Turning the page: saying goodbye and embracing the next chapter.

by Catherine Rickwood

We’re moving. Not major. Just from one part of Sydney to another. We’ve never lived in the area we’re planning on moving to and don’t know the area particularly well. The process is challenging and exciting.  Here’s why …

First and foremost it’s hard work. We’re selling our family  home of 13 years. Consequently, we have lots of stuff. I mean, lots of stuff. We’ve got stuff from when the children were babies through to now, when they are both in high school. We’ve got camping stuff, ornaments, books, books, books, and more books, pictures, photo albums, and keepsakes. In preparing our home to sell we’ve visited every drawer, cupboard, shelf, and storage place in order to declutter and prepare our home for sale. The result? Three trailer loads of stuff to the tip, two trailer loads of stuff to storage, and huge amounts of stuff (particularly books) given away to friends and to charity. It’s taken a month of solid work. And now? Whilst exhausted from the process it feels lighter, exhilarating, more free, and exciting. Decluttering has been a cathartic process. Our home is now on the market. Phew!

The practicalities of preparing a home to sell and then move are significant. It is time consuming, exhausting, and the move itself can be expensive – particularly if it involves putting some things into storage until you work out what you want to do (that’s us). The physical aspect of moving is one aspect. There’s also the emotional side.

Our daughter was born in our bath, and during the time we’ve owned the home we’ve hosted weddings, big and not-so-big celebrations, and many birthday parties for children. A lot has happened. In sorting through the stuff, the decision on what to keep, what to give away, and what to throw out was and is challenging. However, as we got into the swing of things it became easier. In fact, in time we became less and less inclined to hold onto things, to let go – choosing freedom and lightness vs stuff. Photos are a big one. It was suggested that we digitise them. We decided not to. We like looking at the photos in physical form – regardless of how rarely we may do so. I’m sure when we finally pack up the house there’ll still be more stuff we’ll happily let go. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to the future and what the year ahead will bring.

The reality is we’re only at step one. There’ll be more physical and emotional challenges ahead. Packing and unpacking. Learning our way around a new suburb. The shortcuts. The shops. The public transport. The people. Finding new parks and places to walk our dog. All new discoveries to be made.

We haven’t found anywhere to live – yet. Our plan is to rent so that we can get an understanding of the general area to discover our preferred suburb which reduces our risk somewhat as changing suburbs is far easier when we haven’t committed to buying.

My daughter has just started high school. At the welcome assembly the head prefect gave an inspiring and encouraging speech that started with ‘Once upon a time …’ . She continued, encouraging every girl to create her own story suggesting what each year may hold. I loved the idea and my daughter was inspired. Our current home has 13 years of story. It’s a whole book in itself. I guess I see this move as book two in our family story. As Zayn Malik states so eloquently,

“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”

Personally, I’m looking forward to turning the page. To the next set of adventures that make our family story. Are you?

What’s your experience of moving? I’d love to hear.

About the Author

Catherine Rickwood

An experienced researcher and business executive, Catherine's work is informed by academic knowledge and evidence to deliver practical actions with measurable outcomes. These combined skills create a powerful and useful ability to delve deep on issues, ask incisive questions, think laterally, and bring knowledge and insights to individuals, a team, and an organisation keen to engage with, and include the over 50's as a valuable part of their business strategy.

Catherine Rickwood is solutions-focussed, working with innovative organisations keen to improve customer and employee insights and empathy to increase their success in new markets, build loyalty, and increase innovation. She does this using a co-design process that engages employees and key stakeholders to create collaborative solutions. Contact Catherine to discover how her services can support your organisation to harness the changing demographic reality.

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