The best remedy...

Reflections of my 'time out'  place.

I am procrastinating...but...I always say, when the spirit moves just have to go with it. In the midst of sorting, moving and shuffling our belongings, I stopped and looked around. This time next month we will have arrived in our new home, new country. I am trying not to feel nostalgic about it...moving away from England. This is always the hard part. We have been here two and a half years, our shortest posting. This is when the 'should have, could have, wished we had' starts to move in. I try not to dwell on those thoughts, they never really get you anywhere. We have had a wonderful experience in has changed our lives in more ways than one. 

Two and a half years ago, I sat at my computer, feeling much the same about moving from New Zealand. We had lived in Auckland for four years...roots were set. I started this blog and a few others to help me with the transition. It worked.

I wrote and wrote and wrote...and I felt better...Cry me a river
I thought about my friends and realised something...Best Friends
I reflected on life...Expat Life: comforting thoughts
I kept my sense of humour...Can I please, please, please
and then we arrived...First Impressions

All the while.. many of you left comments and offered encouragement, just as you have done about our move to Vietnam. I can't tell you how much that means to me
I came across a quote today, by Winston Churchill.

A pessimist sees the difficulty 
in every opportunity; 
an optimist sees the opportunity
in every difficulty.

I am optimistic and I am still keeping my sense of humour... strange as it may be. Last week, Mr. H and I spent time going through our belongings deciding what should go and what should stay. For 25 years, I have watched him hold on tightly to his possessions...the bags upon bags of t-shirts won at his college rowing regattas, steamer trunks filled with old comic books, knick knacks from his summers in Maine and countless other objects that he could not bare to part with. 

I had visions of Steve Martin playing a scene in the movie, 'The Jerk'...the one where he wanders
around claiming all the objects he needs...arms full, shouting out that it is all that he needs. I spent a week acting out the part...every time Mr. H picked up another object that he had to keep...I pretended I was Steve Martin.

Laughter is always the best remedy... don't you think?


  1. Two and a half years is a tough timeframe. Roots begin to set for us and we begin to see the circle of friends develop history together. That doesn't seem to be happening in Houston but I think we got off to a rough start. It's now been 2.5 years here...I am READY to move on...just can't feel settled here. Wait.. all of that wasn't very optimist. I'll have to leave a more optimistic note...wait in about an hour...optimism will ooze...

    1. That's ok Sarah...I know exactly what you mean. :)

  2. Jeanne,

    I hope you have a wonderful day, ever the optimist you are so right, should have, could have, never gets you anywhere. I am sure that you will make many happy memories in and around Vietnam, and then on to the next wondeful place. Wherever you are and whatever you do you have the most important part with you, your husband, your children, and your friends.

    Love the photo!

    And the video, I am trying to get rid of thing in my own house, my husband told me that it is a great idea as long as it is not his things...

    Have a wonderful week dear friend, hugs to you, Elizabeth

  3. Snort! What a hilarious clip. I didn't really relate to that scene when I first saw it. Too young, I suspect. Now that I'm older, I totally feel the poor man's pain. And yours as well. Choosing what to take and what to jettison has got to be nigh impossible.
    I have been thinking of you often these past few days. I know the move is near... so very exciting! If I were in England, I'd be over to help you pack! Of course, we'd probably choose to go out for lunch and do some shopping instead, so it's probably a good thing I'm not in England at the moment.

    1. Thought of you today too Pamela...went along to a local antiques fair. You would have loved you can see, I am not doing to well on my own either! :)

  4. Many years ago I left the US when my husband was transferred to Iran. I died. But, know what? Those experiences are imprinted on me to this day. It was breath-takingly different and I had a lot to learn, but seeing the Middle East when Americans were revered, meeting people from all around the world, learning about a new culture and the immense history...all of this was a blessing in disguise. I brought home Persian rug treasures which we still own & many other momentos which remind me daily of our time there. Soak it all up. You won't be there forever. And, in life, we never really know what's going to happen, do we? Big Texas hug coming at you....

  5. A friend of mine always says "Possession burdens oneself" (hope I have translated it correctly) - this is especially true, when looking through the things gathered over the years. There they lie, telling you to look at them if you have time, putting pressure on your subconscious... This is noticed not until throwing many of them away. The relief comes at once. Mostly.

    I can very much understand about your feelings right now. But it is also a possibility to leave behind those things. Because the most important ones you will take with you in any case - they are not lost (also: hurray to the Internet :) )

    This is not my mother tongue, I hope I could express it a little bit :)

    I wish you all the very, very, very best and I hope you report here on your blog about your new adventures...
    Big hug from Berlin!

  6. A sense of humour will help get through all sorts of situations. I am so glad that you started this blog and took the time to share your life with us.

  7. Oh Jeanne, I have to tell you that this is one of my favorite posts. I'm so glad you incorporated some of your history, so that those of us who haven't known you as long could know you better. Cry me a River was amazing to read. It made me realize I certainly couldn't offer you much in the way of helpful advice about transitions and letting go, with all your past relocatons... But I know how I might feel if I was packing and ready to leave again. I get it. The sentimental feelings, and the need for humor to provide a balance. And I hope it helps to know there are those of us out here rooting you on and sending you calm, peaceful thoughts, right now. Keep us posted!
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss blog)

  8. Thanks so much Leslie...that particular post gets me every time. As you well know, there are times when writing is best and even better...laughter. :)

  9. thank you Jeanne, I just giggled at Steve Martin with his pants around his ankles, listing his needed items.
    I really feel for you packing up. Goodbyes and leaving-behinds make me hopelessly tearful, Id be a wreck in your situation, but I know how exciting your move to Vietnam is going to be, and I'm so looking forward to seeing how you recreate your new 'time-out' place.
    warmest wishes sent to you

    1. Thank you Sharon, I am glad someone else gets my strange sense of humour...I just crack up when I see that clip. Today
      has been a good sorting day...I am on a roll.... :)

  10. Dear Jeanne,
    All that I can say is that I have so much admiration for you and a little envy ..... your life has been filled with much upheaval but, with so much excitement. I think that I'm a bit of a wimp and am not very good with change but, if my husband had your husband's job, I would have gone along with it and enjoyed the ride. You have so many stories to tell and so many experiences of living in such diverse countries and, I cannot wait to hear of your adventures in Vietnam. With much love and good luck with the sorting of your possessions ........ remember that they are just materialistic things .....the memories will always be with you. XXXX

    1. Thank you are so kind but I think crazy may be more like it when referring to me. :) You are right on the memories and this blog is a great way to cherish them. :)

  11. Jeanne, what a wonderful post. I learned so much about you and how your blog began. And we are all the lucky recipients of your excellent blogs! That quote from Winston Churchill really resonated with me, we can all use that wisdom in life. Good luck with all the packing and the keep that sense of humor going!
    xx Sunday


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