solid gold dancing... down under June 19, 2012 |
Let's not even start with my obligatory apology - which actually sounds more like a confession - "forgive me, it's been six years since my last blog..."
It's been a long time, that's for sure. Hell, almost a year. That's got to be a record.
So let's start in the present and work back a bit.
Doron, the kids and I are now living in Melbourne, Australia. We arrived at the beginning of February. Our decision to leave Israel was long and painful, but not to sugar-coat things, we were simply drowning financially. We just could't sustain ourselves any longer. Doron had lost his job (and the company car) thanks to major employee cuts just before Rosh Hashanah last year (around September) and although I was working, my entire salary was going to pay the children's daycare and my car.
Doron could have got another job working for yet another insurance company in Israel, but the thought actually severely depressed him. The salaries in Israel are just so abysmally low (unless you are one of the fortunate few working at a senior level in high tech/clean tech/bio tech - actually just about anything ending in "tech" in Israel will generally give you a decent living.
We tried really, really hard to make things work there. I mean - insanely hard. Many of our friends thought too hard to be honest. A few others, less close friends I might add, gave us the not-so-subtle "you're abandoning The Land you Zionist traitor" spiel. That hurt. A lot.
Doron and I love Israel, with all our hearts. We met there. We married there. Our beautiful children were born there. But we were faced with the very frightening reality that in about 3 months we wouldn't be able to pay our rent. So what normal person with young children to support would have opted for Zionism over Realism? Please. As if I have to answer that question.
It took about three months for Doron's permanent residency spouse visa to be processed and approved. We were about as open-and-shut a case as you can get, so it was just a matter of time and the standard red tape.
The cost of the visa, the international shipping and our air tickets near wiped us out, but what option did we have left? At least we had a huge amount of healthy positive optimism, our mutual shoulders should one of us need to lean extra hard on the other one for a while and an awful lot of Faith (yes, with a capital "F").
In many ways, I am glad that our children are still so young as I am sure it would have been quite traumatic for them had they actually understood what was happening. Still, I am sure that the experience of waking up in their home one morning with all their familiar surroundings, going to daycare as usual and then hopping on a plane in the middle of the night never to return to their home must have registered some degree of trauma in their young minds.
An awful lot has happened to us since we arrived and I do regret that I have not kept on top of it with this blog. Some things have been wonderful and others quite dreadful. On the positive, I was accepted to a fabulous government program called NEIS which provides training, mentoring and financial assistance to people who want to start their own small business. I studied at RMIT and received a Certificate IV in Small Business Management and my Lamaze Childbirth Education practice, birthwell birthright is well under way now. I am already teaching private couples and in July I will be teaching group courses as well. I know that the potential to grow and develop my own business here is far greater than anything I could have hoped to achieve in Israel. It's simply because I have a huge potential English-speaking market here.
Doron is also doing extremely well. He found work here almost immediately, and although it isn't the best job in the world, the fact that he landed something in his field almost immediately is quite astonishing and I am so incredibly proud of him. He's always keeping his eye on the future and is constantly seeking new and better opportunities. I don't doubt for a second that he will land a fantastic job that he loves in the very near future.
The children have made a remarkable adjustment and it never ceases to amaze me how resilient children are. They are happy, settled and love their Jewish day care which makes us so happy. Liev just turned three and Amalia just turned two and we had a lovely little birthday party for them at home the other week.
Doron and I have made some truly wonderful friends. People who, despite the fact that they have only known us for a few short months, have welcomed us like family. It's been really humbling. You know who you are and you will never know how thankful we are for your friendship and support.
Without a doubt, the hardest aspect of moving back here has been living at home for the last five months. It doesn't matter that I am now 39 years old, and married and have two children of my own now. I might as well be 15 again. All round it's been a rather horrendous experience and extremely emotionally damaging.
We never planned on staying any longer than about 4-5 months, but still, I wish we'd had the financial means to have been able to move out far, far earlier. The good news is that we have found a lovely home and we're moving in next week. We will finally have our own home, our own space and our privacy back. We can be a couple again. A family. Our shipment left Israel last week so it will be a couple of months until it arrives, but we don't have a lot of furniture coming - mostly household items that we can manage without for a short period. Friends and relatives have come to the rescue once again and are lending (and even giving!) us a whole range of amazing things to help us establish our new home in Australia. Again, we've been totally overwhelmed by everyone's generosity.
So that, in a nutshell, is what has happened in our lives over the last (almost) year. I had considered taking the blog offline and (maybe) starting a new one, because well, let's face it, "Solid Gold Dancing in the Holy Land" is no longer in the Holy Land - and definitely hasn't done any Solid Gold Dancing in a while!
But then I thought about it again and decided that my heart is, and always will be in Israel and once a Solid Gold Dancer, ALWAYS a Solid Gold Dancer.
Onwards and upwards.