. Starting to read other blogs widely enough to interfere with my novelreading;-). Looking to see what is around, visiting the in-laws and seeing traditional holiday festivities. Eastercon for a weekend- the first ever away from the girls overnight. They liked it.
Starting to think that I like Berlin. Starting to think that I wish I had some time to actually see it. Starting to think about finding social activities and attempting to actually meet other adults. Got a longer extension of time here. Starting to really need social interaction.
Looking at and joining book clubs. Contacting other ex-pats, and finding some so homesick that they went home! Starting to feel comfortable in the city, no matter how bad my German is. Starting to organize my chaos and get my household under control.
Receiving the go-ahead to stay in Berlin as long as we want. Deciding on our neighborhood and finding an apartment that is almost perfect.
Moving this week.
It can be a journey, can't it? Remembering to breathe is the most important thing.
Even we 'hausfraus' need a timeout - we underestimate the stress involved in this gypsy life. When I look at my in-laws that have lived in their house for 60+ years... never having to endure the exhaustion that comes from packing and unpacking... the drama that is created when you are having to constantly update contact details all over the world... sometimes I just want to throw a full blown toddler temper tantrum... then something magical will happen and I am off again...
May you find some pockets of comfort along the path....
A friend said that no matter what an international move is more difficult than expected.
One thing that made it difficult for us was that I began to consider the physical and emotional exaustion a normal part of life. Hopefully you can come up for air soon.
I wish you luck on your move... it's always slightly stressful no matter how near or far you go!
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