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Is change as a good as a rest?


It's not restful at the time

It's not restful at the time

Moving house this week reminded me that it is not for the faint hearted. It really is one of the most stressful events in life. Not only is it expensive, it is all-consuming. My wife and I were about to instruct our estate agents to pull the house off the market four months after eighteen months of no success in selling it. We had the usual trail of people viewing it, albeit a handful of people.

For each viewing, we would tidy up and ‘dress’ the house to attempt to make it as appealing as possible to the viewers. Sometimes, the viewers didn’t turn up. Sometimes, they were just nosey. But the day we rang the agents to take it off the market, they said they had a couple who wanted to view the house and they were ‘hot’ prospects.

We duly tidied up the evening before their appointment with a coolness towards the prospective buyers. They arrived the next morning and they seemed to like it. They left to see the rest of the houses on their itinerary.

In short, they loved our house and offered a good price for it. We accepted. Four months later, after the ups and downs of dealing with ‘official vlauers’ who valued it lower than the offer price, arranging mortgages and coordinating the day of the move, we exchanged contracts and completed the deal on our house and the house we now live in.

After eight years of living in an English country cottage, my family and I moved out of the countryside and into our local town. We spent two weeks packing boxes, throwing out unwanted items and wondering how we had accumulated so much stuff.

Last Monday, the removal men arrived and cleared out our house while we cleaned the house to make it presentable. We said ‘au revoir’ to our neighbours and drove the five miles to our new place, only to see that our new house still occupied by its previous owner who was refusing to leave the now empty house until she had the keys to her new house. “Would you leave your home in the knowledge that you had no home to go to?” was her reasoning. I politely reminded her that we had just done that and that she was now in my home. She left fifteen minutes later.

Soon after, the removal men emptied their lorry of our goods and into the new house. By 5-30pm, they had finished the heavy lifting and left with a tip from us for doing a good job. Emptying boxes and finding new places to put items continues and will do so for a while. At 10-30pm, we collapsed into bed, shattered. The emotional and physical pressure had been immense, lightened during the day by family helping, friends visiting to welcome us to our new home and offers of help from our pals.

We have started new routines in the house and we are feeling the benefits of the new environment including being able to walk into town, and our children can walk to school or take the bus. Financially, we are now better off for having downsized our mortgage and moved into a house which is cheaper to run. We know it was a good thing to do, despite the feeling that perhaps this move could be seen by us as a negative step.

Our perceptions before moving into town were that it would be noisy compared to our village house. We were wrong. We thought the house would feel smaller. We were wrong, it feels no bigger or smaller than our old home, but the space is better used and designed.

The question in the title of this entry is a cliché, but I asked it anyway. The fact is that change is hard work, stressful and tiring. Our house move is a sign of the times in that we had to move to make sure that our family finances went from sliding into the red to being in the black. We have gained so much and we have only lost some misconceived perception that the move was a result of failure in a business venture last year. The change has enabled us more choices and control over our immediate lives and what we want to do in the future.

It has been worth it despite the cost and the stress. Change is not restful at all. What happens after the change is what we focused upon. We are now leaner as a household and more nimble. The family finances are showing a surplus already which is the first time in a long while. I now need a holiday.

Our recent move feels like a mini version of the world we are in now. Climate change, downturn and adjustment. It is painful for people to change but you do come out of it with renewed vigour, purpose and ability.

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Categories: business
  1. 18/09/2009 at 4:04 pm

    Will,

    A huge congrats on the move, and I wish you all the very best in your new home.

    Change is very stressful, no doubt about it, and with the very uncertain times, more and more people are having to change. Like you say, it does bring huge opportunity.

    Having gone through change in my career in the past 2+ years, I have never looked back and am always excited and enthused about the potential of the future 🙂

    • 18/09/2009 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you, Jon. Much appreciated.

      You seem to be thriving on the change in your career.

      Looking forward to Hull Digital Live!

      See you soon

      Will

  2. 18/09/2009 at 4:32 pm

    I once heard an interesting saying similar to this – you are usually in one of two states in life – comfort or growth. While you’re comfortable, you’re not growing or changing, things are running along as you know them to. In order to change and improve, you need to move out of comfort and into growth, which is usually uncomfortable, but worth it in the end. You can’t be doing both at once.

    Pretty philosophical stuff! 🙂

    • 18/09/2009 at 5:11 pm

      I am definitely in a period of growth!

      Looking forward to seeing you at the next Hull Digital event!

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