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To make peace with the new and the old

The other week I hosted a relocation workshop here in Melbourne and the conversation and dynamic in the group throughout the day was amazing. One key thing that I really wanted to share with you all was the concept of making peace with the things that we’ll gain as we move far away, as well as the things we’ll miss. Moving far away will inevitably introduce you to a whole lot of new things, but at the same time so many people spend lots of their time focussing on what they will be or might be missing.

As you can imagine it’s not only a waste of time to be sad about things you’re missing (also known as EFOMO or Expats Fear Of Missing Out, and yes I just made the concept up). It’s also preventing you from experiencing new things and enjoying your new home fully.

So what can you do to be fair on yourself and find that balance?

  1. Give yourself permission to miss a few weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. You will not be able to be everywhere at the same time, so just accept that the most important things will be prioritised and to the other things you’ll send a gift or a greeting without being able to attend in person.
  2. Plan ahead. Keep in touch with the people that matter and prompt them to ket you know early about events coming up so that you can try and plan to attend if you choose to.
  3. Prioritise. You might feel that you want to be there for everything, but we all know that’s not realistic. Even if you lived closer to your loved ones you would not be there for everything. Decide ahead of time what top 3-5 things you absolutely must be there for and find other creative ways of celebrating the other ones (Skype party, video greetings, sending flowers etc)
  4. Open your eyes to where you are now. What is there to celebrate and experience in your new home? Filter in new friends, celebrations and fun things and start enjoying them even more.
  5. Seek to understand others and they will understand you. People might be disappointed that you can’t come, but that does not mean that you don’t care about them. Listen to their side of the story and then share yours.

What are your best around this? How do you cope with missing out on things?