Monday, August 9, 2010

{not quite what I had in mind}

Acrylics on canvas
5 x 5 inch

For days I've been carrying around a growing sense that something was about to happen.  I could feel change in the air, sweeping towards me.

At the same time I've also had a real sense of things falling into place, of moving forward.  I've been so excited to feel this way after a number of years of feeling really uncertain about both the present and the future.

When the phone call came from the owners of our house last night to say they are selling up, it completely floored me.  "What?" I thought.  "What on earth is that?"  "That's not what I had in mind!"

"My beloved studio" I thought, "my neighbourhood, my comfort zone".  "How will we manage?  Where will we go?  How will we afford it?"  Not to mention packing up after 3 years of embracing this space we call home.

Then I stood back and I saw the adventure before us.  I briefly glimpsed the possibilities.  I saw the big house surrounded by gum trees that I've been dreaming of.  I saw the birds visiting me each day.  I saw the slower lifestyle I've been craving.  I saw the tree change that I've been pondering for many, many months.  

And a thought occurred to me.   Maybe, just maybe, I thought, it might be worth considering this as a gift.  It might just be worth taking this opportunity to explore the possibilities, to take stock, and to consider all the paths before us.

Who knows where Ms L and I will end up.  It might be around the corner, it might be a ways down the road.  I think that wherever it is, it will be because we said a great big YES to the universe and reached out and took an opportunity when it was presented to us.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Especially you sea changers/tree changers out there.  What made you do it?  How did you know it was time?  Do you ever look back?  What do you miss?  What do you love about your decision?

And those of you who just dream about such things, what do you think about timing, and tree changes, and adventure, and where your dreams might take you if you were faced with such an opportunity?


  1. Hi Cathy,
    We dreamt about moving to the country for so long. One day we went & looked at this place, we fell in love with it & the next thing you know, we had packed up our house, studio & workshop & were living here.
    I think that loving where you live is so important. If birds & trees are what you wish for... just do it. You won't look back.
    All the best for this next adventure. x

  2. About 10 years ago my husband and I were in a very bad place. Financially mainly, but also emotionally and spiritually. In the course of one week the engine blew up in our car, our dog had to have a very serious operation that cost over $600, rego was due on other car and it was my birthday. To top it off, we were very late with our rent and were served a notice to leave. So we left. We moved to the in-laws for 2 months, got our shit together and moved out of the city and away from everything that had brought us down. We have never looked back. That notice to leave was the biggest message from the universe ever. And we listened. Go for it Cathy, and never look back!

  3. Wow, that was completely out of left field! (I shouldn't really use sporting metaphors, since I'm never completely sure of their appropriateness!)

    It's funny, I know that eventually I'll live in the country again, but for me, I don't know that I'll view it as a 'tree change', but as a coming home (even if we end up in a different location). I say do what seems right for now. It might be the grand change, it might, as you say, be around the corner. But I think you are pretty good at trusting your instincts, so you'll be fine, come what may.

    (And aside from the sucky part of moving, it is also a really good opportunity to purge purge purge!)

  4. Well, I bet you can already predict my prediction:: Move to the North Coast!!

    I moved here as a young single woman and it felt like coming home. I cannot bear to be away from nature, as much as I love (and still miss sometimes) the thrill of the city.

    Like those who have already commented, once I made the move, I never looked back. But I have also seen many people come and go, and that is right for them. Sometimes the sea/tree change works out, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it works for a short while and then it's time to move back to the city... but what matters is that you follow your heart. Really, that's what it is all about.

    I think this is so exciting Cathy... whatever you make of it.


  5. I don't think anyone ever knows when the timing is 'right', you just need to keep moving forward towards what you want/dream and hope for the best. If you head off in a tangent and it doesn't work out, you just take another path.

    I had a sea/tree change,a coming home and a career change all at once about 2 years ago now and I've never looked back. It began with illness which I'd never want to go through again, but if I didn't, I probably never would have made changes. I dreamt of living by the ocean but didn't know if I ever would, I love the trees and coastal bushland and always thought I'd be happier living closer to family. And guess what? Yep, all of the above turned true, and Mookah was born.

    Go with your heart. There is no wrong decision, if it doesn't work out you put it down to experience and never die wondering! Can't wait to hear what you do.

  6. I'm terrible at being grown up, at taking active responsibility, at planning. I am ok at leaps of faith though. And pretty good with gut feelings. And brilliant at dealing with things when fate plays a role. Good luck, you two. Tres excitement (one way or another) ahead!

  7. i'm dreaming of moving from my current home/city and into a new one entirely...ensuring that i still have a separate room to create in of course! much of my current cleaning/clearing is geared toward this dream! make moving/packing a little easier ;)

    it can be hard when the decision is 'made' for you instead of doing it on your own terms but it sounds like you are now taking charge instead of letting events 'happen to you' and that will make all the difference - i'm sure you will find a perfect home for you, Ms. L and the kitties =-)

  8. I'm telling you Cathy, with an attitude and outlook like yours, wonderful things are bound to happen. You should definitely consider a tree change, it may be exactly what you (and Ms L) really need. Just make sure the new place has a great studio!

  9. i believe that any whisper in your heart is meant to be heard. i know that when the bustling people and trains of chicago made me want to curl up inside myself and all i wanted was a slow, quiet life, that was a whisper to find someplace new. And we happened to move to Madison, Wisconsin, which wasn't always as perfect feeling as it is now, but I am certain that switching to that quieter life I longed for was what allowed my heart and mind the space to settle down, scale back, and allow time to create :)

    did i ever mention to you, i was just in melbourne last december?

    may all of your dreams come true, cathy!

  10. WOW! I crave change-always. However, some of the changes in my life were not the ones I would of asked for. At ALL. But, it is within these changes that the MOST beautiful parts of my life have emerged, for me and my family.

    This just might be exactly what the deepest part of you has been yearning for...

    We are planning to move into the country when my son is off to College. We dream of doing it now but as an only child it would be too isolating for him... He is so happy here.

    I wish you an easy and lovely transition my friend. Looking forward to following you on this journey too...

    Love, Danielle xox

  11. Ooh - what an opportunity! Do you have the time to work things out? Or do you have to do things in a rush??

  12. Having made so many big changes so many times in my life, my advice would be exactly what you have done already - to see it as an adventure. More of the same or something different? It is rare that 'something different' doesn't turn out to be more inspiring, and might even be life changing. Why not paint a picture of where you'd like to see yourself, and see what happens?

  13. I say go for it! We bought ourselves a 'retirement' block in our mid 20's. 3/4's of an acre that is 10 mins to the beach, 10 mins to some shops & an hour from the city. We are classified as semi rural and the block came with gum trees in the front yard ;) we made the decision after 12 months to build our dream home & move away from town... 8 years later we've never looked back. We love our place and have no intention of moving anytime soon.

  14. Well I think you know my thoughts...
    Mr S and I moved over two years ago now and although it wasn't easy it all fell into place..
    We cringe driving back to Melbourne to visit..
    We love our house, love where we live and vow never to leave! We couldn't afford a seachange so a Tree change was our choice..
    As the old saying goes "home is where the heart is"....

  15. Just found you, I feel we are in the place that Selina was, and where you are. I pray that all the other comments on here will apply to me & to you. Good luck x