Certainity. A Luxury We Can No Longer Afford.

Shortly following the start of the worldwide economic meltdown, Mike turned to me one morning and asked, “But how does all this affect us?”

(“Us” being folks with no immediate ties to the banking industry going about their daily lives.)

At the time, life around us hadn’t changed much…

The London’s streets were littered with just as many tourists as the day before. The shop lines on Kensington and Oxford Street were just as atrocious as ever, and the previous day our grocery store had run out of fresh bread before I could get there. It was business as usual.

Furthermore, we’re decades away from retirement, well-educated, and completely debt-free. I assured Mike that we really don’t need to worry, but his question still struck me as the “Gee, what else can go wrong?” of sitcom folly…


What I’m about to tell you has been wallowing in the pit of my stomach and consuming my every thought.

I’ve avoiding talking about it until now, even with my family, because it’s too difficult. Too complicated. Too personal.

When I started sobbing at Mass last weekend… while on the bus… and standing in line at the post office…  and basically, any moment when I get five seconds to myself, I figured it was time to let it out.

So here, goes…

Our visas expire in 27 days and Mike’s contract still hasn’t been renewed.

Note, this is not to say that it wasn’t renewed. Only that it hasn’t, and his company seems to be in no rush. (Such the British way…)

On the other hand, the company has voiced on several occasions that it would LOVE to keep him on staff. His co-workers love him and are shocked that he hasn’t been scooped up yet. However, the funding for the next project hasn’t been secured and unless it happens within in the next four weeks, they can’t…

Thank you, worldwide economic meltdown.

Everything could still change on a dime… er, ten pence, but for now, Mike has started job hunting again and when our visas expire, we’ll have no choice but to move back– uninsured, jobless, and homeless. (i.e. hobos)

This may come as a shock to most of our friends and family.

Why the hell would we turn our lives upside down, drain our bank accounts, sell our stuff, our home, and our car, and start all over for essentially six months of employment?

It’s crazy. I know, but the answer is simple. I love my husband and it’s great job. Not to mention, it’s was an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up.

When he accepted the position, it was with the tacit understanding that it would be his for as long as he wanted it.  We’d have a chance to see Europe, live abroad for a while, and build back our savings.

Of course, at the time, who could have foreseen the collapse of every single financial market in the world. (Certainly not the people “in charge”…)

We were just getting settled– creating routines, desensitizing ourselves to the banking system, making wonderful new friends

We very much want to stay, especially after everything we went through to get here. (Those of you closest to us, you know the stories. No need to rehash them here…)

As difficult as it has been to “adjust”, the thought of moving overseas again, so soon and so suddenly, is exactly why I haven’t slept in over three weeks.

Please don’t tell me “It’s going to be okay” or “We’ll be fine”. I won’t be able to stand it. Not yet.



Filed under Daily Life, Family, Marriage, Packing Up and Moving

10 responses to “Certainity. A Luxury We Can No Longer Afford.

  1. Paul Hayes

    You know, had I clocked beforehand that you actually *are* Catholic, I probably would have phrased my light-hearted explanation of Bonfire Night somewhat more tactfully! Apologies!

  2. Hey, no pity parties allowed. Just kidding. We are in the same boat and, unfortunately are going home. Leaving Scotland after a scant 11 months is a bit disheartening, but I will tell you one thing…no matter which way the pendelum swings you still have options. It isn’t like Grandparents, friends, Aunties and Uncles will let the little one (or his parents) starve or hang out in the cold. Lean on your network…and don’t be afraid. Any good Southern woman knows, tomorrow is another day. Even if it is on the other side of the planet. Chin up. Any experience, good or bad, is an experience.

  3. I won’t say that it will work out, but I will say that I hope it does.

  4. Bec

    Sorry to hear that! I really hope it does all work out for you and your family and that your adventures in London can continue! 😉

  5. I won’t offer platitudes, but I will say that I’ll send positive thoughts from the continent.

  6. How SUCKY! I’m enraged and frustrated on your behalf.

  7. I’m sorry to hear about the crazyness and uncertainty. The uncertainty is the hardest part. Knowing if you are staying or going comes as a relief, either way. Sadly for us, it’s going. We fly out in 7 days back to the States. It sucks royally.

    Like you, we are fairly debt free and looked at coming to Scotland/UK as a grand adventure. We sold everything we owned except a few boxes of keepsakes and memories, packed up the family into suitcases and moved to Scotland. That was 10 months ago. Now we head back, with an extra suitcase of memories and souvenirs.

    Good luck. I really hope things work out for you. Even with our having to cut our losses and leave I’m glad we gave it a go. The memories will never leave. And truthfully, how many friends and family do you have that had the cohonies to try what you have tried?

    No matter how it turns out for you. You did it. You left your home, family, friends, comfort and went on a grand adventure. That is something you will always have.

    Fingers crossed things straighten out.

    Husband of “An American Mom in Scotland”

  8. Glad I could bring a moment of giggles into your day…ditto what Karly said.

  9. I’m really sorry to hear you’re going through this. I’ve been living vicariously through you since I found your blog. I actually went looking for blogs of American families that have moved to London because it’s been a little dream of mine lately. I really do hope somehow something changes in your husband’s status at work. My thoughts are with you.

  10. Ok so I am a little late to the table but I just know it will be ok. I am sure that he will be resigned and you’ll be having tea and crumpets with the queen (or maybe someone who looks like the Queen) at Christmas!

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