Anxiety over relocation abroad: I need some serenity now!

iCounselor icon AnxietyAs a therapist for children and teens, I talk a lot about how to manage anxiety. And not only that, I have written apps for iPhones and Android phones about managing anxiety. So I should know how to manage my own – but as we all know it’s easier to tell others what to do than do it ourselves!!

Here at Two Digital Gypsies, we are going through so many changes in preparation for our move to England that I can barely keep up.  I have retired from my job of sixteen years, saying goodbye to almost one hundred clients and lots of long term colleagues. We are getting rid of a lifetime’s worth of belongings so we can sell our house (and also jettisoning lots of things that originally belonged to my parents but which have been in my house because for several years my father lived with us). We are making a plan for our oldest son, age 27,  who has been renting our basement for a few years, to get his own place — and along with that trying to find a rental that will take our two dogs and a cat, since he has agreed to take care of them! And we are planning for our youngest son, age 18 – who is looking into his college options. Believe it or not he is currently in London staying at a hostel, preparing to take an entrance exam for a Finnish university tomorrow – do you know there are free English speaking college program in Finland? And likely in a week or two I will be starting my new job in England – and adjusting to driving on the left, working on a military base and finding an apartment over there! And, I am preparing to leave my sister who I have lived in the same town with now for many years, and my middle son, age 22, who does already have his own place but who I will not be seeing so much of once I am out of the country.

All this leads to frequent awakenings in the middle of the night. During the day I stay pretty busy with whatever task I am taking on – today it is getting my car detailed so we can put it up for sale, and helping with getting some boxes mailed off to England.  However, at various points in the night or early morning I wake up suddenly wondering what the %*&$ am I doing, and if everything going to turn out alright. I worry more about my “kids” (even though they are all adults!) and about being away from them, than I do about my own adjustment to a new job and a new country. I actually haven’t worried about my new job at all, and I am looking forward to living in Bury St. Edmunds (the town to which we will likely move).

People keep telling me that I am brave and that they admire the fact that I have the courage to do this. Not sure about that – I think it is more along the lines of that I am feeling the fear but doing it anyways. I try to stay focused on the task of the day (gotta get that car detailed!), accepting the fact that this is a stressful time even though it is the path I have chosen, getting lots of exercise (just increased my daily work from 3 miles to 4 to help me sleep at night), and acknowledging that much of what I am going through I would be going through regardless of whether we were moving overseas or not – specifically about my children growing up and moving on. Trying to take things a day at a time. Just remind me about that if you see me online at 3 AM! As my son messaged me this morning from London – anxiety is okay if it doesn’t interfere with your circadian rhythms!

4 thoughts on “Anxiety over relocation abroad: I need some serenity now!

  1. Laurie Raleigh


    You are going to be just fine. It all works out and the boys wil be fine, too. How eciting to be able to start all over again- at our ages! Not many people get the oppotuity to really live outside of the box like this. It’s all meant to be and the Universe is going to take care of yo and yours.

    I wish you the best in life. You deserve it.


  2. Jamie Mortensen

    That’s the most courageous thing you can do in my opinion – feel the fear and do it anyways! Remember that much of the fear comes from those “what if …” thoughts, the unknown. Be where you are through this process as much as you can.

    Martin Sexton has some good lyrics for it: “I’m taking a chance on the wind. I’m packing up all my bags – making a mistake I’ve gotta make. And I’m glory bound!”

    Love you!!