displaced but…not entirely displeased

Stormy in Sydney – Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

Hello. I’m Nicki. And I’m displaced.

So, it’s been a while since I posted here. Enjoying the ‘busy‘ that was my life. But right now, I’m displaced from Shanghai… temporarily living in Glebe, Sydney, courtesy of the Coronavirus (or should I say, the nattily renamed COVID-19) and I’m leaning in so blooming hard that, at times, I am truly amazed that I haven’t fallen over.

I’m not a threat. No-one was at risk of getting ill or passing on the virus. We didn’t ‘run’ to escape Shanghai. We were already in New Zealand when concerns started escalating. (On a rather epic and wonderful big family holiday, making the most of the early Lunar New Year break to celebrate a certain someone’s big 5-0. If you haven’t been there – go, now…It’s amazing.)

So when the office and the school extended their holiday closure, and we were unsure what exactly to do for ‘the best’… we took the decision to make the most of the opportunity to come to Sydney – to give us a little time & space to see how things panned out. 2 & 1/2 weeks later, we’re still here… and no more sure of anything than we were as we boarded our plane from Queenstown…

Grateful… for ALL the things (big & small)

Being displaced is hard going on a day by day basis. There are screaming matches and tears. There are promises that tomorrow will be ‘better’ (calmer, more organised, less organised, more fun, more productive… whatever it was that today wasn’t). But I’m not going to moan about the continual logistics that swallow my days when it is making me so very aware of how lucky I am. I am grateful…

To have choices. About anything.

To have the options we have had – which now find us here, in yet another Airbnb, with enough bedrooms and beds and wifi and Netflix and… and…

To have an unbelievably supportive office set up available to us here. With IT support so the kids can do their elearning each day. Meeting room space so I can continue to work myself… and long known, yet never actually met before, friendly faces that ask how we’re doing and invite the kids to raid the chocolate stash and join the Friday nerf gun fights…

To have friends from our school in Shanghai, here, in the city. (The real bonus of ex-pat life…) So we can go on ‘learning adventures’ to the zoo and the aquarium and the huge play area and splash park… Ticking off so many kids ‘bucket list’ items that we never would have considered possible… Enabling me to talk, process, moan, groan and laugh with a friend who is going through EXACTLY the same reality as I am right now. (The biggest concern being to ensure we’re all alive & talking at the end of a day’s e-learning. Teachers are, as I have always known, saints, magicians and gods...)

To have family here, who I last saw in 2006. Who I can now grab a drink with, or dinner, or brunch… Who can meet the kids and make them smile with their van for Dogspeed, the ‘coolest business ever’ of a pet transport service here in Sydney.

To be able to WeChat my friends from Shanghai who are now all over the place… living their version of ‘what to do for the best’ as we sit it out & wait for further instructions…

Oh, how the universe provides…

At the beginning of the year, I commited to find a way to live more in the present… less long term planning, more ‘in the moment’.

I also decided that I really wanted to embrace minimalism. I dislike ‘stuff’ (it has a tendency to stress me out) so I wanted to start paring things back to the ‘essentials’.

Well, now I laugh… (Back to that old adage of ‘Be careful what you wish for’…)

Yes. I am displaced. It is not easy, or simple. But for all of the above reasons and more, I am not, entirely, displeased.