I've blogged about how I've got to where I am today but I haven't blogged, thought much or even talked about how my life has changed so much that what I wanted to do, where I thought I'd be and what I thought I could've achieved, that I now need to rethink my entire future.
My husbands job dictates where we live, and it's open ended, there is no end date on the contract, all we do know is that at some point he will have to return to the UK, either to retire at 65 or earlier or to end his working days there. We could choose to move back to the UK any day we want, that is in our control, but with only 7 years left till he reaches 65 and a final salary pension with 31 years continuous service we'd be a little silly to make that decision unless of course there were bigger reasons, such as health of us, our children or families.
We have made sacrifices to live as expats and although we've both agreed and make joint decisions about everything, some things are harder to adapt to than others. For me giving up my career has been a huge sacrifice, bigger than I could've ever imagined, but when we became expats I had every intention of working until discovery a) I didn't meet the requirements to work in South Africa and b) upon our relocation to Dubai I discovered I need a Masters to teach here or have the right connections.
When we do return to the UK, it'll be hard for me to resume my career in Child Welfare as a) I'm already 44 b) I've already been unemployed for 5 years and c) regulations and laws change and my knowledge will be out of date.
Because we don't know when we will return to the UK, where we'll live, or whether hubby has retired or is still working and where our children will be living and working, there may be grandchildren by then, parents that need looking after, who knows?
So rather than plan anything I've decided I'm just going to have a dream, a base line for what I'd like to do, an idea of the type of place I'd like to live and not the where. I've decided to not worry about work or study until I return to the UK or the circumstance in which we return,
I would like to live in a rural location, keep chickens, have a veg garden with raised beds, be surrounded by open fields. Be no more than an hours drive from the beach and an hour to a large town.
I would like to live in a bungalow that we do up room my room to meet our requirements. You see like a lot of people I don't want to keep moving, I'd like my forever home now and that means no stairs, so I can choose to move when I want or am ready, not when our future health dictates that.
I'd like to own a camper van so I have somewhere to stay when I visit family and friends rather than sleeping on sofas, where I can take Bob with me. I can use the camper van for days out to the seaside, into the woods, where I can sit and drink tea while Bob runs freely and read my book and stay dry and warm. I'd like to get a dog passport and travel round Europe, either with hubby if he's retired or just Bob and myself if he's still working and travelling abroad.
I'd like to be able to plan for my future, for our future, but there are just too many variables of which none are currently in my control and it's getting harder to manage.
It's all a dream for the future, but it doesn't mean I have to stop living now. My career is on hold as is my relationship with my family and friends. My dreams are on hold also, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't have dreams or not be able to dream big.