As I was clearing out my office this week, I stumbled across some of my ramblings from 2009 in one of my old writing books and started reading. They were on our repatriation to Holland after living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

It wasn’t the easiest of times as we had only just built a new home for ourselves and had found a rhythm to a life that seemed to fit us like a glove, when our adventure was over. But we wouldn’t have learned a thing from the strong and resilient Vietnamese people, if we didn’t get back up on our feet again quickly and, after maybe an ugly cry or two, make the best of it and give it our all. Shrugging their shoulders, the Vietnamese always seemed to be saying; “Roll up your sleeves, remember the good times and embrace tomorrow”.

Back in The Netherlands, the ‘how to beat the heat’- days were over and now in the cold and wet, without a place to live and no job to go to, we needed to start over. So how do you ‘start over’? How did we do that?

Practically, we got down to work; temporary housing was generously offered to us by friends and we found a school for the children. We also made an active decision to turn the situation into an opportunity and make a new life for ourselves near family, friends and the sea. We looked for work in which we could make a contribution and celebrated the steps we took. So my first response to how we got back on our feet would be along the lines of ‘a bit of luck, working hard, grateful for the educations we both received as it opened doors and a very fun and supportive group of family and friends’.

But as I continued to read, I was reminded about my inner turmoil about how to find our new way. Surprised to read stern words written to myself about how I should be courageous and dare to ask myself (and each other) important questions about how we wanted to change our lives, this time. Words on stepping into the arena, being brave and starting the day in a positive mode. An inner dialogue I hadn’t thought about for a while.

Almost always, my day starts very early and with a sense of Joy. At the time of our move, those moments before at dawn, when the light first appears, inspired me in my efforts to build a new home again.

And so it is, still today that all my new ventures flow from a certain place in the wee hours of the morning. When day breaks and the silence is almost audible.

So if you start the day watching the world as it wakes, you may hear the crispy morning leaves under the shoes of your very next step.

For me, at least, that is where I find the courage to start over and keep going my onward way.

Bon weekend everyone!