Wednesday, 3 December 2014

exhale

Wednesday, 3 December 2014
It's been one of those weeks. The perfect storm. When we made the decision to leave it was, in part, about simplifying. Everything we needed to earn an income, feed our family and pay the bills, came from the city we lived nearby - as strange as it may sound, removing the tyranny of distance, was about simplifying.


The guest room doubles as sorting room


But of course, leaving means a whole new swathe of responsibilities too. Packing, sorting, cleaning, fixing, changing jobs, changing schools, and all while still doing the normal things in your daily routine which cannot be negotiated. Toddlers still need food and attention. Teenagers still want the same attention as toddlers, because even though they're more mature - its nice to know mum still cares.

Dad cares too, but he's been extremely busy working two jobs, until his former workplace closed down recently. We hadn't seen a lot of him as a result. The financial reward from all the overtime he earned, went straight into repairing his car when it died on the way home from work.




The old jalopy has already driven several hundred kilometres, and we're always asking for more. When she suddenly had a date with a tow-truck however, I had to drop what I was doing (grab the chainsaw - kidding! *almost*) and put everyone in the car to collect David from the mechanics.

Like the perfect storm, we never quite know where we stand, until it passes and we can pick-up the pieces again.


T'is the season



But we did receive the gift of four days off together, when David finally finished work with his former employer. What did we do with it? We watched DVD's, laughed, put up Christmas trees and there was even room for a daddy-daughter expedition, for cos-play, at a Sci-Fi convention.

We simply breathed for a moment and got to express our family ties. We certainly needed it. But it also made me realise how difficult it's going to be - this whole relocation thing. There isn't going to be a neat line between former life and new one. It's all going to be layered together, making it even more complex than it already is.


 Family time is so precious


My job (the main priority) is stop wasting oxygen, by hyperventilating. Yes, it sounds way more funny than it actually is. David's job is to keep holding us all together, by continuing to master the art of putting his feelings on hold, during a crisis. It does come in handy ladies, so don't underrate it *wink*. I wish I could say we were the perfect superheros for the job, but it's more a case of white knuckles all the way, and don't look down!

This bumpy ride will be our reality for the next half-year or so.  I'm not attempting to exaggerate - because the simplest things join the rest, to make a sizable Goliath in the end.

The small virtue I'm taking away from this experience however, is learning to exhale, with everyone else around me - and appreciating how incredibly human my family is.

13 comments:

  1. I once packed and moved my home in a day. I was single, owned hardly a thing. What happened was that I had procrastinated the move. On the flip side- the 3 year move to here. I once thrived on being a drama queen. Now, I am more like you-would need to remember to exhale under all the pressure you have faced. You are a strong woman!

    I think that when you find that you have decluttered enough-you will suddenly feel the move go smoothly. I think its the task of saying goodbye to so many memories when we declutter that takes the most energy. Do you agree?
    I love the photos here! The jalopy is funny! And I love that David and Sarah take the time to play like that.

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    1. We've definitely added to our possessions over the years, plus one more baby makes for extra things. My plant collection is going to take a trailer load, all on its own!

      I do believe you're right to say its the de-cluttering which takes the most energy. Not only because of the physical requirement, but because of the emotional detachment. I was just telling David, I'm saying goodbye to something on a daily basis. Because I'm such a homebody, its hard to live like that. Then again, for some people its an every day reality (being homeless or saying goodbye to their possessions) so my reality is put in perspective.

      I loved that car photo too. If you google jalopy, you'll see some amazing pictures. Even though they don't look anything like our car, the old 'jalopy' embodied the spirit of our car lately, lol. It also demonstrates the power of nature. ;)

      Dave and Sarah loved the convention in Brisbane and they did it all on budget too. Even a last minute passenger who wanted transport to the convention, paid for the expensive city parking. We have Facebook to thank for that timely arrangement. :)

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  2. Oh dear! There's no easy way to move house. Sounds like you're very aware of the pitfalls so that's half the battle won. Good luck with staying calm through the busyness.

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    1. Definitely not easy, but I'm also getting a lot of practice of staying calm, lol. ;)

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  3. Moving can be stressful, for sure. I think saying goodbye to memories is the hardest part, until planning in the new life takes over and keeps your mind on the present. You seem very level-headed so I'm sure you'll cope.

    (Now to see if this comment goes through OK and if it does, I wanted to also say how beautiful was the geisha drawing in your last post....which is when I got into trouble with the comments box).

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    1. I'm glad the comments work again! Thanks for letting me know on your blog you were having problems.

      Memories versus the new life though, you hit the nail on the head. Every time I work on the garden, I feel it the most. The contents in the house and the family will all move to the new location, but the garden - everything we built, will have to stay.

      The way I deal with it, is try and think like a garden. There is the parent plant which stays, but all their babies move away through seed. Well I'm a seed, about to leave the parent plant - my garden - its the way nature propagates itself. It's why I'm taking as many cuttings with me as possible too. :)

      Thanks for mentioning my drawing, I'm having fun exploring 'play' when I get the chance.

