Wednesday morning, Sept 27th had finally come to carry us back to America. We packed our bags to the brim and left the rest of our New Zealand possessions in several boxes in the hall for the maids to parse out amongst themselves. Our plan was to go to town for our last breakfast but we found ourselves having just enough time to get to the airport to return our trusty rental car and get checked in. Our first leg of the journey was on Jetstar. We were flying directly back to Auckland and then onto America on Air New Zealand.
We arrived in Auckland with 7 hours before takeoff so Bob had arranged a meeting in Auckland with Colin Nairn’s sister Joan. We got all our luggage checked in and grabbed a cab to Joan Nairn Bielby’s home.
Joan welcomed us to her home by giving us a tour of everything…even the linen closet. We were shown the two bathrooms and guest room as well. She had invited Ross MacFarquhar, who is a family member on the other side of Joan’s family and also the man that Colin Nairn entrusted all the genealogy work he had done before he passed away.
Joan was quite an accomplished business woman. She told us all about it. She married but never had children. In the end we were able to take pictures of what genealogy she had. The connections are not clear with her. Colin is her brother but he lists two mothers on two different pedigree charts with two sets of siblings. We have reached out to the family to get clarification. So once again, we dined with a family we aren’t sure is ours!
We grabbed a cab back to the airport and made our way to the airplane that would take us home…
This is the view of us leaving Auckland.
And this is our view when we landed safely in Phoenix! When you travel across that much water it can be a bit unnerving. I said an instant prayer as the wheels touched ground for our safe arrival home.
We drove over 5,000 miles, walked 600 miles and road a bus and two ferry’s for a 500 miles.
And now the battle with jet lag…uggg.
It feels just like this!
We were landing just in time to head up to the ranch to see our kids and watch General Conference. I was a little nervous as to how we were going to handle our jetlag because I thought we landed on a Thursday. When I let everyone know that we had landed safely Kendra texted and said she thought we weren’t arriving until Thursday…I told it was Thursday and then checked my watch…WEDNESDAY! Bob and I spent the whole next day regrouping and sleeping in intervals to adjust. I am glad to say that after a week we are finally adjusted.
Friday came. Kendra and Jessica were coming up with their kids so we jumped in their cars and headed for the ranch around 2:00. We go 4 months without seeing the lodge all the time but this time my stomach was full of butterflies. I was so excited to spend this time with our Arizona family and to see the lodge!
When we arrived I heard the squealing of my Worsley grandchildren coming from the kitchen. It was a bit dark but when they finally located me it was the greeting of a life time. Joy, Joy Joy all around.
October Conference 2017
I was particularly excited to watch general conference because of our time away. I wondered how it would feel and what would be said that would confirm all the things that I had learned in our time away. I remember the last two days in New Zealand Bob and I talked about how we were feeling about going home. Had we done enough, accomplished what we set out to do, were we fully committed to the life changes we had determined to make, would we be resolved or fall back into the chaos that we left? It was hard to tell…until we got home.
Everything is new for me. Our cars, our home and even the streets that we have driven for almost 37 years. I felt light and lite, almost as though my resolve for a new way of living made everything new again. It feels as though even Bob and I are starting with a new view of each other and our marriage is even new. This time away with just each other helped strengthen our relationship by working through and letting go of our old scripts and starting a new dialogue…one that is safe and open. Our new regard for each other, minus the old baggage, has transformed us. I feel so much stronger as a woman and a daughter of God. I am clear on who I am, why I am here and with whom I trust to guide me along my mission. I just don’t care what the world thinks anymore. I am on His errand and that is so liberating. I feel divine purpose. My view of Consolari is one of…I’ll do my best in a healthy way. In the end, I will not sacrifice what is most important to me for a hope of something I cannot control the outcome of. I am embracing essentialism and losing the chaos. The books and study that went into this sabbatical helped me find my way back to myself. The greatest insight was that we detect our mission, not invent it. The authentic life based on guiding principles like love, courage, faith, commitment, hard work. These will guide me.
The ability to get far enough away was key to our success. We simply could not respond to issues back home. Even the time difference acted as a filter for communication. I have told several people that God either started or ended with New Zealand. His hand in creating this beautiful place gave us both a lot of reasons to feel awe and regain our eternal perspective. It was hard work to be sure. There was both laughter and tears. We both felt the benefit of detoxing and letting go. We rewrote our old scripts in almost everyway. My tendency to live in fear and smallness did not serve me, my mission or God.
Bob’s thoughts on the Sabbatical:
- Sabbaticals Rock! Relax, detox, read good books about what’s important in one’s life, personality profile yourself again, detect your mission, meaning and purpose in life given your unique talents, decide which jungle you should be hacking trails in, which wall gets the ladder, then simplify to the essentials you will spend time on for the rest of your life. Go somewhere very different and as far away as possible to shake your mind out of its comfort zone and think differently. Clear your calendar and block as many distractions from home as possible. Go home refreshed and ready to engage with what really matters and is consistent with who you are!
- Really enjoy meeting new people and making connections. To tell you the truth our methodology was unorthodox…family tree connections which is the ultimate in connectivity and attending random branches of our church and socializing a bit.
- See the unique natural sites of the area.
- Hike, walk, bike, or just sit on the beach, a bench in the park or a rock on top of a mountain…breathe and be in the present with the totally unique canvas God has made for man!
- Specifically, we will do less, focus more, go big on the few things we chose to do, be true to our distinct gifts and go for maximum impact for the balance of our lives…planning on max of 20 years.
- Landing back home with family that missed us dramatically and capping the sabbatical with a Spiritual Feast from the LDS General Conference (12 hours of best wisdom in 10-15 minute “TED” talk chunks).
- Work product from Sabbatical was a gift to my father on his 90th birthday of 800 pages of research on Forsyth line in New Zealand that our family didn’t know existed. The work product is the start of dialog with extended families in the USA and New Zealand.