So it turns out that moving house is about as easy as shoving a pinecone sideways up my own backside without the aid of Vaseline and is just as much fun. The housing market, or at least that in the East of Sussex, continues to be in the doldrums with some properties taking up to a year to sell. Let’s not even go there, I am already bored senseless with re-tidying my already tidy house. Then there’s the expectations of the children to manage: everyone advised us we needed to prepare the kids for such a large move so we did that. Thoroughly it would seem, and they are both fully on board with it. Now, of course, they just want to get on with it and they ask accusingly as another week goes by “So when ARE we actually moving?” as if there is something we can actually do about it. Aaggh!
So I have decided to stop the subconscious ramming of woodland flora up my own orifice and think jolly thoughts. Positive thoughts that may just, miraculously, bring forth the desired outcome.
To kick-start the process, I have been reading “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. I’ll confess I bought the book about two years ago and it has been gathering dust on my shelf ever since. I am not much given to introspection, Zen, mumbo-jumbo, belief in a divine power or NLP of any sort so this has been a first for me. Nevertheless, the current house-sale stagnation has forced me to seek out alternative ways to deal with my frustration other than verbally bashing the family or gnawing my fingernails down to a soggy pulp. Hence “The Secret” and its wise teachings. I remain unconvinced that positivity alone will move a matter forwards. I am also not given to trying to direct the future. I have always felt it best not to dwell too much on what I want to happen since I am usually thrust so deeply in amongst what IS happening that I can’t possibly contemplate a future past wine o’clock tonight.
There’s also this whole business of repeating affirmationsto myself like some sort of sad nutcase – the book does not mention when I am meant to do this? In private in front of a mirror, similar to a goldfish mouthing to itself in a tank? In public, on the train with complete strangers within earshot? When IS the right time to mumble comforting phrases to myself without appearing to be losing my marbles? I am still unclear on this point and have been doing them a bit ad-hoc until I figure it out.
I admit I would like my inner cynic to be proved very wrong. I have already found the basics of the book helpful. I have (in the bath) told the Universe I am worth my weight in gold, I have (in my car) written a “cheque” to myself for what I think I need for our future, and I have thought relentlessly positively for countless days now. If nothing else, the upside of such concentration is the halting of my descent into a negative screeching spiral of: “Mo-fo busstard estate agent from hell!” or “Asswipe ignorant two-bit cheap prospective purchasers!” etc. Which can only be a very good thing. So let’s see what happens – come on, Universe, surprise me!
To end, I thought I would share today’s positive thoughts with you: Firstly, I feel notably thinner than I did yesterday for reasons I cannot fathom given the sheer number of Rich Tea biscuits consumed before bedtime last night. Secondly, I have no noticeable plants of an alpine nature growing from my butt. It’s all good so far. Watch this very uplifting space.
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?
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.
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