07 June, 2017

Hints for staying afloat

Green spaces have helped me deal with the colander aspect of my life.
On Saturday afternoon I went to a farewell party for a family that we've have several different connections with. Their eldest two (out of five) children are in our youngest son's class. So I've been at various class-related events with this mum, including an overnight school camp. This year we've done sports with them too. Our paths have crossed for a few years and are diverging this month when they go to Singapore, closer to the dad's ministry assignment.

On Monday I went to the month OMF prayer meeting at our headquarters and we said farewell to three couples. Two are going on home assignment the other was just a temporary fill-in at the guest home.

Today I had morning tea with some OMF mums who have kids at CAJ. The youngest child of one of them graduated last week with our son and they're now going on home assignment (yes, one of the couples we farewelled on Monday). They hope to return next year, but possibly we won't see them for two years because we ourselves are going on home assignment this time next year!

Yep, farewells.

This week I found another post about resiliency. It's more about what helps you to settle where you are. The author suggested four things that have helped her maintain health and resilience:

  • Stay physically active.
  • Be fully present.
  • Make friends.
  • Unapologetically embrace your field.

I've touched on this topic a few times over the years, it keeps coming up and I need to keep working on staying afloat. Last year I linked to an article that had eight tips to help expats stay in their country of service. That list is:

  • Love the ones you're with.
  • Keep exploring. Keep learning.
  • Be you. (Or possibly before you can be you, discover you. I came as a young mum, I've had to figure this out as I've gone along.)
  • Be honest about the hard things. (But be careful who you share those with.)
  • Say hello well. (Be open to newbies)
  • Say goodbye well.
  • Help your kids say goodbye well.
  • Say "hey there" well. (Become friends with the locals.)
Yep, lots of good things. I might add some more that have been important to me:
  • Look after your health in general (sleep well, eat well, rest well, look after your spiritual and emotional health).
  • Take time for yourself. (Different people need different amounts of time, it turns out I need more reflection time than others in my family.)
  • Maintain connections with people who help but don't feel you need to stay close to those who don't.
  • Spend time in nature.
That's a fair range of things. Different personalities have different needs and levels of need.

What things do you find that helps you stay afloat? Be it in a foreign country, or in your own country?

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