Monthly Archives: July 2009

What makes repatriation difficult?

For the last few weeks I have been going through the all-consuming process of returning back home after an overseas posting.  First the packing, then the suitcases (which had to include things that somehow didn’t make it into the boxes!), then the long flight home, and then the realization that this is it.  Our overseas adventure is over.

Of course, I realized this seemingly simple fact before – all through the moving and the packing process.  But the emotion of “having left” didn’t fully hit me until now.  It’s not so easy to leave behind a place where you’ve spent four happy years of your life and never long for it.  Especially when your Facebook friends who are still there post little reminders of it every day!

So what do these feelings of longing for a place that’s become your home have to do with difficulties of repatriation?  Aside from the fact that we experience some sadness from leaving behind a part of our lives, how do these feelings affect our experience back home?

I’ve been watching myself these past few days and I’ve discovered something that I think contributes to a negative experience with repatriation.  The thing is, I’ve been engaging in a lot of comparisons.  Starting from the size and quality of baked goods and ending with how tolerant the society around me is towards dogs, I’ve been criticizing everything.  Statements like “there I’d never have to…”, “this is not how it’s done in…”, “it’d be much better if these people here …” and so on have been populating my speech and my thoughts.  So how am I supposed to move on and start integrating into my new life when I am not even giving it half a chance?

Comparing often means that you come from a place of judgment and a place that leaves very little room for curiosity and exploration.  Because if we already decided that “there” is better than “here”, it’ll be very difficult for us to allow for an opportunity to develop “here”.  If we keep comparing the “there” and the “here”, the “here” will never have a chance in our lives.

As adults we do a lot of judging and I think we would benefit from taking a cue from our children, who, instead of judging and comparing, look around them with openness and curiosity.  My daughter, while being a little sad and missing the country we just left, is wide open to possibilities that await her here.  She isn’t judging and she isn’t comparing.  She is just living her new life.

So I am going to try to do the same.  I am going to try wearing the “glasses” of curiosity and openness and take off the “glasses” of judgment and comparison.

What about you?  Have you had a similar experience with repatriation?

Copyright © 2009 by Global Coach Center.
If you’d like to reprint this, please do so but make sure you credit us!

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How green is your move?

I packed out this week and once again, just as it happened during several other pack outs, I watched the movers use a lot of paper, carton, plastic, bubble wrap and tape. Now, of course, I want all for my things to make their way safely and in one piece across the ocean. But sometimes the amount of packing materials that’s being used for any one move is just staggering.

I give you an example. Everything — really everything — gets wrapped in paper. Be it glass, ceramics, plastic, tapper ware, silverware… anything. And most often it gets wrapped in several sheets of paper. I completely understand this necessity when you are sending glass or other easily breakable things, but plastic? Or metal? Really – how necessary is it to wrap it in several sheets of paper?

We’ve all witnessed the amazing proliferation of packing materials on a store shelf. Sometimes things are packed so well that it takes a muscle and well-sharpened knife to open them (toys are especially known for their hard-plastic packaging). Why do we need so much packing? Do we really think a doll won’t survive its voyage from China to the US without being wrapped up so well that an adult, let alone a child, cannot open it?

I protest the packing craze in the stores by not buying the products with excessive packaging, but what do you do when your own things are being packed? Well, ever since our first move I go around my rooms and specifically request each mover to use less paper or, if possible, not use it at all. And while I know that moving half-way across the globe is definitely not green, I at least feel better that I saved some of the resources they were going to use.

What about you? What would you do to make your move greener?

Copyright © 2009 by Global Coach Center.
If you’d like to reprint this, please do so but make sure you credit us!