Last week when we were cleaning out the garage, I sorted through an un-opened box from the day we moved in down here almost 4 years ago now. There were a few sheets of paper, along with the real estate sheet with the the for sale details of our home. On the bits of paper were both Rob’s and my writing weighing up the pros and cons of both the new house we were thinking of buying in the country (in which we now live), and our (then) existing terrace house that we lived in the inner west in Sydney. I remembered writing these lists…trying to sit down and think seriously about the change we were thinking of making and trying to be grown up about it (apparently a list qualifies as grown up) rather than just using our hearts which we seem to do with all important life decisions we have made since we have been together for the past 10 years.
The lists looked like this:
For the Sydney house the pros were…
- close to friends and family
- good support network
- close to things we like – shops, cafes, restaurants
- proximity to Rob’s work and like-minded creative people (snort)
- close to parks (ha!)
- good Schools
And the cons for Sydney house were…
- busy road
- no parking
- noise from planes/traffic/roads/neighbours
- size of the house that we would grow out of
- no sense of space/room to escape from each other
- not feeling part of a community
- Beth being unhappy (this was mine in case you couldn’t figure that out!)
- Children being stressed
- pressure to keep up the pace of Sydney – lifestyle/work
The country house pros were…
- Amazing house & garden
- fresh air/scenery/location
- change of lifestyle
- chance to live DIFFERENTLY
- commit to community & being part of a community
- Build a live WE want to live
- friends & family to visit for quality time
- more family time together
- be proper grown ups (this was mine!)
- doing something I have always wanted to do (again me)
- time/space/impetus to get involved in things…in life
- sound of the driveway (this was Rob’s and it is indeed a very good sound)
- healthier lifestyle/eating
- pub (it is a great pub)
And the cons for the country house:
- away from family
- no friends/knowing NO ONE
- politics of small town
- getting back into Sydney if we wanted to
Interesting don’t you think? It was for us to look back on at least. All the things we were afraid of, were the things that we “thought” we “should” be concerned with. The niggling negative thoughts that get into your head about anything really that we listen to because we think we should. That self doubting voice that says “you can’t do THAT” only really because you haven’t ever done it before. Doesn’t mean you can’t now does it?
The move for us, as you all know, has been the very best thing we have ever done. It was scary and unknown but we have thrown everything we have at it – and it has rewarded us a million times over. We are part of a REAL community and we participate actively in it. We have a better social life than we ever had before. The kids are happy. WE are happy. If you had told me this time 4 years ago and Rob and I would be going head to head in the pickle category of the local show, if we would be the President of the P&C (Rob freshly appointed), part of the School of Arts and RFS, working on a local festival, all while looking after CHOOKS, a veggie garden, a garden that required a RIDE ON MOWER I would have laughed in your face.
Just because you haven’t, doesn’t mean you can’t.
Are you a pro/con list maker?
Ever made a big life decision based on one?
Just who will take out pickles in a clear sauce…Rob or I?!