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  4. Chris, that was great to have a few days together to stop and enjoy each other. Have you got somewhere to move to up her on the hill?

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    1. Was it ever, great! We so needed it.

      Nowhere to move to yet, but we'll have to arrange a rental. Prices can be expensive, ranging between $240 per week (rare) to $450 (more common) for a 3 bedroom house. Our mortgage, rates, septic and maintenance, comes to just under $300 per week, so we can't really afford more than that. What we will save living in town though, is on fuel costs. If we get a rental in the right location, its possible school and work will be within walking distance.

      That's a big 'if" though. We have to take the necessary steps to find out. It's a gigantic leap of faith.

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  5. We have had a bit of a family crisis here and you are so right. Men put their feelings on hold and they get done what needs to be got done. The rock of the family so to speak. It's nice to realise this and I will be telling him so at first opportunity. :) And having a family day is a precious thing for sure.
    Take the packing and sorting 1 day at a time. Never sort things when you're having "a bad hair day" as you will regret what you toss out later. Label everything on all 4 sides AND the top and let the toddler decorate the boxes with stickers and textas. We moved with 2 preschoolers and a toddler. It was "fun". ;)

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    1. I hope your crisis was kind. Manageable, at least! Family are the first to feel our pain and our joy. It's constantly fluctuating, especially with children.

      A crisis is a good time to check the balance ratio in a relationship. it's often when our strengths and weaknesses show the most. With every crisis, I evaluate what we're doing - but we often seem to be balancing each other unconsciously. I think its just really hard to carry responsibility during a crisis (for everyone involved) and the trick is not to get caught-up in blaming anyone for reacting to that difficulty. A pat on the back for our husbands. :)

      I like your suggestions, regarding toddler involvement. I'm sure he'll want a part of what we're all doing, as he's just started appreciating drawing. We're fortunate he's sticking to the designated paper, but I'm sure the wall murals are next on his agenda. Perhaps I can distract him with a wall of boxes, instead. ;)

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  6. Sometimes the hardest thing about change is making the decision to do it. We're wrestling with job realities right now as well, but of a different sort. It isn't distance, it's the nature of the job. Dan has been a long distance truck driver for nearly 20 years and would love to get out of it so he could be home more, but neither is he cut out for factory or retail work and somehow no one is looking for inexperienced CEOs!

    Moving is stressful, though, even after the decision has been made. And why is it that I think I'll remember what box I put something into? One time I couldn't even find my "pack last and open first" box! Always a relief to have it behind you.

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    1. I believe I can be level-headed about it all Leigh, but you're right, moving is stressful. Sometimes you've simply got what you've got, and have to make the most of it, Even if forgetting where you packed something away, lol. I'm sure to have plenty of those moments!

      Our neighbour's husband is a truck driver, and he works like a bull out a of gate when he's home, and then you'd think no-one was home when he's on the road - its like a ghost town. But that's the nature of the work, isn't it. It must be so hard on you both, that particular job - no wonder you struggle with it.

      My husband and I are constantly toying with home businesses, though we haven't really committed to anything. Especially at this point in time. But I wonder if Dan could gain a line of employment that would actually help your homesteading efforts. Can he demolish old buildings/sheds for people, get small pay from the people wanting it gone, but also keep what he needs for the farm, and sell the rest?

      Any profit he makes can be claimed back on tax, for running a small truck required for the demolishing business. He doesn't have to take on enormous jobs, only ones he think he can manage. But I'm sure after a while, he may gain the help from other enthusiasts who would be happy to be paid in supplies too.

      This kind of work would also network him with others in the area, who may be happy to trade in shed raising days - so to speak. People come and work on your building projects, for example, while Dan then goes and helps build theirs. Less physical work for any one individual to take on alone. I know one of our great failings here, was not making networks with the neighbours - but perhaps you can relate to this, its hard to find the time!

      We're all working, and so the time we have available to help each other is different. The neighbours who have linked-up on a consistent basis to help with building projects, often share the same 9-5, weekends off, type jobs. My husband being in the hospitality industry, works weekends. We're always out of sink with the neighbours. Even though I'm completely comfortable using power tools myself, its awkward trying to break into a male dominated group, without your own husband to break the ice.

      But if it is possible where you are, perhaps that's an area Dan can look at? The hard part would be the change-over, working the truck driving job until he drummed up enough business demolishing.

      I just remembered another neighbour of ours when we lived in town. He was a mechanic, but didn't like working for others, so made his own business fitting a special kind of shock absorber he modified especially for 4WD's. His shop was the back of his 4WD, where he carried everything he needed to the location required. He could be gone for a week, or half a day, depending where he had to go - but every cost to operate his vehicle, came straight off the business tax he would have paid otherwise.

      I asked him one day if he made a lot of money in his business, and he replied, not if you have a good enough accountant. Which is a diplomatic way of saying they hide the profits, lol. All legal and above board, but he basically didn't have to pay for his own vehicle - his business did. Perhaps that's a similar model you and Dan can work from? Don't pay for your homestead development from your own pocket, let your business do it for you - legal and above board.

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