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Pick Daffodils to Bring Spring Colours into Your Home

Today I’m Grateful for New Beginnings

Today is a big day for me. It is the final goodbye to a particular part of my life, or rather the closing of a door that belongs to a world into which I once poured my heart and soul. It feels like there should be some feeling of loss for this, but there just isn’t.

The end of last year was my grieving period. It was a time when I knew, deep in my heart, that it wasn’t going to work out. It was a pretty desperate and terrifying time, realising that everything was about to change and not really knowing how that was going to pan out, and at the same time feeling like all the hard work and dedication meant nothing. It was, quite simply, a bleak moment in time.

But now? Now I feel the promise of Spring, the beauty of life that has laid dormant, building up strength to burst forth into a bright new world. The biggest thing about today is not so much the goodbye, but the welcoming of a fresh start.

And the day came with the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom - Anais Nin

Life isn’t easy. We’ve just found out that the house we were supposed to be moving into has been taken off the market by the landlord, meaning we have to start a whole new search. And our meeting with the neurosurgeon yesterday brought up even more questions than it answered. And we can’t forget the fact that, as of tomorrow, I am essentially unemployed. That’s a lot of uncertainty facing us…

And yet right now, I feel more hopeful, more confident, and more secure than I have in a long, long time. All of these changes, whilst challenging (to say the least) are leading us into a new life. We are taking the chance to do things we haven’t dared do, despite considering them for some time. We’re moving closer to family, we’re looking at healthier working patterns, and we’re learning to cherish the simple things in life, which remain unchanged regardless of the craziness elsewhere in our lives.

I plan on taking the next week off. TJ has a 4 day weekend coming up and we need some time to simply be. Then there are other houses to view, and a visit to  Little Man’s new nursery. And most importantly of all, I have arranged to meet a potential employer for a role that I am most excited about. I have boxes to pack, people to meet, and places to go.

Far from being the end of the line, today is the start of a whole new beginning. And for that I am most grateful.

Flowering Cherry

Moving Home: How Do You Relocate A Garden?

Moving is, apparently, one of the most stressful life events we can face. Along with changing jobs. So I guess it’s fair to say that there is a certain amount of stress in my life right now as I attempt to do both.

But it’s not just the “big” things that concern me, it’s the smaller things too. Like how on earth are we going to dig up and relocate some of the plants in our garden which we just cannot bear to leave behind?

You see, we have been in this house for over 4.5 years now, and in that time we have put a lot of time, energy and love into this garden. We have developed it and helped it flourish, and are happy to leave most of it for the next tenant to enjoy.

We’ve established a border where the grass simply did not grow well…

Evolution of Garden Border

 

And we’ve created a thriving herb garden from just a few original pots we brought with us…

Herb GardenWe’re leaving some really beautiful plants in this garden, and it’s a pleasure to do so because it makes the garden feel so alive in the summer!

Beautiful Blooms

But there are a few things that I am really, really hoping that we can take with us.

It doesn’t sound that difficult, does it, to move a few plants? And for the most part it won’t be. We can take some of the herbs in pots, and our strawberries are already in a big tub. I’m also assuming that the rhubarb (which was a wedding gift to us from a friend off his allotment) will also be reasonably simple to relocate.

But what about the trees?

We have three trees in our garden, all of which we have planted here.

Willow

There’s this beautiful willow, whose bare branches look just a elegant in the winter as they do in the summer when full of leaves. We rescued her from the back of a garden centre, looking worse for wear and like she may not survive. I love finding plants that need a little TLC and seeing them go on to bloom and grow, so I hate to think of leaving her here.

Flowering Cherry

Then there’s the flowering cherry. We planted this one when our neighbours cut down the gorgeous pear tree in their garden. It felt so bare with the overhanging branches gone, and so we decided to plant a new (much smaller) tree in its place.

This one we would leave behind quite happily, but there’s a part of me that thinks if we manage to relocate the other two trees then we may as well take this one too…

Unknown Tree

And then there’s this one. This is my baby.

I’m not even sure exactly what tree it is (my best guess is some kind of Plane?) You see, before we moved here we lived opposite an old village church, whose graveyard was filled with Yews, Holly and some of these trees. And one day, I found a tiny seedling growing right next to our front door.

I had to move it, there was no way it would have survived taking root so close to the house’s foundations. So I gently eased it out of the ground and placed it elsewhere in the garden. When we moved from there, I eased it out of the ground again and placed it in a pot. I had dreams of it being a tree that came with us to our “forever home” to grow with any children I might go on to have.

Well, it has certainly grown! It is now almost as tall as me, and I am a little concerned that its roots may be too deep for me to transport again.

So, what do you think? Have you ever relocated trees from one garden to another? Do you have any tips or advice for us? We’d really appreciate any thoughts you have!

 

Go With The Flow

Redundancy and Relocation – Going With The Flow in the Midst of Chaos

So, remember how I wrote that my word for 2015 would be “Surrender”?  How little I knew at that time how much that word would come to mean…

We’re not even out of January yet and already I have been made redundant, attended a job interview, and made the decision to relocate (and found a house that will hopefully be ours!) Talk about a crazy month!!

I’ve not been able to talk about all of this while it was happening, because there was a period of time between finding out about the proposed redundancy and the confirmation of this (which arrived yesterday). And it’s been pretty tough not being able to talk about it, not because of the changes themselves, but because of the changes within me that this has all evoked.

2014 was a year that almost broke me. Between TJ’s rapidly deteriorating health, the multiple GP and hospital appointments that ensued, an incredibly challenging job, final edits on the book and its subsequent launch, a massive drop in Little Man’s childcare (meaning less time than ever to fit everything into my already hectic days!) and my own very physical reactions to stress, it is no wonder I ended the year close to a breakdown and feeling like Christmas was just an inconvenience I could have done without.

But it was upon hitting absolute rock bottom that I made the decision to “let go” and trust that everything would unfold in its own way. Instead of fighting to try and control life, I decided to go with the flow, and I couldn’t have made that decision at a better moment. Were I still in the mindset that I was in 2014, this first month of the New Year would have been the final push that shattered me. Instead, it has been a defining moment in teaching me to ride the waves and hopefully float, rather than thrashing around and choking myself in the process.

Go With The Flow

Don’t get me wrong – life is stressful. Nobody wants to face an uncertain future. Every day I find myself thinking, “I’ll feel better when… [insert “I get a new job”, “we’ve signed a new lease”, “we’re all settled into our new home” etc]”. But this is the wrong kind of thinking. I can’t wait for those things to happen to feel better, I need to feel okay now.

It’s a pretty monumental shift in perception, and it is being helped along by an awful lot of prayer, reading, and support from friends and family. But it is slowly becoming more of a natural reaction and less of something I need to force myself to think.

I’m still sad, of course, this kind of thinking doesn’t take away that feeling. It just makes it easier to live with. Things have happened which I never imagined would happen, some of which I do not understand at all. But instead of letting the concern about things I cannot know consume me, I am choosing to let them go. One day I may know the answers, but if I don’t it doesn’t matter – I can accept that now.

So that’s where I’m at… a total and complete change. But as they say, when one door closes, another will open. I’m choosing to look at this as a positive, trusting that this is just one more step along the path I am to take in life, even if I cannot yet see what the next step is.

What I do know, though, is that it has deeply impacted the direction in which I wish to take my blog now, after several years of floundering around with no real direction at all. And I’m excited about that, even though it includes facing something I have feared doing for quite a long time. But what did I say 2015 was about, surrendering? Well maybe that also means surrendering to what happens and simply following my heart…

Will you join me?

*****

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