Another wonderful photo from Gordon Smith because I like it and because it seemed somehow to fit with this story.
One of my dreams for this blog is that it will develop to the point that reader questions and discussion become its core, allowing me to moderate discussion while feeding in new material from time about the wonders and diversity of Regional Australia. Given this, you will understand why I am so pleased to get comments and questions.
My last post Tree Change - defining your needs continued the story of Katrina and Tom and their search for a regional alternative. This story led Contessa to post a question that I thought we might discuss while I am doing the research to write the next post on Katrina and Tom.
I will quote Contessa's question in a moment and then provide some comments. Please feel free to post your own ideas as comments or questions.
My partner, Ian and I have talked about moving to Tassie for the past 10 yrs. I am a cold climate person and a passionate gardener and we both adore Tasmania, although the evil grip that Gunns seems to have makes me very angry and nervous for the future of this beautiful island.
We have the opportunity to buy our own slice of heaven, a certified organic property in Sheffield and I keep swinging back and forth with my feelings on moving. Every time I'm in Tassie I want to live there. Now we have the real chance to do it...I keep having emotional, unsettled, am-I-going-to-regret this thoughts. Will I miss our home of the past 12 years? What about leaving our 4 grown (early 20's) independent kids and family all here in Melbourne? Our entire lives have been spent here and we live in St Kilda.
I don't want you to tell me what to do...I just need some guidance on how to read and interpret my fluctuating emotions. It's not the physical stuff that concerns me, it's just KNOWING if this is the RIGHT thing. I JUST can't tell.I know this is a most unusual request...if you can think of anywhere else I could seek guidance, please let me know.
As Contessa says, only she and her partner can work this out. Our role is simply to help her clarify issues in her own mind.
I have not been to Sheffield for over forty years, so I thought that I should look it up on the web. Located 27k (27 minutes driving time) from the major centre of Devenport (population 26,000), Sheffield is a small community set in beautiful surrounds that has reinvented itself in recent years as a tourist centre. So Ian and the Contessa will be moving from the cosmopolitan urban life of St Kilda into a very attractive but much smaller community.
When you look at Contessa's concerns, the critical issue for her is to identify just what her real concerns are. Three issues arise:
- To what degree are Contessa's concerns due to lack of information? She and Ian appear to have done a fair bit of research, so this may not be an issue.
- To what degree are Contessa's concerns due to worries about risk, about burning bridges behind her? I think that the key here is for Contessa to write any such concerns down so that she can then then address them individually.
- Linked to 2, to what degree are Contessa's concerns due, as she really suggests, to worries about loss of things that have been important to her, the area that has been familiar all her life, the house, loss of contact with the family?
Number three is by far the most difficult because it centres on the important emotional content of life. It is also a major cause of relocation failure in that people find that they miss elements of their past life more than they expected. So it's not surprising that feelings should fluctuate.
There are no easy answers here. However, again I think that it helps to break things up into bits then look at just what each bit means. For example, how easy will it be for the kids to visit? How easy will it be to return to Melbourne from time to time? In some cases, you may be able to build some of these elements into your plans.
The advantage of this type of chunking approach is that it helps identify where the core concerns are.