Posted by: dsduffy | September 13, 2009

A year in a life

Some years go by and don’t stand out in our memories, nothing significant happened to shine a brighter light on them in the files of our brains. For example, I can’t tell you anything specific about 1986 except that I was in 6th grade and we went on a class trip to Mt Misery. Honestly there is nothing else I can recall from that year. Other years though, like 2000 when I got married and 2004, will always stand out from other years since I had my first son and earned the name “mommy.”  2007 is right up there too when Jake came along and brightened up our world.

And now 2008 – 2009 will always be the time we moved to Australia. The year we took a big breath, puffed out our chests and said “let’s go for it.”  We weighed the pros and cons, took inventory of all our possessions, deeming what was important enough to come along, and what would be packed away in boxes and sent off to storage.  

Looking back on this year in our lives, I wondered how it was for other people. So I sent out a short questionnaire to a handful of my dedicated readers to find out how their year went and what changes they had. I also wanted to find out what they thought of this here blog (thankfully nobody told me to shut it down, but I did get a request for more pictures, which I will definitely try to do!)

Here is a sampling of what has been going on in some of my readers lives (names & identities withheld for privacy) and the answers to the questions.

—I asked them if their last year went by quick or not. Everyone said it did go by fast, some related it to having kids and being so involved in daily activities, another because of a big birthday approaching, and another said the days go by slow but it seems the months and years fly by.

—I asked if it felt like we have been gone for a year, or if it felt shorter. The answers were pretty split, half saying it doesn’t seem like a whole year has gone by, and others feeling like we have been gone for longer. One reader said it may feel longer due to the seasons being different and because so much has happened in our lives. One is able to benchmark the years because of her job but still feels like we have been away for more than a year. My favorite answer is that it seems like we have been away for less than a year but that it took forever for us to get our cats (it sure did!) We obviously didn’t see everyone right before we left so some of my interviewees haven’t seen us for more than a year.

—I asked them if they had any major changes in their lives over the past year: 3 had new babies, 1 got pregnant, 1 moved to a new house, 1 changed jobs, 1 had a child start preschool, 1 realized she now has a teenager (yikes!) and overall people realized their kids are growing up. A lot really does happen in a year!

—My next question was what do you think the Duffy family “missed” in America over the past year. The most common answer was “The election of President Barack Obama.”  Others did not think we missed anything since we can still find out all the news and such from tv and online. Others mentioned that we missed family & friends, which is always a given!

—In order to get some feedback about how they feel about this blog, I asked if they felt they were kept “up-to-date” and if they got a good feeling for what life was like for us living down under. Everyone said they felt they were kept in the loop, and 1 even said she felt more involved in our lives then when we lived closer. They said they have learned so much about life for us and 1 said even though they wish they could visit, they feel like they have a good idea of what our everyday life is like.

I started this whole weblog as a way to keep my close family & friends up to date with what is going on with us. Also for them to feel like they are along on this journey with us. It has turned out that I have been able to help others in similar situations, complete strangers,  and this was something I never even thought of. It makes me so happy to be able to help people out in a situation like this – it is a bit overwhelming when relocating to the other side of the world.

At times I still can’t believe that we have been here for a year, we missed so much back home, and our family missed us for sure – but it still is only a year (so far) and in the grand scheme of life, it is a pretty short time.

Boys at the beach

Boys at the beach



  1. Delurking as one of the ‘complete strangers’ to say a quick hello! We are possibly moving from Melbourne across to Canada at the end of this year.

    So glad I found your blog – I’m reading all your early posts and getting so much useful info about planning for such a big move!

  2. Yes, your blog is a very important part in keeping us all connected. I love reading it and am disappointed when, occasionally, it has been a week between posts. One year down & counting! We do miss you so much, but thanks for allowing us to share your amazing adventure thru your beautiful writing. Love to all!

  3. Beautifully said, as always! We love being able to hear about your experiences and keep in touch. We also love the pictures…Kate likes seeing pictures of her first friends. Happy Australian anniversary!!

  4. I promise if you thought the last year went fast, this one will be faster!!! It’s scarey!!!! And before you know it you’ll be like me on american soil and crying at time to be back in melbourne!! Enjoy it really goes fast!

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