Tuesday 26 May 2009

Pressure, what pressure?

I received this book today in the post, from Maggie in Toronto, who sent it after she read that I was considering a move away from Newcastle. She did say that it might confuse me and perhaps make my decision making even more complicated, and she may well be right. So far, though, it's the telling, rather than the deciding, that is the most stressful.

So far, reactions from friends and family when I've said, ever so lightly and carefully, that I would be looking at moving away to the west, have been mixed. That is, a mix of negatives. You'd think I was leaving the Shires for ever and taking ship with the Elves and Frodo. The Lovely Son's response doesn't really count, as he hasn't a clue about the location of any town or city that he hasn't actually lived in.

But mostly, the response of other people hasn't been encouraging either. There's been some vigorous pushing of awful alternatives such as local towns, although I've said repeatedly that I wouldn't want to live in them (too Grim-up-North, with awful weather, or dormitories for the city) but today's was the most succinct. Rose rang, and in the course of an otherwise riveting conversation about paint colours and home improvements, I mentioned timidly that I would be looking to move, perhaps to Devon, when my house was finished and fit to sell. Tersely, and in her best Lady Bracknell tone, she said "It's packed out down there!" (this from the only one of my friends who has travelled in China, where it's a little bit packed out too). More of the same was to follow; it's getting to be a familiar refrain now, distance, loneliness, expense, crowds, abandonment (mine, of friends).

My sister has been encouraging though, and says that I must live wherever I like; as she intends to be spending a great deal of her future retirement in Greece, I suppose the idea of distance and life in a strange community is less daunting to her.

Maggie, usually the optimist, says I will have plenty of time to decide where to go, as it will take ages for the house to sell. I think I will tell everyone now about my wanting to move, then not ever mention it again, perhaps right up to the day before the removals van arrives to take me to the Grey Havens......


_lethe_ said...

Don't let them pressure you into staying! Trust your own instincts.

You plan to stay in Britain, so that's hardly the end of the world, and with all the modern means of communication these days it will be easy to keep in touch with the people you'll leave behind. No need for them to feel abandoned, and no need for emotional blackmail.

Anonymous said...

I sooo know what you mean - two things my dilemma before it resolved taught me, and in case they make any sense for you here they are - 1. people generally do not like change, they often respond in a totally subjective, negative and selfish manner and grumble whilst they do it. This has lead to my wanting to move away from them asap. 2. They are envious of your ability and courage to make life changing decisions when they can't. Overall people ought not to give their advice and opinions unless asked for them (I am breaking this golden rule I know) and when they do they should try being rational and kind so that it frees you up to be solely heart and mind driven, by your heart and mind, not theirs! See you in the south west may be? I tell myself that I can always sell up and move back to the midlands or north or where ever if it all goes wrong. I have nothing to lose though. I admire your good humour whilst you're going through this process.

Gretel said...

This is YOUR life. If you really want to go, go. And your friend is wrong (or highly opinionated Devon is not packed out, only in one or two areas. Head for Mid/South Devon or East Devon, (we've just decided the north IS too isolated) or Somerset even. Hear hear to not giving in to emotional blackmail, your friends etc will just have to make the effort to keep in touch, and if they can't be arsed...well. I really can't imagine people being so selfish as to try to stop a friend doing a life changing thing, they should be cheering you on and pre-booking for holidays!

rachel said...

Don't worry, I'm beyond pressure. It's just a bit wearing, having to steel myself to raise the subject and watch the reaction. I've talked for years about selling up, so this isn't a surprise, but I've never been able to state firmly where I would go next, and that's shaken up friends who probably thought it was all hot air, all those years! And thank you for the support and advice; I shall start exploring soon, and may need more of the same!

Anil P said...

I would like to believe that in time every place becomes home, some more so, others less so, but a home nevertheless.

Like someone once rightly said home is where the heart is.

Marie said...

I'm not sure why people are afraid of the thought of your moving...and after all, as _lethe_ said, you're staying on the Isle. Which is SMALL. I suppose we don't like change and are threatened by it.

Do you read the ginger cats' (we three cats) blog? They are in Wales...Jackie's pictures are so gorgeous I want to live there, too!

Good luck with the adventure.

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