We’ve known where, the region if not the exact spot; we’ve known what, developing our vision of the house, grounds, and business; and boy have we known (and talked about) why. But when? When to sell, when to search, when to move, has been the outstanding issue all along. Ben and I had settled into a sensible and conservative timescale that took into account time to make the best job of this house, enjoy the last of our Cotswolds lives, and to ease ourselves into getting to know our new home, saying a leisurely goodbye to family, friends, England, with plenty of time to tie up our lives here. Two and a bit years is a while away but not an age. Not when we’d been looking at 14 years to pay off the mortgage, and a series of ten year moves taking in the Wye, the Isle of Wight and only then, ultimately France.
But two and a bit years sounds and feels way too long to wait to someone else, to Mom, who wants to get stuck into her retirement, and into her new life take two, with gusto. So… Can we bring our plans forward? Yes. Is it affordable? Yes. Is there any good reason not to move next year? No. Ok then, let’s do it.
We’ve been committed but are there degrees of commitment? Is this the first time we can really say we’re all in? Shit. I’m scared. My mind has barely caught up with what’s happening. I’ve felt ready, I’ve felt so ready. But those two and a bit years were a comfort blanket, my space to breathe, to make a slow adjustment, to let go in my own time, fully, so that I’d be sure there’d be no regrets.
But our trip next April to explore the Ariege for the first time in person, has become so clearly a trip to introduce ourselves to people we are going to be living side by side with. It has become so clearly not a ‘see if we like it or not’ holiday. There’s no choice but to like it. If we don’t like it, we are screwed. There is no other option for us, for the life we want to achieve for our family. There is no where else like this. This place is perfect on paper. We have to like it. And if we don’t love it instantly (which I can’t imagine being the case) then tough. We’re moving there anyway. We are moving to the Ariege. There are no ifs or buts, there is no plan B. There is for the first time in this journey no back to the drawing board.
So bring on property details. Bring on property viewings in April. Bye bye Jam Jar House. Hello Jam Jar Retreat. We’re coming. We’re all in.