They say change is as good as a holiday and I certainly daydream constantly about all the things I want to change about my life, my home, my work, my time and myself. Sometimes I think I become so caught up in thinking about possible “other” directions in life I could take, that I forget to appreciate the now.
Do you find that?
Having diabetes can make you very focused on the small parts of your day- the readings on a machine, the way your finger won’t produce a drop of blood after pricking it countless times (and then giving in and changing the lancet); the management of the intensity of a hypo you feel will never end (despite it being half an hour of your life); the appointments; the carb counting and on it goes.
I very much notice and appreciate the small things, all the time. Yet I am a huge daydreamer. I think perhaps I am born from Gypsies as I also get restless feet and love to travel, especially with my family and love nothing better than hitting the road and driving off on an adventure. My husband and I spend hours and hours talking about, thinking about and exploring the idea, of moving to a more rural lifestyle with our boys. This has been an ongoing theme for probably the past decade.
We love our home and have spent a lot of time and energy making improvements. We also love the convenience of close city suburban living while being in a gorgeous area (but not a great street) near the foothills. Yet when we look out from our deck across the neighbour’s back yard and see a forest of weeds and the other side looking like it needs demolishing; when we hear the young men across the road arguing; hear the traffic; get stressed, we dream of a simpler, more peaceful life.
I know from growing up in the country that there are still unkempt yards; still noisy neighbours and still stress. I know it is a fantasy to think moving house will make your life different. I know there are stressors not experienced in the city, like lack of services, feeling isolated, accessing university for our children, to name a few. Yet this yearning for an “other” life, a country life, has probably happened more often since we had our 5 year old and grew older ourselves. That sense of when is ever the right time, seems stronger. We know we don’t want to move our son now in year 9, once he hits year 11, or even too far into his year 10 next year. So maybe we feel more of a sense of urgency.
It also seems there are always reasons not to move and so, we look, we dream and then we stop and settle where we are. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean we are unhappy, we are not. It is just something inexplicable that happens to both of us, regularly.
The most recent urge was last week, after getting an email from a real estate agent about a gorgeous looking and sounding home in the Barossa Valley. We love the ocean and this is always a draw card area for us, adore the hills (but would not live there due to bushfire risks and driving down on icy roads and fog), so we often end up with the Barossa as a good choice for us.
We headed out there last Sunday and the house was not right. Of course!. There is however another home we could not see today, which appears on paper to tick all our boxes and we did a drive by today and have spoken to the agent, who says we can look next weekend.
So, now our heads are full of “how to’s”. These are the things that happen when we start with this urge – the how we would manage making sure we saw my parents each week? How I would plan a fortnightly day in Adelaide at my offices to meet with my team and board members? Would that work? How we would get the kids to the local schools and settled in? How we would sell our own home (and that is a huge barrier) and make the move? How would we manage if the kids or I got really sick?….blah blah blah…..
I wonder sometimes if all this dreaming is a distraction for me from the mundane, from things like finger pricks and blood machines, or simply the wanderings of an active mind.
Just so you know – this is the house. It is pretty nice. It looked nice from the outside too when we drove by today!
On Sunday night when we came back, I had one of those hypos where you have a fair bit of insulin still floating around and stuffed myself full of glucose knowing I would suffer the inevitable high. But there I sat pondering a huge lifestyle change rather than stressing about my blood glucose. I say pondering as it is all pie in the sky having not even seen this house yet and having all of those “how to’s” to contend with. In fact, the Barossa is just 40 minutes from my hubby’s work and an hour from my parents and my office, so we are not exactly talking isolation here. It is a tourist mecca and well serviced. It has all the things we would ever need. So half of me yearns. Half of me worries and wants to stay safely and conveniently put with my happy, easy and settled life. Sometimes, with diabetes, that is enough uncertainty without adding to it, yet life is nothing without adventure.
Shall we go and look at this house next weekend and tempt the toppling of our status quo? I wonder, in this short and sweet life, is it greedy to want an “other”? Should we stick with what we have when it is perfectly lovely and sweetly secure? Is it wrong to want to have a different life? Or is it a mid life crisis or a dream?
I am not sure what the answer is, what do you think? What are your thoughts about change? Do you have dreams? Or have you made a move to a more rural area and what is it like living there when you have diabetes?
Helen is the founder and director of Diabetes Counselling Online, a social worker, diabetes educator, type 1 diabetic since 1979, blogger at www.recycledinteriors.org PhD Candidate and mother of 3 sons