Monday, January 12, 2015

The 'What Have We Done ?' Moment

It is happening every day, every hour of every day, that dreadful sinking feeling that you have made a horrible mistake. We should never have left Oman, we were happy there, weren't we ? Truth be told, we weren't, not for a long time. I have to force myself to not panic about the huge cut in salary we have just taken, the fact that we are going to have to pay tax for the first time in 9 years, that the boys are going to go to state school and remember why we have done what we have done. 

We hope for a more normal life, but does that include worrying about money all the time ? People assume that because we have been living in the Middle East for 9 years, we are rolling in the cash, we aren't, we never have been, James has never had the kind of job that pays huge salaries and with the downturn of the world economy the better paid positions in the construction industry became fewer and fewer and so, we have gone back to basics, gone back to where we were 10 years ago in order to allow ourselves to start a new life and it is terrifying. I am always one to stress about money, it worries me sick, all the time and I hate the fact that it will limit what we will able to do, but I am hoping that the benefits will outweigh the challenges and we will be able to enjoy a more free and easy life, let's just hope I don't have a nervous breakdown first !!! 

I remember a friend of mine who returned to the UK after a 4 year stint in Oman saying to me, 'don't ever come back to the UK, there is loads to do and loads to buy, but you can't afford any of it' well, we aren't in the UK but are we going to be in the same position ? I am sure this is just the fear of the unknown, worrying about what it is going to be like, is far worse than just getting with it and living life, that is the bit I am looking forward to. Change, that is the fear, knowing that all your friends are still on those lovely expat salaries and you aren't anymore. Our lives are going to be different and that is for sure, I just hope that they are better different rather than worse different !! 

Still, worst come to worst we can always go back to the heat, stress and lack of freedom that we experienced in the Middle East, nah, let's give this a go and make it work. Maybe it's as much a mental decision to accept a different life and enjoy living it instead of worrying about what other people have and you haven't - who knows, but we will definitely find out !

Friday, January 09, 2015

New Life, New Zealand

So it's been quite a while since I last posted, understatement of the last two years ! However at the insistence of a good friend of mine I have made the momentous decision to give it another go. Oman became a bit samey and so blogging became, well boring to be honest. I wasn't really crafting all that much, no need really, I wasn't really doing much of anything really. A great number of our friends had left Oman and we were ready to move on ourselves and so life really was not worth blogging about. Now however it's all change. We are starting our new life in New Zealand and I am hoping we aren't as mad as a box of frogs for giving it a go. 

New Zealand is gorgeous, it is beautiful, the people are lovely, the food and wool are fabulous, the people are outstandingly friendly and the weather is seasonal, which is a massive bonus, however, it is real life, we have left behind the excess of expat life and are now going to have to manage on a real salary, pay real tax and shop in very expensive shops. Can we do it ? I don't know, stay tuned to find out, worst case scenario, we are back in the Middle East next year having been unable to adjust to the real world ! Let's hope it doesn't happen !! 

I recently saw a post on Facebook from someone I vaguely know living in the Middle East, showing off purchase of hugely expensive and frankly massively excessive items and I thought, that is one huge reason to get out of the Middle East, the shows of wealth by many are disgusting, the holidays, the cars, the shopping, it all looks wonderful if you aren't living it, it isn't real and i honestly can't stand it. Anyway I won't go on suffice it to say, we decided that we wanted something else for our family, a more down to earth life experience where it is more about supporting your rugby team than buying a 60 inch TV. We want to give real life a go and let the children have a crack at it, maybe we'll hate it, or maybe we won't, but we will never know either way if we don't try. So we are trying and hopefully I will be able to keep you updated here about how it is going and what we are up to as well as touching of course, on crafting, cooking, cleaning and by necessity loosing weight - yes this dreadful year has taken it's toll and having lost lots of weight before Christmas 2013, I now am back to square one, well minus one really and have to loose three stone. I don't ever weigh myself but I had to go for a medical for my NZ visa and let us just say that the numbers on the scale shocked me - not enough to stop me eating my way through our fabulous three week holiday in the UK, but enough to make me realise that it really is time to do something about it - so do something about it I must. 

So NZ wise, so far so good, the boys have declared Auckland awesome and I am keen to get a house, get school sorted and start living our life - it should be fun, hopefully.