Last week I started writing a blog about how stressful it was to have the house on the market and not have anyone make an offer on it. But that seemed to tempt fate and someone made an offer. Hurrah! It wasn’t quite what we were hoping for but…Brexit is an arse and the rental market has slowed from this time last year so we accepted. Gulp. But now as the reality of moving abroad sinks in I am starting to panic…
We got the contract yesterday. And we just bit the bullet and signed it.
I’m sitting here and shaking my head at myself. What are we doing? Turns out it’s really easy to tell people you’re moving back to Mexico but the reality is so very much harder. We know we love Mexico, we know we love adventure and there is no reason why we can’t make this work for us but..
It’s still scary.
We’d be mad if we weren’t a little bit anxious, right?
The voices of self-doubt are trying to get in, trying to tell me we’re bonkers to go to Mexico without jobs. ‘Why not just try and get normal jobs but in Mexico?’, they’re asking. Well, self-doubting voices, it’s because we don’t want to live in Mexico City for starters; we want to live in a smaller, more chilled out place where there just aren’t loads of international opportunities. We want to slow life down and try to live a different way. We aren’t particularly ambitious. We want fun, adventure and decency in our lives not stress, office politics and never having enough money to do what we want…
Now we’ve signed the contract the fun really begins. We have just under two months to get everything sorted. We need to: buy flights, find somewhere to live, tell schools here that we’re leaving, enrol the kids in school in Mexico, tell all relevant agencies here that we’re off, pay the council a shit load of money to prove we aren’t slum landlords (grrrrr, while it is obviously vital to crack down on slum landlords, this process basically makes life super hard for normal people like us while having virtually no impact on the people actually causing the problems) and then think about packing. I have discovered that British Airways allows passengers up to nine extra bags each. If we just pay for one extra per person then we have over 80kg of extra baggage allowance so I think we’ll be fine. We don’t want to take too much stuff, just clothes, books, some toys, cutlery, car seats, two computers, a bike and a giant inflatable unicorn. I suspect that the computers will be our only problem for shipping.
The kids have known for a long time that we’re going back. They aren’t super excited by the move because they love their schools and their friends in London but they are excited by the promise of a trip to a toy shop, to return to the beach, and to visit a snow capped volcano. Who would have thought that the first time my kids see snow they’ll be in Mexico?
Just as the boy’s behaviour became more challenging before we left last year, we are starting to see more of the same. He hasn’t locked anyone in the garden…yet, but he does seem to be showing some anxiety in places we wouldn’t necessarily expect to see it with him. He has always been the type of kid who needs plenty of warning before a big activity or a big change so we are talking a lot about what will happen and how we’ll all be together still. I am trying to persuade him to take on the new mantra: ‘I hear you, I acknowledge you but you don’t control me’ as a way of helping him choose to be happy in new situations. We have been explaining that it’s fine to be nervous or worried, everyone gets worried but it’s how we deal with the worries that matters. The best example I could give him was that I was worried before I moved, all by myself, to Rwanda in 2004. But, if I had let my worries win and not gone then I’d never have met Col and there would be no small boy here with me now. When he’s in the mood to talk sensibly, he hears the logic and agrees he has control over his emotions. In fact, when we were in Oaxaca last year, we put the kids in a school neither of them liked but he, aged four, told us that he wasn’t particularly pleased with the choice of school but he had decided to just be happy because it’s better to be happy. So we know he can do this, there is precedent people, precedent!
Christmas is fast approaching. The kids and I went to see the Covent Garden Christmas tree be switched on. It was sort of fun. We have told the kids that they won’t be getting many presents this Christmas but we’ll take them to the toy shop as soon as we get to Mexico. Intellectually they understand this but I am not convinced it’ll go down well on Christmas day. And annoyingly, we have two Christmas’ to get through: first with my parents and then with Col’s family. That’s two opportunities for them to sulk about not getting enough presents. Let’s see if our constant chatter about not being materialistic has sunk in at all!
If anyone wants to offer either of us an on line job, now’s the time to stick your hand up and get in touch….go on, I’ll be holding my breath…..