Monday Musings: never say never

I’m occasionally a fan of being overly dramatic. I have a particularly high tendency to say things like “Ugh! I’ll never {insert any totally plausible action here]!”  The expression never say never is designed for people like me. More often than not, I do exactly what I say I’ll supposedly never do.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m with you on this one Bieber.

Over the last few years alone, I have a lengthy list of never-do’s that have turned into my reality:

  • I’d never be interested in golf and I’d certainly never choose a round of golf over hiking
  • I’d never date someone in the suburbs (it’s true! my entire relationship right now is based on a major oversight on my part)
  • I’d never live anywhere but in the city centre
  • I’d never move to the Okanagan
  • I’d never quit my job without something else lined up
  • I’d never buy real estate when I could just rent
  • I’d never go back to working in a traditional, corporate environment
  • I’d never be willing to do the rush hour commute from the ‘burbs

See? I told you it was a long list. This is the danger of saying never. What I’ve realized for me is that “never” really means “not right now”. I could never (see? there’s that word again!) have predicted my circumstances would shift so dramatically over the last couple of years, and how much that would impact my priorities. Everything from my relationship to my injury to my career insights to the real estate market have caused major ripple effects.  Suddenly the things that used to be never’s seem not only perfectly logical but also overwhelmingly exciting.

There’s so many other never-do’s that I still live with, yet I’m considerably more cautious with them than I used to be. I cannot predict how my priorities and goals will continue to shift. What seems like  a never-do today may once again be the most compelling of choices a year or two from now. So while I may still utter the words from time to time, I’ll do so knowing that it’s pure drama and maybe, just maybe, I’ll do just that thing when the mood strikes me.

Monday Musings: Change, change and more change

Pull up a chair and let me tell you some of the big things on the horizon that I’ve subtly alluded to over the past couple of months but never really talked about. Behind the scenes, we’ve been quietly working away at some big-time moving and shaking. It’s been exciting, exhausting, stressful and, at times, utterly overwhelming.  But mostly it’s exciting.

We are moving! To the Okanagan! The heart of wine country (in Canada, at least)! Lakes! Rolling hillsides! Slower pace of life! Yes!!!!!

I don’t even know when or how it all started. At some point while I was still on my work hiatus, we got the crazy thought “what if we sell our house and move to the Okanagan?” It seemed like a pipe dream at the time, but slowly we started investigating the situation. On a wine weekend, we hopped into an open house smack dab in the heart of wine country. While that particularly property wasn’t the right fit for us, it was the small action that set us off on a path to full-blown can-we-actually-do-this research.

Now, not even two months later:

  • I’ve started a new job for which I had to negotiate a trial period of working in a different region.  The jury’s still out on whether it will actually work, but we’re going to give it a whirl.
  • We’ve staged, listed and sold our current house and have to be out October 1st.
  • We bought a new house that won’t be ready until February 2018, which means…
  • We’ve been on the hunt for a temporary rental to carry us between our move-out and move-in dates.
  • My partner in crime has resigned from his job and will wrap up work in two short weeks, at which point he’ll start looking for work in our new ‘hood.

There have been a lot of stressful weekends driving up to the Okanagan on a moment’s notice. There’s been a lot of last minute cleaning in preparation for showings (thankfully the real estate market is ridiculous here and our house sold lightening fast). There’ve been a lot of mid-day phone conversations about upgrades and offers and counter-offers. There’ve been flurries of emails to mortgage brokers, realtors, relatives, rental agents, and prospective employers. So yeah, we’ve had a lot of stuff on the go in a short period of time.

Chances are things won’t slow down much for the foreseeable future. While it’s tiring a lot of the time, and certainly gets in the way of consistently blogging, it all feels like the right move (pun intended) and I couldn’t be more excited for the future.  Change is rarely easy, especially when you combine multiple major changes all at one time, and yet sometimes it’s exactly what you need to align your life with your priorities.

