Help! because we have no idea where we’re going after this (though we are at least almost certain we won’t be staying). Help! because we don’t know if we’ll have to make do with one instead of two incomes for a while. Help! because I don’t know if, when or where I’m supposed to be applying for schools for the Bean.
That’s a lot of unknowns. In some ways it’s nice, though. Honestly! I like that they’re known unknowns, in that we have plenty of advance warning of the changes that are afoot. It’s nice because the stillness before this storm of changes is something we’re enjoying: we know we have it good, right now. Because we’re basking in the absolute absence of bureaucratic palaver… We’re just waiting, quietly, contently.
Of course, on some days panic does creep in. The desire to find certainty dominates and the thought of having to box up our lives again fills me with nothing but dread.
On those days I …
Every day is full of little moments and places that are wonderfully familiar. Although knowing they’ll disappear from our lives soon is sad, in the meantime, I hold on to them for dear life. Stupendously good cappuccino, and fresh juice for the Bean, at the café down the road on a Sunday morning.
Wrap myself up in every single one.
2. Day dream (but don’t plan)
Of course there are things about Milan, and our current living situation, that I don’t like. And so I dream of a lovely garden, of a separate bedroom for the Bean, of a kitchen big enough to allow me to cook and the Bean to play without us constantly tripping over each other (or is that just an inevitable part of having a toddler in the house??).
Of towns filled with green spaces and air that doesn’t smell foul as soon as the Autumn fog creeps in.
I dream of a home that I can decorate the way I like. I dream of a new adventures, new delicacies to try, new friends to make.
3. Rethink the finances
Upping sticks costs money, and this time I don’t think we’ll be able to get away with rocking up with just two suitcases, no savings and nowhere permanent to stay. Heck, I don’t think I want to do that again! So we’re squirreling away at least some of our pennies (well, cents!) to fund all the boring bits: packing and shipping, deposits, documents, enrollment fees and goodness knows what else.
4. Start preparing where possible
I may not know where we’re heading, but I do know we’re not staying. And not staying means … *drum roll of doom* a house move.
I hate moving house, but at least I can start getting things ready now, slowly, in the hope of making the move easier when it comes. Throwing or giving away things we definitely won’t take. Boxing up and storing the things we will, but don’t use on a day-to-day basis. Not buying new, non-essential things that I will only have to get rid of or move again. Nothing beats feeling like you’re doing something useful, even a little bit...
5. Make the most of now
I refuse to leave Italy before having achieved the following:
Gone south: Sicily, Sardinia, Puglia - I don’t care as long as I get to further down (and closer to a beach) than Rome
Eaten my body weight in gelato
Climbed to the top of the Milan's Duomo