The term ‘mindfulness’ had been invading everything I read like a persistent two-year-old tugging at my t-shirt. Eventually, I’d acquiesced and looked up the term on Google:
30.09.14: Wanaka, New Zealand (Katharine to Caroline)
It’s been great to hear your voice again over the last few days. I’m so looking forward to our Wednesdays recounting adventures, alongside the laughter of our children and a glass of pinot. We’re homeward bound, and yes I am happy we’ve had such a wonderful adventure. As Hanz sums it up: “We’ve had a summer holiday and we’ve skied!”
Working out the work-life balance has seen me find a calm place where I’ve been noticeably more engaged. It’s an unfamiliar pace of life yet one that is without an anxious panic and increased heart rate. I sleep eight hours a night and feel less rushed; there are no lists to complete. Ironically as I reluctantly prepare for our journey home life here has also become more cemented; Coco has found her groove at day-care and tells me with tears she’ll miss her friends, my heart skips a beat. We’ve started to meet people, who I know if we lived here, I could easily become friends with, and we’ve established routines.
“Does she go on the stage and sing songs for children?” Georgia asks.
“Not really. She’s more on TV and in movies for adults, not kids,” I say.
“Adult movies, Mama?”
Jez raises an eyebrow.
Thursday 18th September, 2014: Pt Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand (Caroline to Katharine)
I’m home. Just to say it feels good. But here’s the thing: both Jez and I feel completely weighed down by things. We have so much stuff. After living out of two suitcases between four of us for two months, every bulging bookcase, every box of toys and every pile of fluffy towels feels heavy and, well, excessive. Everywhere I look there are things to put away, to mend, to take to the hospice shop, to get the tradey back to fix. How can even our most precious things – our paintings, our mementos, even books – feel so heavy?
“Home was the place you lived now, the place you lived then, the place you came from, the place you went to. The place you want to be at the end of the day, when your feet are tired and you want something hot for dinner.”
– Queen of Beauty by Paula Morris.
“This building,” I say pointing to the stunning verandah-ed manor lounging across a whole block of the main square of Tamariu, “someone’s home? Una casa?”
The waiter’s wonky eyes brighten and he nods “Si, casa.”