I was going to write a post sharing some more of my local finds but I’m just not in the mood for it. I have however found one or two great little things in the last week that I may share at a later date.
As you can see from the title of this post transitioning is on my mind. We have been living in Sydney for just under 7 months and I must admit that the initial novelty has worn off. I don’t mean that unhappiness has set in, or that I am regretting anything, simply that I no longer see the differences when we drive down the street;
I no longer notice that the corner shop is called a ‘mixed business’ as opposed to a Deli
I no longer notice the NSW license plates
I no longer notice that there are three wheely bins in our suburb
I no longer notice the Krispy Creme signs at McDonalds and 7Elevens (shock, horror!)
etc….except for one thing…traffic!
The traffic is still bothering me, in fact over the last couple of weeks its bothered me more than usual, especially if we go into a long tunnel.
I have also been experiencing a fair bit of illness anxiety of late, even the smallest ailment gets blown right out of proportion and to make matters worse, I still haven’t worked out what Doctor to go to over here yet.
After going over and over in my head (and over thinking things) I realised what should be obvious, especially with our background in moving to a different culture. I am experiencing culture shock. This happened to us when we lived in the UK for a short period of time too (six months) before living in west Africa for a year. We prepared well for moving to Niger but assumed the UK would be like Australia. It wasn’t.
I have for now at least worked out why my anxieties have been heightened as we got to the six month mark and am now working on allowing myself time to adjust properly.
The thing with anxiety is that it robs you of all joy. Life becomes very serious and you over think everything so this is a starting point for me. I am finding my joy again and remembering that when we focus on the difficulty/problem/anxiety God gets smaller (in your mind) and the problem is magnified. It needs to be the other way around for me to find joy.
I want to make it clear, I do not regret in any way our move here, I do love being here and I know that these things will soften as time goes by. That in itself is helpful and I do think recognising the cause is the first step to the fourth stage of culture shock (adaptation or adjustment). I do love this verse and it comes to mind amongst the stress:
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)