Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Winds of change

I've been thinking a lot this week about parenting. Since becoming a parent, it's all been about providing a stable environment for the kids. A safe, comfortable (albeit squashy) home. Good people around to be friends and protectors and inspiration. A good school. Somewhere to play that's safe and fun. Reliability. Security. Stability. 

Then I read posts like this from the always wonderful Eden, who is throwing in the house and instead is going to live overseas with her kids for part of every year. Swapping work and life stress for adventure. Spending more time together. Seeing the world together. Living life.
And I start thinking, which is better for me? 

Creating a life for the kids where they walk through the same door every afternoon to the same meal. Growing up with the security of the same friends and family around them. This is a wonderful and secure life to lead. A base for a great life.

Then I think, but is it living? Are we forsaking today (and ourselves) to provide a 'safe' tomorrow? Wouldn't being adventurous and taking risks be just as educational and enriching? Does it have to be the same roof over our family's head? Does it matter if there are lots of different ones, as long as there is one each night. 

It doesn't necessarily mean moving physically, but perhaps moving careers. Or moving directions. These will all have similar impacts. 

When we moved into our house, a lot of people asked why we didn't live in the area where we grew up? Where a lot of our family and friends still live. I didn't want to live in that area as I wanted to feel I had grown, had moved, was breaking the cycle. That I was doing something different. I didn't want my kids to go the same school I was went to. I wanted movement, growth, however small and seemingly insignificant. Growth and stability in one. Creating my family's life – secure and settled.

Secure and settled. Secure and settled. It's been my mantra.

It feels like the universe is pushing for change though. Everyone I meet or speak to are embarking or about to embark on big change. Shaking things up. Taking sudden veers in the course of their lives. Unexpected opportunities. 

It makes me wonder if I'm going to be just an observer to all this change or be swept up in it too. With all this pondering, I'll be ready for an answer 

17 comments:

  1. You're questioning far too much to remain wedged in place. I think you'll have your own adventure, in your own way. I think that when we notice these things around us, and they speak to us, it means we should listen.

    It's so hard to step back from the daily busyness to work out what it is that we really want - but I think you'll be doing something fabulous. xx

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    1. A fabulous adventure sounds, well, fabulous!

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  2. I LOVE this post. And what Linda said .. you're questioning it, which means you're open to a lot of things most people may not be.

    The real-estate agent is coming this week, to talk about when we list this huge massive family dream house that Dave built. HA. Then we shall move to a kind of shack, until he can build another one. We have a growing family and we're downsizing because we are CRAZY. There's pros and cons to everything ... you have totally named something I will be writing more on, which is being "safe" just because we have children. And i've only just realised this myself.

    xxxx

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    1. So not crazy. Fantastic, more like it.

      Good stuff coming your way Eden, I feel it.

      Can't wait to read your post about being "safe".

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  3. My parents moved our family to Brisbane, and all our rellies were in Gosford. We were the first to leave. Same with my Mr's family and Victoria - although he grew up in PNG and ended up in Brisbane. Both of us had older sister, and our sisters travelled and lived overseas, and these brave women forged the way for my siblings and my Mr's siblings to all live overseas too (funnily enough, neither of our youngest siblings have moved away from Brisbane ever).

    When I was 22 I moved from Brisbane to Sydney, then at 26 from Sydney to Ukraine, then at 29 from Ukraine to Darwin, and now, at 32, am on the cusp of moving once again. Outside of Australia. It's a little different now because we have kids, and they are growing up, but I've always thought family is the people rather than the environment, and as long as I am there to give them a meal somewhere at the end of the day, then they can't need for too much else.

    And yet, lately, as the decision to move has been weighing on my mind, I've wondered whether there is something wrong with the Mr and I psychologically… Are we running away from something that we don't realise? Really and truly we've both just wanted to travel and live and experience other cultures… I don't know. But when it really boils down to it, after 10 years away, we just can't return to Brisbane yet. We're not ready for that 'easy' life… And even though the next destination scares the crap out of me, I'll regret it if I don't go.

    (sorry for long comment. We have only finally made decision about moving today and haven't really debriefed with anyone yet so your blog it is!)

