I watched one of these Relocation Down Under programmes whilst eating breakfast and have such empathy with those torn by an impossible dilemma. Whichever decision is made someone will get hurt. My choices seem worlds apart too.
I’m in my second week back in Bedfordshire, my mum has had an operation and all has gone well, the sun is shining and I’ve just walked up through the village, along a country lane and back home after having a cup of tea with Dad. Idyllic. Yes, so what’s the problem? I have a husband in Scotland where we have slotted almost seemlessly into a new way of life.
Here in Bedfordshire I live in the same village as my elderly parents. It’s a place with character and community, although our lives were so rushed and stressed while we lived here that I did not appreciate it as much as I should have.
I know my husband would like to relocate but not only are my parents here but my closest friends, family, writers’ group, network of support, old colleagues… When we moved here eight years ago I thought it was forever. I longed to make roots and have done so. I also fell in love with our home which we have lovingly renovated. I dealt with builders, electricians and plumbers. I also threw myself into the garden with a passion, although it is still considered ‘work in progress.’ How can we think to leave all this behind. Being here in the sunshine, around when my parents need me, I find it hard to imagine any other way.
And yet the seed is sewn. I feel such contentment when I am in Fife and I know my husband is drawn to a life there. The people we’ve got to know and the places we’ve visited are wonderful. I know I must trust that it will all work out for the best and not to panic. I try to enjoy my precious time here as well as throw myself wholeheartedly into my life up north and live the moment. I’ve so absorbed the compelling nature of the sea and life in Fife that, sitting here down south I can imagine my husband walking to the Wee Shoppe by Kinghorn Harbour in the winter sunshine. If I close my eyes I can almost smell the sea breeze, the seaweed and the sand.
And yet I open them to my garden here bathed in sunlight and sheep ambling along beside the fence and the oak trees in the far distance which have finally abandoned their last leaf cover. I’m going to don my coat and gloves and go to the top of the garden and sit in the arbour and think.
What do you think I should do?
(Life six months on in June, the dilemma is still there, an unresolved issue barely surfacing from our subconscious, although we have returned to Bedfordshire…for a wee while)