Nearly there. An early night tonight and early morning tomorrow.
Right now I’m spending the last two nights in Wahroonga as I finalise packing. It’s hard not to be a little reflective as in the next few days I will be taking the final steps of an enormous change in my life.
In fact the last six years have seen a roller coaster of change in what for so many years appeared to be so predictable and commonplace. However over the last six years, and particularly the last two, my life has changed so much … and all for the better. Six years ago I thought my lifelong dream of living in the country was no longer an option. A few years later, a redundancy after 30 years of corporate life and a period of timeout gave me the opportunity to rethink my priorities and what I might really want to do for the next period of my life. I had a choice to view change as an opportunity or a problem. I know what works best for me and decided to use this as a the time to be brave, make the most of change and not have regrets.
This adventure started out as looking for that elusive work/lifestyle balance as I sought to keep my foot in the corporate door, albeit part-time, and enjoy a country life. It took very little time to recognise that the lifestyle was winning and that it was time to opt out of a career that I have enjoyed and provided me with the opportunity to take this step. My girls had made their decision to be independent, which made the decision to do something for me much easier.
It seems fortuitous that on my 55th birthday I will be spending my first night in my new country home fully relocated. It’s hard to believe that 15 months ago I hadn’t heard of Kandos and a Convent was inconceivable. Or that I would be tackling significant renovations. Or moving permanently to the country. But somehow it seems so right.
I’ve realised that to a degree I haven’t escaped the corporate work ethic and often spend a full day working through my “to do’s” in the garden, particularly in the lead up to the Kandos Gardens Fair, and that I project manage renovations and I always have a prioritised list. However I’ve promised myself that in the next few months there will be some guilt-free down time. I want to knit (sadly neglected). I want to bake (I can’t remember the last time I made a cake or biscuits), I want to read (I was once a voracious reader but too many things have distracted me). I want to try new things. I don’t want to schedule these activities or make more lists, but this will take some time before it comes naturally. I’m also looking forward to joining some of the local community and interest groups – to meet new people, put something back into a wonderful and welcoming community and also to pursue interests that have been on back burner or yet to be realised.
Anyway, right now I’m just pacing myself to get through the final packing and move. There is so much to be done that I really shouldn’t be sitting writing a blog post. But by Tuesday night, my life will be moved to Kandos and a new phase commences.
I have sold my Sydney property which is a big step and a relief in now moving into a new life. However it means deadlines for moving out of Sydney and packing everything up. I’m doing trips to Sydney at least once a week to move things here as well as pack boxes for the removalists, which is surprisingly unsettling.
I’ve only lived at our place in Wahroonga for around five years which is a short time for me, but for many reasons it has been more a home to me than other places. It has been a haven and home for the girls and me, had many good friends through the door and holds many happy memories. Now I’m packing, I’m really missing my girls and realising that they have moved out and we won’t be together again like before. All is good – we’re all doing what we want and is right for us, just a jolt to realise that everything has changed so much. And permanently.
Anyway, Wahroonga is being vacated over the next month, the Convent is becoming more established (a proper fridge and a garbage bin are contributing to the feeling of permanence), I’m making an effort to fit into the local community here and the garden is consuming a large amount of time.
It has now well and truly set in that this has been an enormous move in so many ways, but also feels so right. The dogs have made themselves so at home so quickly from only ever knowing a townhouse. It’s a bit strange given it has been such a big change for them, but they have never appeared uncomfortable with what was asked of them – from the constant long drives (from non-car dogs) to the new house and gardens. It’s a good sign. Their presence and obvious enjoyment has made the transition much easier for me – they have been great little companions through all this. I only hope they will embrace some additions to the Convent. I’m not sure that Roxy will make chooks or another dog or cat very welcome, but I’d love to get some more animals.
Anyway, I’m now so far past the point of no return and have taken so many life-changing steps over the last 18 months. So far it all seems right, just challenging and so much change to take in …