How to survive when the world feels like it is falling apart

Living in another country can bring many challenges and those challenges are heightened when there are big world events unfolding both at home and where you now live.

Brexit was the first earth shattering event where I watched on in horror as my country made what I believed to be a terrible decision which would seriously impact our future when we do decide to move home. I wasn’t with British friends to lament what had happened and what this meant.

I was stopped so many times that day by friends and neighbours asking how I felt and what this meant. Most of them I think they felt that this was the moment that showed politics was changing and, for many Americans, the realisation that in their upcoming election a shock was possible too.

I tried to be positive and speak about the rationale behind the Leave voters but I definitely experienced all of the emotions of grief in a day; sadness, disbelief, anger. I remember crying as I put the baby down for a sleep knowing that the world was heading for a future I didn’t really want for him.

I think after having kids your reactions to world events become so much more heightened as you give your everything to make a safe and happy place for them and then things out of your control come and threaten that future you want to build.

Then November came and we watched in absolute disbelief again as Trump won the election. It is quite hard to describe the day after the election. It was like a huge abyss hung over the whole city. I went to a sing along for 1 year olds that morning and you have never seen a group of people try so hard, and fail, to look cheerful for their kids. The guy who leads the sing along was so angry he actually broke a guitar string during a rendition of The Wheels On The Bus.

Friends from home asked me why people were voting Trump and if I had met anyone who was. I hang out with mums in one of the most liberal parts of the world all day so not once have I met a Trump supporter. But then we live in a bubble here that is not indicative of the rest of America.

And so the world keeps turning and many of these decisions may take years to impact us and perhaps we can cling to a hope that the impact will be softer than we imagine and fear.

The world is a much smaller place than it used to be with news you can never escape from. So wherever you live you cannot shut off what is happening. All you can do is look to your own family, friends and neighbours and be good to them.

Our boys will always be surrounded by love, respect and kindness so I am hopeful they grow up to be real gentlemen. We will be their influencers and not politicians or reality TV show stars.

And if all else fails I found a very good wine shop around the corner and am now working my way through my third loyalty card!

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