42 hours and counting

42 hours to go before we board the plane to ex-patriate. (is that a verb?)

Today we had our cultural training. It was long, but interesting. I think it will pay off in the short and long run.

Here are the things I want to really be sure to remember:

  • lower my expectations of myself. It’s ok if in one day all I get done is one errand. It will get better… slowly

  • Keep my ability to laugh.

  • Learn the ability to say no. People will want to show up on our doorstep with their bags, but not always when we want to have guests. It’s ok to say no. Not that week. (or day or month!)

  • Make a list of the things and places we want to do and see.

  • Keep a calendar. Every six months, plan a big thing. (plan means really plan. Make reservations! ) Every quarter, plan a smaller thing. Keep track of holidays, Bill’s work travel, home leave. Guests come last on the totem pole.

  • It’s up to us to make the first move to meet people and make friends.

  • Be Marcia Brady. Join as many groups as you can find that cater to any of your interests. You don’t have to STAY a member of all (or any) of them. But it’s a good way to get out and meet people and expand your world.

  • There is a natural curve of adjustment that includes a slide down into questioning and sadness and anger and frustration. But it goes back up.

  • Take advantage of the counselor provided by the company. She is a great resource.

  • Ask for help. Ask a French woman to go to the grocery store the first time.

  • The move is stressful for Kaitlyn, too. She will respond the way she sees us respond. And she could experience some setbacks in things like potty training (doh!)

  • If invited somewhere, don’t show up on time. Don’t expect to leave early. Or at least, don’t expect French guests at your house to leave early. An 8pm dinner will finish around 1am. (no weeknight dinners for us!)

I’m sure there is more. I wonder what Bill wants to remember….

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