I am filled with emotions in regards to ending our time in the north and feel like I'm somewhat on a roller coaster at the moment. We planned to be here at least till the spring so to find out that it's happening so much sooner puts me in a bit of a tailspin. I'm a planner and sometimes the littlest change can throw me off. A change of this magnitude makes my brain go crazy with what's, where's and how's. Not that I can't roll with the punches but I do find myself awake at night remaking to do lists in my head over and over. In the end, it'll all get done, and what doesn't isn't all that important.
I couldn't be more pleased with Nick's new posting with it's proximity to our families. As fate would have it, only a few weeks ago Nick's mom took a new job in Oromocto and had joked that maybe we could move there. I guess maybe she new something we didn't. She plans to commute back and forth to Saint John everyday but I'm sure (and hope) there will be many stops at our place for dinner, or crashing with us when the weather makes that hour long drive too much. That's an open invitation Dale... Make sure you take us up on it. I'm also excited to have my nephew spend weekends with us so he and our boys can grow up being significant parts of each other lives.
We are very much looking forward to living in the world of malls, Costco and play places. Swimming lessons, photography courses and tennis clubs. Old friends and new friends, new jobs and new colleagues. Nick will be not be on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week like he is now. I will be looking for a job outside the house and the kids will be going to daycare. It's going to be a whole new world for us. But as much as I can't wait for all these things, I look at many of these perks with trepidation.
I'm going to be working!!! Yay, I get to go have adult conversations for 8 hours a day. I get to be a productive member of society doing something other than cleaning my house and playing with the kids. On the other hand, boooo, I'm going to be working. I'm going to be joining the ranks or working moms who try and find time to 'do it all', who never can and have guilt because they miss their kids. They miss milestones that their baby sitters get to tell them about. When I really hash out the pros and cons, the money I will bring in is a necessity for the family. I know there are people who do it with much less but there are sacrifices that go along with it that we are not interested in making at this point. And, in all honesty, I think I'm going to enjoy motherhood and my kids much more when I have something for myself outside the home to fill that part of me that's not just a mother.
I think that it's going to a huge adjustment getting used to all the choices and opportunities we're going to have. There is something comforting and relaxing about living in a tiny isolated town where you're options can be very limited. There is no keeping up with the Joneses. No rush hour. No over booked life. I enjoy the quiet life we have here. I love that a super busy weekend means getting the house ready for a Saturday night dinner with friends. I like wearing pajamas bottoms 90% of my waking hours and that getting all dolled up means jeans and a T-shirt. I think it's great that to Oliver, a drive to the dump is as exciting as a trip to Disney World. Most of all, I relish all the time we have to spend as a family. Nick coming home for lunch everyday. Family suppers every night and being there for hugs and kisses at bedtime. I'm sure it won't be long before we are caught up in the rat race and are striving to get back a glimps of the simple life.
I am going to miss the people of the north and how welcoming they can be. I'm going to miss the beautiful scenery I look out over every day although I am excited to have trees back in my life. I'm going to miss the weather in a way because I hate the heat and humidity but I'll be happy if I never see snow on Canada Day or a -40 windchill again. I'm really going to miss the 24 hours of daylight but I won't at all miss the long stretches of darkness. I'm going to miss my sealift room but look forward to the convenience of not having to cook every single meal. I look forward to having the mall close by but don't think I'll ever stop on-line shopping. I will miss having 30 day vacations but I won't miss having my travel plans at the mercy of mother nature's whims. I am excited to use a car again but I'm sad to trade in my amauti for a car seat.
The question I've been asked most over the last 3 and a half years is, "Do you like it up there?" Sometimes that can be a tough question. At times I've been able to answer with a resounding YES. Other times the things I like about Nunavut were overshaddowed by the challenges that can go along with northern living. Now that I'm reflecting on my time here, weighing the good and the bad, I can say overwhelmingly that yes, I do like it here. I am very happy to have had this chapter in my life, in our family's life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. And yes, I would do it all over again if I had to go back. I have learned an enormous amount about myself and my ability to adapt. I've heard it said that a northern posting can make or break a marriage for some couples. I'm happy to say that I think Nick and I have made it though happy and probably closer than we would ever have been had we not come here. I appreciate having had the opportunity to be home with my children which I would not have had down south. And finally, I am proud and honored to have experienced the beauty of the Inuit people, their culture and the land where they live. So few can say that and I'm glad to be one of them.
But now it's time to shed my northern parka and don the sou'wester of a martimer once again.