Surviving the dream

The house is found, the area is perfect, the situation is amazing. It’s a matter of weeks until we go out to view what must be (must be!) the setting for our new lives, and I’m beginning to have actual conversations about fiscal planning and forward accounting. I’ve repeated, often, that ‘This is really happening’ either to Jen or just to myself as we’ve ridden this rollercoaster pursuit of our dream. And now it’s actually in progress. We have two major hurdles – selling our house and the Euro – but even these pale in comparison when we consider that we’ve apparently found everything we could have wanted only not in the way we thought we wanted it. It might not be a trivial matter to sell our house but it’s something that will, inevitably given our location, happen whatever the result. The Euro is anyone’s guess, but even if the worst was to happen we’d still be able to consider making the move and swallowing the cost (although the possible result of Bremain is too mind bending to think about for too long). But those are what amounts to our hurdles, the things that aren’t necessarily in our control. So with what seems like half the dream made into a reality already, how in the world am I going to survive the next six to eight months (or even longer) without losing my mind? In the days after we discovered the house my impatience was a physical force. All I could think about was getting what I wanted and getting it NOW! When can I leave work? When can we rustle up the deposit money? When can we leap with both feet because standing still is killing me… And yet of course there is some distance to go until we’re ready, really ready to get the best result. My work is overwhelming me and I want to escape, but I have to wait. The work on the house is overwhelming and we want it to be done, but it has to be done. I have to drive hours every day. And so… so what? How long is too long to wait for the dream to be made real? When we’d been umming and ahhing about 15 years or 12 until I could go part-time, when we’d been weighing up the benefits of me being able to change my hours some time in the next decade rather than amassing important funds, the mass of WORK that lay ahead was impossible to really think about. Now just under a year of work and meetings and commuting feels like suffering purgatory. But resisting what the job needs of me, wishing that the DIY was already finished, dreaming away the time rather than using the time to better the dream… “You need to deserve it,” Jen told me when these feelings rumbled out. Deserve the change, the dream. To feel I have to ‘survive’ the next few months is to have already signed off, checked out, and the only way that’s going to end is in us moving to France with me already beaten into boredom by trudging through the hold-your-breath moment as the rollercoaster climbs to the final, highest, thrilling drop. And then this weekend we smash ahead on our schedule as I finish half the dining room ceiling and Jen already has paint going into the living room and again, it’s all so real and happening… And I know it’ll all taste the sweeter for the sweat we’ve put in now. I know my office will feel all the more of a gold-plated privilege for the effort I put in now. The sun, the freedom, the mountain air, the idyllic surroundings, the space, the LIFE can’t be lived unless this life is lived first.

|B

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