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Moving on ... Part 2 (Holding things lightly !)

This blog picks up where the last one left off. A quick recap of part 1 – my husband (Neil) and I, having decided to split up, were living in the same home. Amicably and often very enjoyably but with multiple challenges!

This next bit moves on to the “leaving home” bit. The main feature that runs through this period is the absolute need to hold things lightly. Uncertainty abounds!

Holding things lightly!

Well, this is something I’ve been saying for years and partially doing! It’s something I totally believe in but for some reason it hasn’t always panned out that way.

Over the last year though it is definitely a skill that has been developing. My interpretation of holding something lightly is finding that balance between identifying what you want, going after it, yet accepting that if it doesn’t happen then that’s ok. It’s taking that opportunity to reassess and look at other opportunities that may be just as good or even better when plan A (B, C or D) doesn’t work out! It doesn’t mean not caring, rather willing to accept that things can and probably will change. When we bend, like a blade of grass in the wind, we can spring back up.

That’s the theory anyway!

Sounds easy but the practical reality is often more messy, tricky and pretty emotional. The decision for my daughter and I to move to Edinburgh came about after a number of twists and turns.

During the pandemic my work had shifted mostly online, which actually allows numerous opportunities when it comes to being able to relocate. As long as there is good digital connectivity then you can pretty much go there. One reason why I have been keen to move is to a warmer environment. When I first came to the Highlands I didn’t even notice the weather. I loved the seasons, coped with the cold and the general gorgeousness of the place just trumped any pitfalls of the harsh winters. However, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid which made me feel cold MOST of the time. My puffer jacket was such a blessing but that old saying “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” didn’t seem to apply to me. 😆

Throughout the varying lockdown and releases my daughter had been able to continue doing her favourite activity, basketball, albeit outdoors and frequently alone. This cemented in her mind that as soon as it was possible, she’d want to take this passion further. As a family we began to consider options. We looked down all sorts of avenues. It was not only the pandemic that threw up barriers but also the effect of Brexit and the lack of free movement!

After a bunch of discussions and a few trips to the capital she got an offer to train with a brilliant club in Edinburgh. Hooray, we could move south – I know, you’re probably thinking that Edinburgh is not exactly the southern move I was thinking of when I was looking for extra warmth and sunshine but every degree counts ey. 😆

Pic: Cramond

To make this move we needed initially to find the basics -somewhere to live and a new school. I had definitely expected this to be way easier than it was. On the education front we quickly established that the schools around here are very full. And none of them want to liaise with you until you’ve moved here (With proof!)

Despite the fact that a huge proportion of students attend private schools in the capital (In 2009 it was 25% compared to a UK average of 7%!) there still seems to not be enough spaces. Trying to work out where she might possibly be able to go to school was hindering our search for a property.

We were shuffling around priorities as the weeks went by. Initially our educational search was led by the dreaded league tables and all their associated shortcomings. This then shifted to those schools which would consider "out of catchment" placings and onto those which could offer availability in the subjects she wanted to take! It was a stressful time. Many well-meaning friends offered advice but it felt that we were not in the driving seat here at this time. Making our search so late in the academic year with the looming, long summer holidays and much more limited staff in school meant there was a deadline – in my mind anyway!

The last day of term came and went. No school secured as no proof of address - our other key search for a new home was also not going quite as expected. Fortunately, there was quite a lot of choice on the market for rented accommodation in that early part of the summer. Checking it out from Inverness was a little more problematic! Several trips & online viewings helped us to work out what we didn’t want. Slowly we were building a picture of how we wanted to live when we got here. Access to the city centre for training was super important, a place to store our bikes was also high up on the list and we definitely didn’t want the flat with carpets in every single room!

It has been a long time since I rented a property and I had plenty to learn on how the process is these days. We fell in love with one apartment with a glorious balcony, spacious rooms and it was affordable. Alas, we were not selected from the pool of applicants for this so it was back to the drawing board. Most of the letting agents we engaged with were slow to respond and it was sometimes difficult to get through to speak to a human. I’m not sure if this was the effect of the pandemic or business as usual for them but it did make the pursuit challenging.

Although it was tough trying to get us a good base it was also really interesting. For someone with a passion for home organising I was able to indulge in seeing such an array of styles, layouts and settings. It was both fascinating and frustrating in equal measure.

Out of the blue, 3 weeks after we showed an interest in one little house the agent emailed to ask us if we wanted to go ahead. A 2nd viewing confirmed that we both loved it and we began the relevant forms!

Somehow the entry into the summer holidays eased the burden of securing a school. I now resigned myself to the fact we would get a much slower response, if at all! One school had agreed to pop us on the waiting list whilst informing us that they would be in touch a few weeks after the new term had started if a place were available!

With that all important proof of address now at out disposal I sent in the application to our preferred school and we crossed our fingers. 😆 Then we waited, and waited and waited some more.

We moved in the middle of July. We didn’t need much as the place came fully furnished. We were both excited at the prospect of heading off to pastures new. With all the practical considerations to take care of I’d had little time to consider the emotional impact of leaving a family unit you have been part of for so many years.

On leaving day it hit me. I was no longer going to experience the beating of my waggy dogs tail each morning, I wouldn’t hear my son singing in the shower on a daily basis and would not be sharing the daily hub bub with my trusty companion of 20 years. I burst into tears when it was time to go. A little lost for words I said “Thank You” as I hugged Neil. As I reflected in the car these seemed odd words. I think what I was trying to say is that I appreciate where we’ve gotten to today from the moment we decided to separate. Together we have made this move possible so far.

After several weeks in our new pad we had still not heard about a definite school place. Having been through the varying versions of education during a global pandemic we’ve seen how resourceful many young people can be. My daughter learnt that she could learn equally well at home, with the right resources. Interestingly, we had started to feel more relaxed about the school situation. Something would work out. Then on the Friday before pupils were to return to class we got the email. From the school we had hoped for and all the subjects she wished to take – hooray. Another piece of this puzzle added.

Uncertainty had dogged the last few months but now there was tangible movement in a very positive direction. Despite the rush of emotions on departure I was also intoxicated with this fresh start. I don’t know what this move will bring next but I’m ready and willing to roll with it and hold it lightly!

I work as a life coach with a speciality in decluttering both homes & minds.

If you are looking for more clarity or feel stuck then do give me a call to see how we could work together. Tel 0797 1530743 or explore my website HERE


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