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    1. Love the long comment.

      I travelled with my family as a small child, living OS. Definitely something I want to do with my kids, some day.

      Good luck with your adventures! Xx

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  4. I really like this post.

    I've always wanted to travel, a lot. It's a big dream if mine, to see the world, and immerse myself in a new culture, get to know it and it's people. But to do that properly, you have to live there, I think.

    In my 20s, I always hoped I would live o/s for a stint with the kids - my career could have easily taken me there if I'd pursued it. But then kids happened ... 1, 2 and 3 on the way. How to fit it in? I'm so much more scared to do it now. And, to be honest, I think the ship has sailed on me being the one to do it.

    Mr P23 and I fantasised the other day about where we would go. Asia, particularly China, is a big dream. I would like to think if we could live there for a while with the smalls, we would. There are no oppys for him like that right now. But I hope one day there might be. What a gift to give your kids, living overseas?

    For now I live vicariously through other people...

    x P23

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    1. I hope that dream comes true for you some day!

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  5. Secure and settled, that is me. I have always been this way... but like yourself, often question if this is right, if this is IT, if this is the way it is MEANT to be. I guess being an over-thinker doesn't help my ideas for adventure... because I'll always be wondering about the what if's!?
    It would be so good to have the courage and inclination to mix it up a bit. After all, nothing is certain, no matter where we live or what we do. Plenty to ponder Corinne xo

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    1. It's good to think about it, so you're open when opportunities arise. Still nothing wrong with settled!

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  6. No-one ever says when they are old "I wish I hadn't tried new things". We have a philosophy of still doing things we want to do, but bringing the kids along for the ride.

    We went to China and Malaysia a few years back with a 1 and 4 year old. Best experience ever. We did have to make a few accomodations to meet their needs, but it was such a great experience for them.

    Now we have moved to the country to try a different life. At times it has been hard, but I can see that this life is a great experience not just for us, but for the kids too. We are not sure whether it will be permanent or not, but we see it as an adventure for the family.

    Our next adventure is to travel through Vietnam with a 2, 5 and 8 year old - fingers crossed on that one.

    We also plan to do a house swap for several months in about 3 years time.

    My hope is that as we try out new things, our kids will learn skills and values that will make them well rounded, broad minded adults. I hope that we create many happy and lasting memories that will stick with them.

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    1. Good luck with your Vietnamese adventure, it's a great place with kids. I have family there.

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  7. You know, the only time we really know whether or not we made a good decision, is after the fact. I would say just follow your own instincts. What others are doing may or may not be right for you, but you're the only one who will ever know that. x

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  8. I moved around a lot as a child initially and I hated it - but really, the thing that was so unstable in my life was the lack of a father - in end nothing to do with place. I think the true stability we provide for our kids is in our love and stable relationships with each other and with them - thats what gives them security. We moved from the inner west to the blue mountains so that we could have the stable, larger, family home and its been great on many levels - yet my own spirit yearns for what you have daily - the inner west!!! I have come to realise that all places that we spend time in hold connection for us - and there are many places to call home, some just for a short time, some forever.

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  9. So much to think about Corinne and Eden!
    I always thought I'd travel and see the world, but put those plans on hold for marriage and kids.
    For now i know the next twenty years at least will be spent on the farm, that's the nature of the farming life I married into. It would be great though if we could throw some adventure in every so often, I think it helps kids to broaden their horizons and their minds.
    I do worry though that living in a small town could be limiting, so I'm desperate for them to travel, explore and live elsewhere when their older, then if they still want to move back to the farm of the nearest town, great, but get some other life experience first.

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  10. Great post Rin!

    I too know exactly what you are talking about. I have this discussion with myself every week.

    Is there more to this life? You only live once, make it count etc... But making sure my kids are well educated and stable is very important too. But what makes a good education? 13 years of private schooling? Or a childhood of experiencing different adventures all over the world? Or at least somewhere new.

    I lived in Singapore for 2 years and that wasn't long enough for expatriation. Next time, I want to live somewhere for at least 4-5 years.

    Until then, we just try and take mini breaks to restore and revive our minds. And give hope to the idea that one day we might take THAT leap...

    xx

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