Hello? (hello, hello) Is it me you're looking for?
Hi there, I’m back.
I’ll confess that my 2017 so far hasn't exactly gone to plan. After a wonderful week or two spent over New Year at the beach, we embarked on a major house-move in mid-January after which point everything went a little sideways. A classic case of 'life' getting in the way perhaps? Blog-wise, I’ve spent most it beating myself up about letting my schedule slide. My solemn promise to myself to write once a week has slipped as I’ve struggled to keep my head above water amidst a full calendar of work (good problem to have) and getting life figured out in the multitude of ways that come with living in a new postcode.
The big move
They say that moving house is on the same scale as bereavement and divorce in terms of stress levels. I never believed this before now - how could something so positive (in our case anyway) be so stressful? In true naïve/optimist style, I envisaged a few days of interruptions as we physically moved our things from House A to House B, before setting up my home office, hitting the ground running and getting on with things like work, blogging and business development.
The reality: I didn’t factor in that we were moving in mid-January, amidst Sydney’s most torrid heatwave in years. And we didn’t have air-conditioning in our new place. Or internet for a matter of weeks. What this translated to was me working from the master bedroom (mostly on our bed), at the front of the house where the 4G was best, fan on full-speed, just to keep up with the bare minimum my clients were after. On the hottest days I simply gave up and headed for the nearest shopping centre, mainly to feel the cool of the air-conditioning in the car on the way there.
I also failed to foresee the length of time that it would take to physically organise all of our belongings in our new house. The last time I undertook a big move, I was in my 20s and unpacking a two-bedroom flat, sans children, took a matter of days. Ten years later, with 10 years more ‘stuff’ and two children, I found that, when presented with an option between going the extra mile that blogging and business development essentially entails, or unpacking a few more boxes/getting the house in order, I chose the latter every time. Eventually the boxes subsided and I was left with plain old exhaustion due to the massive feat that we’d just accomplished.
Mostly, I didn’t anticipate the emotional realignment that would be required, both from myself and my family. My eldest child, a wee bright spark of a thing, struggled to adjust to a new preschool and the new house in general, which took its toll. My husband grappled with the change that the extra kilometres away from the CBD, on the other side of town, made to his commute on public transport, and as a result the time he was able to spend with the family each day. My youngest, a pretty much unflappable ray of sunshine, barely skipped a beat, bar for the plaintive pleas to see his best friend ‘Na-na’ who he used to play with every day at his old day care. And me? I’ve been trying desperately to throw any balls (let alone keep them in the air). Some things were absolutely non-negotiable, like keeping small children safe, bathed and fed every day, and some less so, like exercise and building a business. Realignment has been a harder process than I thought!
Time to reflect
And yet here we are, Easter Weekend, some three months down the track. It doesn’t seem like very long (now I have the benefit of hindsight) to have transplanted our life and re-established ourselves once again. We’re in a much better place; our kids have room to run, scoot, dance and play (and make more noise than we ever thought possible; sorry neighbours). We’re in a delightful 105 year old house that, whilst ripe for renovation, is so beautiful I still pinch myself. And I even have an operational studio-office at the back of the house that I can now work in! (photos to come; like many things, there is still work to be done).
And I take the time to remember what I wrote in one of the very first blogs I published:
…I get the strong sense that being an independent consultant is a marathon and not a sprint. There is always tomorrow, next week or next month. Reprioritising and rescheduling has become a key part of my business practice, as has being a little kinder on myself!
Nothing could be truer. And as I take the time this weekend to reflect on all I’ve achieved this year I realise that it’s not always quantifiable in terms of revenue or business growth. Sometimes it’s personal – and that’s just fine.
Have you had an unexpected start to 2017? I'd love to hear that I'm not alone! Let me know in the comments below.