Repatriation Emotions

It has been a few weeks since I posted. I have been buried in a forever growing “To Do” list. The end of the school year is coming fast, like a runaway train without any brakes. This year all the major events came at the end of the year right in the middle of assessments and report writing. Add packing and moving to quickly increase your stress level. My work is busy, to put it kindly, so I was smart and asked to extend my stay a week after school ends. I could worry about the majority of packing after all the school stuff was taken care of. Well as Murphy’s Law would have it Murphy threw a monkey wrench in those plans. Another teacher is not able to stay at their apartment and needs to move; you guessed it into ours. They wanted to physically move things at the end of May and I said NO WAY! Right in the middle of reports I couldn’t clear out our spare room and have all of our packing things spread all over the rest of the living space. At least the spare room I can avoid and close the door.

Them needing to move has been an added stress that could have been easily avoided. But remember this is China and HR and they don’t think about life and people, they think about what looks good on paper. My weekends have been spent between home and school sorting, packing, selling and giving away. Time is ticking down and I am afraid soon it will explode with jobs left undone. Outwardly I am not showing stress, but inside my body is worried. It will get done, somehow it always does. The unfortunate expense is the enjoyment of the last few weeks in exploring a city we are about to leave forever.

The sun is setting on our Shanghai life

The sun is setting on our Shanghai life

Next weekend is a 3 day holiday and for months our little group planned an outing to a nice quiet city outside of Shanghai. Spending time with friends we are about to leave, exploring and relaxing was all well needed and deserved. However, we are all feeling the stresses and it was decided to cancel the trip and go out for the day in Shanghai. Allowing time at home for those import “To Do” list jobs. Part of me was disappointed, but secretly I was relieved.

Lots of emotions are happening right now, I feel almost bi-polar. I am looking forward to home, but something is tugging on me about Shanghai. The list of reasons to come home outweigh the list to stay, but I think I will mourn the city that was my home for 5 years.

I feel like Frederick from Leo Leoni’s book where I need to soak in all the colours, words and feelings so during those lonely times I can close my eyes and feel I am still here. It saddens me that we are too busy to get out and travel around to do this, so I must settle for the little day to day experiences.

I get a lump in my throat as I think this is the last time for…. These thoughts come more and more lately. June is finally here and those months have melted away into weeks. School is only days.

Life in China has changed me. Will I fit back into life back home or will I be that one piece of the puzzle that just doesn’t work?

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Categories: Canada, China, Chinese Adventures, teaching overseas | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Repatriation Emotions

  1. Wow you are moving back to Canada? Yes I’m sure it will be a big adjustment. How many years have you been in China? When is the official move date? Hope you keep up your blog!

    • Yes Nicole its been 5 years and time to go home. I hear readjustment is sometimes harder than the culture shock the other way ’round. We settled in well here, but going home may be harder with so many what ifs. I am looking for work (few prospects in the works) and we haven’t decided where to live.

      • Yes, I can only imagine after five years that it will be difficult. It was hard for me after only 9 months when I lived in France. But I am sure as long as you are aware and expecting there will be some ups and downs, you will be great. Sounds like the future is your oyster though! Lots of excitement with deciding where to live. Are you from Toronto? I thought that was what you said before. Good luck and keep us informed. Writing will help you with the readjustment! 🙂

        • Thanks Nicole. Saying good-bye is never easy. It is always hard this time of year as many families will leave our schools. This year it will be us too. One of my darling 5 year olds asked if I was fired! I guess a teacher shouldn’t leave…. unless fired 😉
          We grew up an hour from Toronto. I have an interview for a job there this July so maybe we will settle back close to home. Lots of choices and yes the world is our oyster right now. Once we get home and I have more time (packing and unpacking UG!) I will be sure to blog and virtually visit more.

          • Wonderful! Best of luck! At least you are moving back for summer! ☺️

            • Yes we are only a few weeks away. The house is in disarray and to top it off… I broke my toe! Its a clean break in a bad spot. The universe is trying to tell me something!

              • Hope things are going better! On a positive note, you are coming home to a beautiful summer!

                • Thanks Nicole…. a week to go. Foot is healing, school is done so I SHOULD be packing. Friends that didn’t leave for summer yet have been calling, so we have been hanging out. I hate packing, so it is a nice avoidance and good reasoning when I figure we won’t get to see these people any more. Lots of time…

  2. Any big change is bound to be full of conflicting emotions! Add work, pressure and the unknown and it’s no wonder you’re feeling unsettled. But like you said, of course it will all get done. I know it’s difficult, but on some level, if you can just take a little step back and realize that the “stuff” you are stressing about will soon be forgotten. I remember when I was moving from Canada to Korea, I had so much stuff, like literally physical stuff that had to be dealt with and packed away, and it caused me so much stress at the time… I ended up throwing stuff in boxes in my aunt’s basement, and 2 weeks later, I’d completely forgotten exactly what was in those boxes. Lol…I still can’t remember, but I should probably go deal with them one of these days… 🙂

    • Yes soon it will be all forgotten. It has been difficult to pack since I am dealing with so much at work. Reports are so huge. They just got handed in for approval and hopefully will get them back Monday. Edits need to be done by Thursday so they can be printed and collated in time. I was hoping to have them for the weekend because it is such a big job and so fiddly to fix a space here, add a common there. Maybe rework a sentence or 2. Times that by 4 subjects and 23 kids… its a whole day job. Trying to do it on an hour prep or after school when you are tired is too much. Then there is packing our classrooms! UG! I’ll have to start that too soon. The next 2 weeks will be sleep deprived and even more emotional. Breathe…. almost done.

  3. Freda Goulet

    Try to not stress too much…everything will get done and before you know it you will be settled here in Canada. Enjoy the time you have left….make the last few weeks in China as positive as you can. It’s a huge move for sure….across how many time zones??

    • I am trying hard to be stress free. SO many things are beyond my control is what makes it harder to plan and organise. No time to enjoy the last weeks as we have reports to edit (due this week, which have not been returned yet), a classroom to pack and this year as a leaving teacher I have SO many jobs to do and get signed off. They want to be sure all the things are returned from computer to lunch cards!

  4. You’ll soon settle back in Canada, meeting old friends etc!

  5. Good luck with your move back to Canada! Looking forward to whatever you choose to write in your blog after your return!

  6. ((HUG)) I wish you enough.

    • Thanks 🙂 It is always a busy time, but this year they have added all the major events late… right in the middle of assessment and report writing. Add in the normal end of year busy and us trying to pack, move and sort out other things. UG! Its crazy. I have gone in the last few weekends for at least 4 hours trying to get ahead. 8 more school days! So some sleepless nights as we try to get it all done.

  7. Lovely thoughtful post. Thank you.

    • Thank you…. lots of emotions and feelings right now. The months have dwindled to days. As they have my emotions change more like a roller coaster.

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