In Which We Make A Decision!


Moving house is acknowledged to be one of the five most stressful experiences in the average human life. Right up there with death, and we all know how that ends. As I write, I am sending hopeful prayers to the god of British estate Agents, asking him to unearth their good natures which I know must lurk somewhere beneath their seemingly rhino-like hides and have them do their jobs properly for this little family. No more, no less. Sell my house, help me find the new one and then slip quietly away clutching my hard-earned in their paws. Simple. Stress is not something I wish to invite willingly in to my life. I am not very good at it;  I tend to over-react and have been known to bite people. Literally.

So why have we made this decision to up sticks and slink West by over 200 miles? A decision that will, inevitably, lead to more than a little over-crowding in my tiny stress pouch? Why would we willingly put ourselves through it?  Staying put is the obvious solution, isn’t it? 

Er….no.

I want to move. I’m done with the current status quo. For many of the usual reasons – changes in the local neighbourhood, changes in our lifestyle as a family, a general yearning for sea air, beautiful walks, friendly locals, more sailing, alternative opportunities for the kids, etc etc yawn yawn. Most of which I already have and will be sad to leave behind, but which I hope we will find again. We have made some truly great mates in our nine years in this locale, and we will miss them all horribly. Coupled with this, we know we are lucky to be thinking about moving at all at a time when many people are just looking for some job security, extra income or someone to even give them a mortgage.   

So why else? The simple fact is that I need to go. Some other, less conventional, reasons are also behind the decision. Not the least of which is the hole in my home and my life since the demise of my gorgeous labbie back at the end of last summer. The house, that haven of happiness after the hellish working day, would greet me with jolly children and a waggy-tailed pooch. All that has changed since his demise. Now I come back each day – we are talking almost seven months on – and there is no joyful canine greeting, no excited yelping, no-one to sit by my side at the dining table puffing biscuity breath into my face until I take him for a walk. No stench of dog or filth underfoot either, of course, which I acknowledge to be a minor upside but not enough to overcome my sadness and sense of loss.

That’s just the inside of the house. Outside is even worse. I have tried to walk the paths of the beautiful local estate lands three times since Fred shuffled off this Earth. Each time the lack of crunching feet behind me, or a black rump in front of me snuffling through the woods, has seen me return crying my eyeballs out. I don’t do crying, I promise you. Clearly, now, I don’t do walking either. If even the gorgeous local countryside no longer holds an attraction for me, then I am as they say “stuffed”. I know there will be those among you who think I have lost my mind – he was only a dog after all – I’ve lost a lot more significant others than that. But grief is a funny thing. You can’t plan it, you can’t even really understand it. You just have to acknowledge it is there, and that things have changed irreparably.

Another reason, perhaps even more non-sensical to the majority including the Man-Hog, is my panic that life is passing me by. Too short all together when looking at my parents – surely my best source of genetic life expectancy calculation – who both sadly croaked fairly early on into retirement and with so much still left to do in their lives. I don’t want to be that person – waiting and waiting for retirement, for the perfect time, whatever that even is? I fear “not getting it all done”. I want to go while I have such a desire, some sort of means to pay for it, and the determined will to change things for everyone in my family for, hopefully, the better. The Man-Hog is lonely at home, the kids are great but too pale and chesty, and I am craving fresh salty air and a change of pace like my own personal crack habit. I want to get on with it.

There are many more, very personal, reasons why we want to go but I shan’t bore you with them. Suffice to say it has taken two years to come to this decision and I am so glad we finally have!

Amazingly, we have the support of our two children for this move. Upping sticks as a teenager is not an easy issue for most to come to terms with. The Mini-Pig girl has GCSEs to contend with this summer, something we have to factor in to the overall move plan somehow. I know about enforced moves, I had to do it at the age of 18 and I couldn’t wait to turn my back on my parents and hightail it back to where I came from.  Luckily, the Man-Hog (the boyfriend du jour) was in situ back in the former homelands and it all worked out very well. But I remember the feeling of doom, of panic and of powerlessness. I have never wanted that for the children and if they had voiced any dissent for this plan, we would likely have re-considered. My kids positively embrace the idea. They are just as eager to get on with it now that any prevarication between the parentals has ended. I cannot count the number of times people have told us how lucky we are that the children are enthusiastic for this new era – I would be shocked except I am conceitedly proud of them and their ability to adapt. Living with a mother like me – the original Mrs Ants-in-her-Pants-Let-Us-Chuck-Ourselves-Off-A-Cliff-Today – it should really be no surprise. It is one less stress to have to deal with.

 So, the house is up for sale – I have smiled winningly at the estate agent and am praying I had no poppy seeds in my teeth at the time! The Man-Hog and I are venturing West hand-in-porky-hand on Friday for a nose around properties in our price range at the other end. All we need now is a fair wind and some good fortune. Oh, and estate agents that do their jobs. Watch this space.

 

Photo credit: http://businessinsider.com

 

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About pigletinapoke

I am a forty-something married mum of two, working in London and commuting a crazy amount of hours so I can enjoy living at the coast at weekends! I'm into netball, jointly coaching and running a successful ladies club. I also sail whenever I get the chance and took part in the Trans-Atlantic leg of the Clipper Round The World yacht race in 2009. I like movies, particularly stuff by Nancy Meyers in whose set designs I want to spend my life. I devour novels, biographies and anything to do with self-improvement. I like to drive fast and live slightly dangerously, attempting to experience everything and everywhere before my time is up. That's me in a nutshell - I hope you enjoy my blog. If you would like to use any of my articles or the pics, I would appreciate very much if you could ask me first. Never known to refuse to date. Thanks!

Posted on January 25, 2012, in Family Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Good luck, Piggy, I seriously wish you luck in your venture!

  2. Wow, how very exciting. I truly believe you are right about this seize the day stuff (well I would say that wouldn’t I, as the person who upsticked to take entire family backpacking), so well done you for making the decision, which is definitely the hardest part. I fully understand about the dog, they’re very special and leave a huge hole in our lives when we lose them. Will you think about getting a new one when you’ve moved?

    • You are my ultimate heroine! I would gladly swap a permanent home for one on water or travels through Vietnamese jungles – I think you were terribly brave. How’s the book coming along? x

  3. Where are you headed to? We are moving to. For many of the same reasons, only sadly ours doesn’t include sea air – but we will be a mere 45 minutes from it once we move. Not the same as being able to walk to a beach mind, but all of a sudden I just need to move. I think there’s something about people who hope on a boat and sail across an ocean who are seldom content just being.

    • I saw that – grand old city of York…love it there. Many a happy hour spent rummaging through The Shambles. And the home of highwayman Dick Whittington – my erstwhile alter ego. Good luck with that! Wish you were moving West with us, we could have torn up the Devon coastline together and syndicated a nice little 42 foot Beneteau. Ah well – the North calls you, and the coast calls me. Good luck to us both. x

  4. Moving will be the challenge you need. I can relate to Fred. Understatement of the decade. Our black lab left a hole in my life that may never be filled. For almost every day of 17 years he was with me. We lived in different houses, different countries – Sonny was the one constant ‘fixture and fitting.’
    As for walking sans dog – it’s torment, isn’t it? Unreal. Wish I was there to add a hug now and again.
    Family all for the move, valid reasons, too; it all points in one direction. Wishing you good luck and future happiness.
    I love the sensitivity and common sense of your blog. It’s a rare combination. I’m a fan.

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