What I Love About Being Home

I played tennis with a group of friends today in the warm sunshine. They were asking me questions about what it was like to be back and what I liked about Holland and what I miss and all that good stuff.

I noticed that I’m starting to transition to liking being back home again. This was a turning point for me.

It’s been 2 months, 1 week, and 3 days since we moved back. The kids are now settled into their new schools and routines are starting to become normal. After school activities are taking shape. Most of the boxes are unpacked. I’ve picked up my sports and making a little time for myself again. I’ve done a little volunteering and I’m feeling like this is where I belong again. My parents also left this week. I am keeping busy, but am starting to feel a bit more content.

So what do I love about being home? I’ll try and make a little list.

– Things are easier here, yet so much busier. I like the easy, not so sure yet on the busy.

– I love that the sun shines every day and I’m outside soaking it in. I’ve been riding Charlie to school in the bakfiets most days, getting lots of smiles and stares.

– People know me and I know them. I have friends all over our community and I love them. At tennis today, Nisa invited me to come to her Jazzercise class and we shared stories of when our boys were little and just started playing soccer. Those stories were from 9 years ago! We share a history.

I asked my tennis partners what they were making for dinner tonight because I didn’t know what I was serving yet and needed to stop at the store after our game. Pam told me what she was making for dinner and voila – I took her idea, stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home, and made falafel with pita, flatbread, and dips and veggies. YUM!! We all loved it and it was something I haven’t served in a long time. Thanks for the inspiration, Pam.

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I got to stop in at Marilynne’s house for a half hour before picking up the kids from school, just because I can!

And as I was cleaning up dinner, Laura stopped by on her way home for a quick hug, because we haven’t seen each other in a long while. We are both busy with three kids each and planning girlfriend time, just doesn’t fit right now. Being spontaneous is so much better!

I had two conflicting appointments tonight and was able to call Reid to drop off Juliana a little early so that she could take our girls to their event. We’ve been friends since our girls were little and when we were part of Las Madres playing at the park in the sand with them. I was thankful for her help and the girls were happy too.

And Val had called me to carpool to the next event, but since I was already going to be out, I swung by to pick her up on my way and we got to share a few minutes in the car chatting and catching up too.

I got to talk to my sisters on the phone, in the same time zone, which is such a huge gift!

I need my girlfriends! I need their advice, support, ideas, help and hugs! Being back home and having all these connections fulfills me. I like our shared history. I like being outside playing tennis with them and having neighbors and friends drop by just because we can. I like carpooling and sharing rides and conversations. It makes the days sweeter. It takes a village, and I’m part of a really good one.

I was going to share other reasons why I love being home, but the girlfriends and connections and sunshine are what really make me happy right now. Of course, I miss my girlfriends in the Netherlands, but I’m sure thankful for the friends that are right here, right now, with me on this journey.

Love y’all!

What do you love about being home?

2 thoughts on “What I Love About Being Home

  1. I’m glad to see that you’re “back home”. It must feel so good! Enjoy it and have fun. The part about “sharing history” made me think. I realized that “history”, for me, means 2-3 years. That’s how long average friendships are when you are an expat. It’s not much, but can be pretty intense. Of course, these friendships can stay for a lifetime, but with the movings etc. you won’t really “share” your lives like you experience with your friends.

    • Thank you for writing. I think the shared history you create with expats is so deep and very meaningful. I long for my expat friends and community, even though I am happy to be home. I’m excited to follow these friends as they continue to stay in Holland and as they venture off to new lands and back to their homes. My life is richer because of them and their experiences. They make me see that the world is so much bigger than my little bubble and that we’re all really the same no matter where we are. We have to “share” our lives with those who live closest to us and can be part of the day to day shared experiences. We can hold on to the memories and friends who’ve shared our lives at different moments in time such as from high school, college, first careers, babies, sports, expat postings, etc., but we have to live in the moment and not dream that the grass is greener in the old pastures. I spent a lot of time doing just that and that doesn’t create happiness. So for me, I’m thankful for the friends that come into my life and stay awhile, until the next event takes us new places, and then we can share our experiences and live vicariously through each other and pick up where we left off when we can. I think as a lifelong expat, you probably know this best!!

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