We’ve wanted a number of things to shift in our life. We’ve wanted a slower pace. We’ve wanted to have a life that doesn’t revolve around stressful jobs that pay well but don’t necessarily hold personal meaning.  We’ve wanted to be closer to some of the things we love (golf, wine, new trails for me to explore, etc.). We’ve wanted to get as close to mortgage free as possible so that we have more time and need less work to do more of the things we love. We couldn’t envision any of that happening here in the Lower Mainland. While the move isn’t going to instantly satisfy all of these wants, it will get us considerably closer in the short term. In the long term, it creates the ideal conditions for a life we’ll both love.

So for now, even in the midst of the stresses and annoyances of moving (ugh, moving, am I right?) I am trying to remind myself of all the positives on the other side.  Bring on the change!

Mid-Week Tangent: Rage & Furniture Assembly

Moving inevitably involves putting furniture together and/or taking furniture apart. I know that I will not be alone in my absolute disdain for these tasks. Does anyone actually like putting furniture together? There is a reason retailers offer white glove service and that reason is people like me. Yet somehow people (ahem, like my boyfriend) are always convincing me that I shouldn’t ‘waste money’ on things like furniture assembly. To them I say, yes, yes I should. And so should you.

Putting together and taking apart furniture fills me with rage. Rage. Like the kind of cursing, talking-to-yourself, giving-up-on-the-task-for-minutes-on-end, seething-on-the-inside rage.  I’m not saying it’s a normal reaction, but I am promising you this is what occurs.  And I’m not even talking about complicated furniture assembly here. It doesn’t matter how simple it is. For me, the struggle is still real.

I am cursed with a personality combination that is, I think, particularly troubling for tasks like furniture assembly: I have virtually no patience and I lack any visual spacial perception.  Those wordless drawings that come in furniture guides, those are meant for people capable of visualizing shape rotation and scale. That is not me. I am just lost, plain and simple. This is troubling enough on its own but to add insult to injury, this lack of visual spatial perception triggers my lack of patience like nothing else. Rage.

The product of 1.5 hours. The bigger question is whether it will collapse once I put books in it.
The product of 1.5 hours. The bigger question is whether it will collapse once I put books in it.

And don’t even get me started on those alan keys. Shouldn’t all furniture assembly require only a simple screwdriver? Everyone owns a screwdriver. No one owns an alan key. They come with the furniture and then promptly get stored in the place where random tools go to die. In other words, you can never find them when you need them. To top it off, they are always the wrong size. I may have just spent 1.5 hours taking apart a table because I had to turn the alan key in ridiculous quarter-turns because it was too long to fit into a tiny inside corner of the table. Rage.

So tiny and yet so capable of evoking pure and utter rage.
So tiny and yet so capable of evoking pure and utter rage.

All I can say is from this day forward absolutely no one can tell me not to pay for furniture assembly. No one.

Mid-Week Tangent: Moving Sucks

On a scale of 1-10, my disdain for packing is about a 100. I think that’s fairly normal, actually.  I don’t know anyone who loves packing.  For me, though, packing is an extra onerous chore. The worst part is that it’s totally my own fault.

I am a pack rat. I keep things because “I might need that one day” only I never need these things. Instead, they end up stuffed in cupboards, piled in storage rooms, overflowing from tiny bins that I buy for the sole purpose of organizing my crap.

My thoughts exactly.
My thoughts exactly.

Every single time I move, I get rid of an astounding amount of crap. And when I look at that pile of crap I tell myself it will never happen again. I will not stockpile useless objects. I will throw things away or, better yet, I won’t even acquire them in the first place. Yet here I am staring at another giant crap pile. Currently, it is taking up my entire dining area though, to be fair, in a 500 square foot condo the dining area isn’t terribly large. Still, it is a lot of crap for one human to possess.

To make matters worse, I have failed to learn the lesson of decluttering despite a ridiculous number of moves.  If you think it’s only been a handful of times and that maybe, just maybe I’m just learning slowly, you would be very wrong. I have moved not once, nor twice, but a mind-boggling 16 times since 1998. Clearly this is beyond slow learning.

Alas, if things are quiet on this front this week and next, it is not because I am not devoting time to SI recovery.  No, it is because I am surrounded by crap, crap that I willingly and single-handedly acquired and which now makes moving easily my least enjoyable life experience.

Happy Wednesday.