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The New Normal

The new normal. That term honestly gives me PTSD after the overuse of it through covid. Remember how crazy that was and how easily we conformed. I have to wonder though, if we were able to create a new normal through those two years of chaos then we can do it again right?

How did we all get ourselves to the point that normal is the rate we were living at? Raising a family with barely any support, cleaning a house, working, grocery shopping, kids and activities. Plus throw in some exercise, running a business and the fucking washing. We as a society are literally on the verge of burnout and we are teaching our kids the same. That life should be filled with constant activities and events, schedules and stuff.

What if we had to comply with this new normal? Working a few hours a day, spending time with your kids and less activities? Starting your day at the beach and just ebb and flowing not knowing what it’ll bring? What if it was deciding from week to week on what island you might visit, no bedtime, waking when you need to and having sandy feet and salty hair. Not having an address, insurance, cars and houses?

My new normal right now is not having any keys to ‘life’ (I literally do not own a set of keys), eating when I feel like it, resting when my body wants to and giving myself permission that this new normal is ok. It’s being spontaneous, adventurous with food, eating the nasi from the roadside warung and chatting to strangers. It’s been a lot to get here but this new normal feels exciting.

There are many things they do well in Bali. Two things at the top of my list would be laundries and nannies. For what’s probably the first time in our lives Noodles has been doing the laundry. This means he jumps on his scooter, drops it off, pays around $5 and collects it the next day, washed, pressed and folded. How are we failing so much at this in Australia? Where is the help?

Then throw in a nanny who can help in the home and care for the kids for anywhere from $300 per month. I bumped into a friend last week who was visiting Bali with her kids. We were at the water park and she was relaxing on a day bed and I immediately thought how the fuck? A water park is never a relaxing experience with kids but here she was just living her life being all nice and relaxed. Her kids were splashing around in the water with their nanny for $8. EIGHT! Australia? Where you at?

It’s these little tips and tricks that are starting to come together for us and as my Whatsapp contact list gets longer the new normal for us is looking bright. We are meeting more and more expats that have lived here for years and share their do’s and dont’s. Anything is possible in Bali and if it isn’t then you just pay for it to be. There is of course a Government but the people still manage to make shit happen even if the Government doesn’t. People here do everything with a smile. You can have anything delivered to your doorstep at any hour of the night. There’s lots of things that Bali does wrong but there are so many that it does right that makes life with a young family so much easier.

Noods just finished in the Bali Masters football competition with the Waratah Warriors from Darwin. He trained with the local team the Bali Geckos and they are keen to recruit him for the Asia competition. With games being played in Bangkok and Vietnam it definitely seems a little more exciting than heading to Marrara or Fred’s Pass Oval (sorry Darwin fam).

We made the trip over to Nusa Lembongan and are found ourselves another amazing guest house for $70 per night. The guest house is right near the beach and we have a double room meaning OUR OWN BED! Let’s hope Lola gets the memo on this one. We packed up our room in Canggu and had a local friend organise our transfer to Nusa Lembongan. It was as easy as waiting for a car that picked us up, dropped us at Sanur for the fast boat over to Lembongan.

In amongst what seems to be the fairy tale trip I can assure you there have been moments of frustration. One of the hardest things I’ve had to adjust to is slowing down and the second would be being with the kids all fucking day. It’s obvious that we are a very independent family and although we do enjoy the time together, I will need to look into activities that give us all a little space. I have moments of wondering if we are doing the right thing and feeling unsettled in the fact that we aren’t getting ‘ahead’ right now. But what is ahead anyway? I just breathe and remember that I wanted this for so long and know that one day when I look back on it I will be so grateful that I had this time and took the risk when it felt right.


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