Have the hard conversations.
Release when I’m ready.
Be compassionate if I’m not ready.
Prioritize my well-being.
We started the year in Paris, wickedly jet lagged from our trip to Oregon and Seattle. It literally took Ophelia two weeks to get back to normal. I will never forget her going through my spice cabinet at 2am or playing with legos until 7am.
February, we visited Kuala Lumpur for the first time. Only our families and close friends knew why. It was to make the big decision: is this our next residence? My husband’s company sent us for a week. Verdict, we liked it.
Onward! In March, Ophelia and I flew to New Jersey and NYC to visit family and friends before our grand depart. We traveled around France to visit my husband’s family: Normandie, La Rochelle, Île d’Oléron. We made our rounds in Paris with our best friends, playing as much as we could. We lived in Paris for five years and built quite a life, even though we were ready for the next step. Leaving my best friends there was so incredibly difficult.
April 23, 2019: we arrived in KL. We celebrated my birthday there and lived in a hotel for six weeks. We set up Ophelia in school and found a great apartment. We also found doctors pretty fast as moving to a new place means you’re going to get sick.
In June, we accompanied my husband on his work trip to Brisbane, and fell in love. That was hard emotionally because we were told that Brisbane could be a possibility to live until they decided KL was the final destination. It’s okay, we worked through it and knew KL was in line with our future goals. We took some time on the Sunshine Coast, specifically in Noosa, and fell even more in love. It was magic.
In July and August, my husband’s brother came to visit us so we spent time in KL and on the beach in Kuantan, the east coast of Malaysia.
August: what a month. Ophelia turned three years old. And the next day she had her first day of PreK-3. Holy moly, what ride. The true fighter she is, she made it known she did NOT want to go there. After about a month of horrid drop-offs, she finally decided she liked school. Now she loves school. SO HAPPY. She loves her teachers and has best friends. This is all I can ask for.
September brought us haze. Haze isn’t the right word, it’s basically just smoke from the fires burning mostly in Indonesia. This forced us to stay inside mostly, as school closed a number of days and we bough special masks for the walk to school on days it was open. Weeks of this had us stir-crazy and sick.
We escaped in October back to Brisbane and had a wonderful time there, doing all of our favorite things. Then we took our first family vacation to Lombok, Indonesia (island next to Bali) for Ophelia’s October school break. Pure relaxation, gorgeous beach, and luxurious villas had us in great spirits.
Ophelia’s school celebrated Deepavali, Global Village Day, and Halloween in the span of two weeks and all of the events were spectacular. The kids danced, dressed up, and celebrated their heritages. We love being part of an international school.
November brought my parents here from the other side of the world. It’s been wonderful having them here, and the extra help is amazing.
December was filled holiday craziness with school and life. I am the class parent, which is a whole other beast, but the teachers received super gifts and our Christmas party was the best.
We flew to Langkawi island, in Malaysia, at the start of the winter break, and it was fabulous. We paddled, kayaked, happy hour-ed, ate, rested, and enjoyed a family vacation. My brother met us there as well.
The last two weeks of December were a bit crazy, entertaining family and cooking for Christmas. We had our neighbors over for Christmas Eve and celebrated Christmas at home as well, cozy and relaxed. NYE was our anniversary also, and we watched the fireworks across KL from our rooftop. A January 1 poolside BBQ was such a fun way to start the year, with family and more neighbors.
Unfortunately now, Ophelia and I are sick. So we’ve been in bed for a few days. It’s par for the course when you move to a new place, and are inundated with stress and some drama around the holidays. I’ve been sick more in the last six months than I have been in my adult life.
2020: Healing. Healing emotionally. Healing physically. It’s time to get back on the ground.
I love re-reading my previous mantras. Go back into yours and see how you’ve evolved over the years.