Tomorrow marks 18 months since we moved to England. We’re here for another 18 months before we head back to America. This is the halfway point. And still I sometimes can’t believe we’re even here and we made this happen. I love living in England,I truly do. I love that we did this big thing and we’ll always remember it and it changed us in so many good ways.
I even don’t mind the weather; I can deal with grey chilly winters with a great deal more tolerance and grace than I can handle humid, sticky summers with 95+ degree temps.
We’ve already done so much in our first 18 months here, but we really do have even more left that we want to do. I’m glad we’ve got another 18 months, but even with that time I doubt we’ll ever do everything on “the list”. Mostly because the list grows faster than we can check items off of it.
It’s astounding to me to look back at the first few weeks and months we were here and realize how insanely overwhelmed I was. I didn’t really comprehend it at the time, because when you’re really inundated, you just do what you have to do without processing it too much. But then I read my journal or this blog and I can hear the notes of panic behind my voice back then.
Not anymore, though. Now it’s just normal here.
I’m used to the insanely narrow roads and the slightly different version of English. I love the longer school days and the longer school year and the much longer school breaks. I know that we must take advantage of sunny weather anytime we have it because it doesn’t happen all that often.
I know now that every pub in the country serves a Sunday roast ONLY on Sundays, really there are no other restaurant options that day. That there’s always fish on Fridays. That tea isn’t just the drink, but also a term for an early dinner. That pudding means dessert of any type.
I know that sweaters are jumpers and sneakers are trainers and pants are trousers and underwear are pants.
I know that we’re all expected to just get on with things, regardless of the weather or the complications or the extenuating circumstances. Stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on, and all that.
I also know that my kids are amazingly adaptable and will rise to any challenge. That they embrace whatever they’re doing and wherever they are with open arms and their whole hearts. I know they can and will be fine anywhere they go, because I’ve seen them adapt and overcome and assimilate.
I know, too, that Matt and I can get through difficult things with a reasonable amount of humor and cooperation. We can navigate through really, really confusing times and we can fake it till we make it, and we always do it together. I love that.
More than anything else, more than the amazing travel and the incredible schools, what I know and love is that we’re doing something that has forever changed us and will forever stay with us. We are different today than we were when we got on that plane in August of 2015, and the things we’ve done and learned and experienced have shaped us into more well-rounded, adventurous, adaptable, happier, more open-minded people. No matter where we go or what we do for the rest of our lives, these years in England will stay with us.
Here’s to another 18 months, and to all the adventures behind and ahead.