ABROAD: a land far, far away

Yesterday, my whole family gathered to take my mother out to celebrate her 72nd birthday. My whole family aside from me, that is. And I, once again, was reminded of how very far away Australia is. These reminders come fast and furious at this time of year, when all my family members seem to have birthdays and all my friends seem to be gearing up for the next round of North American summer weddings. These are occasions that two short year ago would have been simple to schedule into my diary – a short car trip or a two-hour plane ride could have gotten me most anywhere I needed to go.

Now, facing a journey of 20+ hours, I have to be quite discerning about how I allocate my time and money. It is simply not possible to be there for all of life’s special moments and that is a sadness I have to accept. So what do I do in return? I acknowledge that I made the choice to leave my family and friends, that I CHOSE THIS, and that I therefore must be the one to exert that extra effort. I wake up early every weekend of my life to call and Skype my family. I buy random, wacky gifts when they remind me of someone back home and spend large, sometimes obscene, amounts of money on postage to mail presents across the Pacific. I write cards until my hand aches. And I make sure that I say ‘I love you’ pretty much every time I talk to anyone.

So this post? Not advice, just an observation. Sometimes it can be awful lonely in the big wide world.