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My Life is Here

Our family just returned from a wonderful 6 week holiday to the States. This was my first time back since moving to New Zealand over a year and a half ago, and it was the first time for most of our family to meet Joe, our then-5-month-old baby boy.

We had a great time traveling all over the place – Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and finally down to Georgia to visit my in-laws. At one point during our stay, my mother-in-law reminded us of the china that she’d been saving for me. These beautiful, antique, rose-patterned pieces had once belonged to my husband’s Grandma Lillian and were sitting in the cabinet, collecting dust. I’d been putting off taking them for various reasons. There was always another move in our future or another change on the horizon, and it never seemed like the right time to take such lovely, delicate pieces home with me. This time, however, I thought about it for a good while before giving out my standard reply of, “I’d love to, but not just yet”.This time, I said “yes” to the china. My husband couldn’t believe it – was I actually agreeing to bring it back to New Zealand? That was akin to saying we had put down roots and, as I’ve written about on my blog, there have been times when I’ve struggled with feeling settled in our new country. Was I ready to commit, or did I want to leave it all on the shelf for a little while longer “just in case”? It dawned on me that there was more at stake here than just the china!

I learned something during our time in the States. America is where I’m from and it’s where most of my family lives, but my life is in New Zealand. We may not always live here. We might stay here for the rest of our lives. Regardless, this is where we’re at, and Grandma Lillian’s china should be here with us. I don’t want to look back 5 years from now or even 5 months from now and regret not enjoying every moment.

So yes, we packed up the china and it’s currently on its way from Georgia to Auckland. Or rather, some of it’s on its way – the cost of shipping from Georgia to Auckland is frightening! The rest will join us eventually. I can only hope that it doesn’t get too banged up en route, but it belongs in New Zealand. It should be used and enjoyed and not left on a shelf for some future date. The same could be said about my life – I need to take it out of the cupboard, clear off the dust and enjoy it right here, right now

That’s just what I plan on doing in 2012. I’m excited and full of anticipation at some of our plans – travels, new projects, new friends, career decisions – and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!

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Jenny is an American from Indiana living abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. An ER nurse, she spends her spare time with her husband and infant son and enjoys photography, travel, and writing about her experiences as an expat. You can read more of her thoughts and opinions at www.practicallyperfectblog.com