I think this may well be our toughest year yet. And now I’m in a strange transit space between English and Kiwi. I don’t feel either. Each anniversary of the day I arrived is also the anniversary of Mums cancer diagnosis so each year I write this review also signifies the same amount of years since she grew her angel wings.It’s really tough, I now understand exactly how mum felt. I always wondered why she was always ‘Irish’ even though she lived in England, now I get it. I will always be English, but the longer I live here the less I actually feel it. I can no longer remember the £ translation, I now, like I mentioned last year, convert the £ back to $ to understand. I know they have changed all the currency in England and I often joke about the fact that if I ever get around to going back again (it’s been three years since my last visit) then I will no longer recognise my own country’s currency.
When do you stop being English? When do you start being Kiwi? I’m not sure I know. But at the moment I feel like I’m in some type of transit time warp. It feels like only yesterday since I arrived here, yet it also feels like a million years ago now.
We joke about how terrified we would be of the traffic, the crime, the crowds the next time we manage to go back to England, but it’s probably true, because the longer I live here the more Kiwi I become, whether I like it or not!
Here’s the previous 4 years in summary:
- New job new town, new country. Hard times.
- Mums sudden death.
- New house, rush buy before mortgage rules changed!
- New car.
- Tony and Lucia Hale visited us, English friends who live in Australia half the year.
- Dad visited with what is to become his new wife Judy.
- Masters games 5 Silvers and a Gold. What was to become my last year in competitive sport.
- New Zealand General Election – I got to vote: strange!
- Dads wedding- trip back to England
- Quit teaching (What a traumatic grief process this was to become)
- Set up business and became self employed.
- First full year being self employed
- I become a 1st time employer
- Business owner reality hits: working weekends/ evenings and collecting minimum wage
- First year with no competitive sport
- Company incorporated
- Move to new premises – this plus company incorporation was most stressful thing ever. Yes EVER.
- New staff member starts work and we expand to include massage
- Knee prognosis terminal.
The target I set myself at the end of year 4 was to be earning more than minimum wage.
Here’s last years summary to add to the previous four.
Year 5 summary
- (Only sometimes) getting my handle on the crazy work hours! Still more work to do here!
- Knee continues to worsen, waiting for a 2nd opinion (because the first asked for it, not me!) local health service specialist appt.
- Decided to take last weekend of the month off and shut shop. This worked well for escaping for weekends away camping and providing some sanity!
- Milford Sound: went on an overnight cruise with Marks work – finally got to this stunning place at last!
- Lions tour to NZ and the Warren family (friends from Liverpool, England) came to visit us! Awesome to see them after all this time! We had fun whisking them on a whistle stop tour of the area, then watched them all jump of the AJ Hackett bungy! Silly silly people!
Any which way you look at it that’s a pretty intense list of stuff we have had to work through in the past 5 years! 😲
This blog still pops out at me from the past 12 months and I need to keep working on this list! Specially number 3. I thought the change of job to self employed would fix that, nope! But I’m getting there!
So with year comes the ability to now apply for citizenship. It’s not cheap but it seems the logical next step and allows us to then hold a New Zealand passport and have dual citizenship. Mark’s 5 year anniversary isn’t till June so we will have a think about it till then.
He almost knows all the National Anthem now in both languages, so that’s an improvement at least! Haha!
Did I manage to achieve my target? Kinda. I’m not earning as much as I would like from the company but I am above minimum wage. Just, but still, it’s better than last year!
Next year goal? I’d like to have slightly less work related stress and consistently better hours than 50+. It’s improving, slowly.