As I excitedly prepare to re-enter the working world, I’m reveling in the last few opportunities for naps in the sun, daytime drinking, waltzing freely into those places which are always packed at the weekend with mile-long queues, etc. I’m also looking back with fondness on my eight month hiatus:

  1. Not working gave me time to make yoga part of my routine, and now I can’t imagine living without it. A converted sceptic, I‘ve become addicted to the physical and mental strength and calmness regular yoga practice brings.
  2. In London I had around 13 books on the go at once. For the first time in a long time, I have read books to the end. A lot of books. And overcoming a hangover from the uni days, reading has reinstated itself as a pleasure rather than a chore.
  3. Related to the above, I’ve joined a book club. Something I’ve wanted to do for ages and a sure-fire way to make sure you read.
  4. Life with Duracell Jamie will never be quiet, but we’ve learned to carve out time just to be at home, the two of us, enjoying simply being together and being in love.
  5. I’ve become obsessed with Instagram (!) It’s mainly photos of everyday life taken by everyday people, but daily I’m blown-away by the incredible beauty that punctuates day-to-day routine. Instagram is such a pleasant reminder that the world is a special place.
  6. I realize the power of the sunshine; for your mood, for keeping energy levels high, and for fostering positivity and a “go get it” attitude. I’m happier and more content when it’s sunny. If you can move to some place where the sun shines, do it.
  7. I’m shocked and delighted about how positive I’ve become!
  8. I’ve only just started to realize how lucky we were to move to a place where we already knew so many people, going back years. Feeling alone on the other side of the world to “home” must be horrible; I’m grateful to our friends here that we didn’t have to experience loneliness and I doubtless don’t fully appreciate what a blessing our friends have been.
  9. Here, I’ve found a contentment that somehow always eluded me in London in ways I can’t really fathom.
  10. Mum and Dad have been wonderful. Moving hasn’t been without challenges and tensions, and the support of my parents has helped tremendously. They’ve made nothing of answering 3 a.m. UK-time crisis calls (the 8 hour time difference is a real pain), of against their inclination energetically and enthusiastically supporting what at times seemed a reckless career move for their daughter, and bravely reconciling themselves to their two children living far away overseas. You are utterly selfless, I love you both to pieces, and thank you.
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