Finding Home within Yourself - banishing Self Doubt
Finding home within yourself - this is a decision that I have consciously and constantly made since we moved back to Ireland.
Initially it was all excitement and delight at the prospect of a life with all of the pleasures that I had been missing - family, culture, shopping, scenery…. but then the days started to shorten and the rain fell more frequently and I lost a little bit of the joy that I had arrived with.
This is especially true as I look at our second year in Ireland beginning now. It is November and the clocks have changed. We spend a lot more time indoors than out and I miss being in nature as much as I was in the Summer. It is harder to shut down the nagging voices that tell me that life would be better in Australia, in France or in the Caribbean. I feel an urge to have a look at opportunities abroad, somewhere warmer. My husband feels an urge to move somewhere snowy where he feels more alive.
But now that I am wise to this voice, I have to make a conscious effort each time to shut it down. I remind myself why I wanted to leave each of the countries that I lived in before. I visualise the intense heat of the Caribbean, I feel the impossibility of being so far from my family in Australia, I realise the constant challenges of living in a foreign language community in France. Of course I am battered with all of the wonderful memories from all of these places. When you leave, you only think about all the good things that you will miss. I miss my friends mostly and the lifestyle to an extent.
It is all too easy for me to dream of greener grass and to hunt it down. It has been my pattern for years. A life lived in colour has always been my motto. Yet I have had doubts and worries in every place. No place is perfect - perfection is an unachievable goal anyway. “Perfection is a mask of fear” I heard on a podcast the other day by Dr Libby Weaver. No place is going to change who I am and how I live my life. It is easier to get up in the morning early to do my work in the tropics - it is not so hot then and it is consistent all year round. But if I am focused and have self-discipline and ambition, I can get up early in the dark and the cold just as well anywhere all year round. It all has to come from inside myself.
We just need to find new ways to adapt to a different climate and lifestyle. Now that the evenings are drawing in, I find that the family is gathered in the living room much earlier together. The greatest thing in our new rented house is that we don’t have a television, so there is no external distraction. We have started playing a game in the evenings before bed - Rummikub, Monopoly (Dublin edition of course!), Color Yam are favourites of ours, mixed up with Memory and Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. I had forgotten how much the children grow when you play a game together and get involved in competitive banter!
The children are preparing for their winter school play, which is the Wizard of Oz this year. When I feel a little self doubt starting to seep in to my mind, I just have to close my eyes and remind myself “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!”. If I left here for sunnier climes - I would only miss the things that I love so much about being here.
On any journey in life, there is self doubt that can plague you throughout. It is your own decision to make, whether you let it become an element in your life or not. I like to trust in my decisions entirely and focus on moving forwards, answer the question “How?” when a problem arises - how can I make this better, how can I improve this element of our lives, how can I make everyone happy (not all of the time, just some of the time - I'm not aiming for perfection here).
I believe that the power to be happy lies within ourselves. I have placed a huge emphasis over the years on the place that we live in. Now I feel very much that I have the ability to make a home anywhere, it always takes a little time and a lot of courage. Believe fiercely in your goals and the reasons why you have made a decision and then stick to it. With most things it is a continuity and dogged determination that achieve results.
So here I am, making Ireland home for our family. Our home is wherever we all are together and every place is wonderful in it’s own special way. I am still looking to make Ireland our home in that special way so that I have less doubts that keep knocking on the door and more energy for everything else.