So, where to start? I guess with the inspiration, which was listening to Rhonda Hetzel on Radio National the other day talking about the changes she made in her life a while ago. Realising she was unhappy, she decided to close her business and learn to rely on her own ability to sustain her and her husband's lives. By living off their garden, making instead of buying all the things we spend our money on and seeing where all that took her. Now she has a successful blog, a very happy life, more connection with people and a publishing deal with an agent in New York. Not bad.
The thing with her though, was that she was 60 something, her children had all grown up and they were debt free. They owned their own home in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast I think. So even though it took courage and determination etc, the leap wasn't fraught with too much risk.
So how does that relate to me? I'm almost 40. I live in the city, I have a 4 year old and another on the way. I have a business in a studio 3 minutes walk from my home that I share with Tim and his business partner. So both of us have businesses. Our clients are all in the city. We have a huge mortgage and can't even envisage at any time how we would own this home. We have a cleaner and pay for childcare etc. We shop constantly, not weekly, for food and things as we have a myriad of places to choose from all 5 minutes from our door.
It relates because I want to move out of town. I do like my house, but it is tiny. Living in a terrace is like living in a corridor, there's hardly any natural light. I can hear my neighbours, I can even see into one neighbours house and since they've recently changed their windows, they now have a view straight into my bedroom! We have no real outdoor living space. I want a vista. I want light in the morning. A kitchen should be sunny, it should say 'good morning' and be warm. Mine never will be.
The flip side to this though, is that the city can be great and it frequently is. We go to classical concerts a lot, the theatre, we eat out whenever we like and can choose from any type of food. Our 'hood' Surry Hills has become better and better over the years. It use to be considered a slum, but now it is overflowing with swish bars, fancy butchers, cheese shops, restaurants and the like. Which would be fantastic if we were childless and cashed up. We're not poor by any stretch, but somehow kids seem to sap the money. And now that there's another coming, we'll be in lock down for a while (please God don't let our home turn into the crack house that it was the last time!) Anyway, we will not be partaking in what the city has to offer for a while and then perhaps even more rarely than now after that. Big whoop!
I'm bored of it all anyway. I mean, not really but I've done all that. Surely I can live out of town and if the need for the ACO playing some Arvo Part overwhelms me I can come down and visit. Then I can squeeze in some Japanese and a coffee wherever and be happy with that. Visit a good bookshop. All that stuff won't go anywhere.
So, the question is...... how? How do we move out of town? What do I do with my Bridal business? How does Tim work with his clients? How would we earn a living? Would we still have to have a close connection to the city? How do you make that leap from being mortgaged and reliant on the city for your living to leaving and everything working out well? What if we hate it? What if I'm not Mother Earth after all? If we sold our house and then realised we were city people and it was all a big mistake, could we ever afford to buy back into the market? What if we get lonely and none of our friends ever come to visit? What if I become so attached to my track suit pants that I never wear anything else? What if get fat and have a permanent bird's nest in my hair? Will everyone think I've given up? Can one even be glamourous in the country or wherever? Would one care about that? See, so much to consider.....
Not to mention the WHERE of all this. We have looked around Sydney in all directions and are still unconvinced that any one place is 'the one'. But maybe this aspect of my problem can be discussed at length another time.
So to finish, I'm thinking that while I figure all this out, I should follow Rhonda's example and try to spend less and find other ways to have things. Get back to basics, be less of a consumer and see what I can make. I don't want to imagine that once I'm out of the city living in a verdant wonderland that I will suddenly start baking bread, growing flowers and love housework. I'll start on those things now. Test my commitment. Prove to myself (and Tim) that there may be another way to live. I'll keep my cleaner though, I will never love housework, I have to be honest about that.