Tag Archives: moving out of London

Taking the Plunge

Well, not literally.  I suppose it’s just as well we have no cliffs in London because the last few weeks at work would have certainly made the thought of it very appealing.  The trouble with having a difficult time at work is that it inevitably creeps into your home life too.  Hubby and I were arguing more and I was losing my patience with my children.  Nobody likes to be “that” mum.  The whole thing ends up spiralling up until you really don’t think you can take it anymore.

You may have remembered that I had a bit of a “losing it” moment with a senior executive a couple of weeks ago.  Well, not content with having one emotional angry moment I decided to book end it with another.  This time with my bosses boss.  This isn’t generally seen as a good career move, but I think it really summed up my general mood at the time.  Thankfully this man has a bit more emotional intelligence than the other guy and pressed me to the point where I was in fight or flight mode.  I was either going to shout “Fuck off” to him or walk out and even I was a bit apprehensive at which way I was going to go.  He saw the whites of my eyes, backed down and wandered off.  I knew I hadn’t won.  I had been lucky though.  I could have really made a mess of that.  We met the following Monday, much calmly and sorted out the disagreement in the right way.  Thank goodness.

So I’m at a cross roads.  I’ve been here 10 years in March and I recently decided I was going to find another job.  I’ve got lots of obstacles to getting there, but none that can’t be overcome.  I just need to break this all done in nice manageable chunks.  I’m concerned I’m going to miss out on my long service leave in March.  An extra 2 weeks holiday on top of the 4 weeks (Pro-rata for me, but works out the same).  It may take me that long to find the job I want, I can’t let that be a reason to hang on.  “I won’t earn as much” – Well, you never know.  “I won’t get the same benefits” – you never know, and at any rate, being happier is much more important. “I haven’t got a CV” – schedule the time to work on it.

The plan was that I start to look for a new job and then that would dictate where we might move out to.  We really want to move.  I feel stifled where I am.  The trouble is I don’t want to get a job somewhere only to discover all the areas around it I don’t want to live in.  We are, therefore, planning to go and do a bit of snoop around in areas we might like.  Hubby knows these places quite well, but I’m been a Londoner for 17 years and have never been to most.  First stop is this weekend.  Off to Hampshire to sample the delights that this county has to offer.  I’ve got a couple of villages recommended to me by people on Twitter (we nearly went on Sunday with hangovers, but some friends cancelled a weekend with us this week, so we thought we would use that), so we are going to check them all out.The Woods

We are making a whole weekend of it and will be staying overnight at relatives in Newbury which also gives us the opportunity to have a look West of Newbury too.  I’m really excited about it.  If we find an area we like I can find out about school and other amenities and then look for jobs that sit somewhere between there and where I am now.  Then I can commute for a while from here, hopefully with some flexibility and Pickle can complete Year 1 at her current school without me feeling guilty for pulling her out early.

All sounds so simple on paper though doesn’t it.  I’m hoping it pans out that well.

Any advice on what to look for in a new area, other than good schools?  What do you think makes a good place to live?

Epiphany

I’ve had an epiphany.

I really have.  I reached breaking point on Sunday.  Tired, emotional and in the midst of tidying the house and I had one fleeting thought about work and BAM I started feeling dizzy.  I took a moment to sit down and it didn’t go away.  My heart started palpitating and I felt a bit sick and I realised……I was having a panic attack.

 So I told hubby I wasn’t feeling very well and headed upstairs to lie down for a bit.  I didn’t want to sleep so I didn’t shut my eyes, I just lay there wondering what the bloody hell was going on with me that I keep on having all these anxiety attacks happen to me. At this point I realised I had had a thought about work.  Could this really be the issue?

 So I picked up my notebook and started scribbling a pros and cons list.  This is what it looked like (I’ve typed it up so you can read it). Pros and Cons

 It looks pretty conclusive to me.

Admittedly on the top list the “money” side is heavily weighted.  I earn very well, but it’s clearly not making me any happier and I’ve got the same % of disposable income I had 10 years ago, because in order to keep my life ticking over 10 years later I have to spend more. 

Pickle’s love of her school is also heavily weighted.  I get very emotional about things like this. She loves her little friends and I would feel awful ripping her from that.  That all said though my husband moved about 4 times as a child to different parts of the country and has no bad memory of any move and I moved from one school to another at 8 years old and I don’t remember being distraught at all.  Still, the thought of doing it to Pickle weighs heavy on my heart.

 However, I can’t ignore the stark truth.  By simply writing down that list above and I looked at it in disbelief.  This is how I’m running my life.  Seems a pretty awful way to run your life if I’m honest.  I’ve worked out how to make me happy out of work (painting, Gardening etc..) so now I need to focus on my day to day life.

I had a brief chat with hubby about it after I skulked back downstairs with my list.  I think the first step is to find another job.  I don’t need to rush into it, but I need to start making some changes.  I’ll set a goal for September to produce a CV I can use and adapt for possible new job applications (seems a long way off, but we’re in July now and Pickle is on school holidays soon and we have a holiday booked in August).  Then I need to start looking at companies I might like to work for as well as looking out for jobs.  The most critical thing is to either work less hours OR find a job that will allow me to work a few days at home.  THAT will make all the difference I think.  I also need to brace myself for loss of income.  I will keep looking at the pros and cons list above and remind myself why I don’t need it.

If I find a job outside London but commutable, then we can stay where we are until we’ve worked out our strategy. This seems a less drastic plan of action than looking further afield and finding a new job AND a new house. After that, we can look to moving out and finding the place we REALLY want to live.  Hubby agrees. We really need to do this. Our house is not our forever house.

I’ve already had a few wobbles about my decision.  I get my long service leave in March and get an extra 2 weeks holiday. Part of me doesn’t want to squander that, but I have to be realistic. It’s only 2 weeks, it’ll be gone in a flash. I have just had my car allowance raised and was looking to get a new car.  Why is that so important? It really isn’t.  The mere thought of Pickle going to a new school or the fact a new school might not we walkable, worries me.  I love to worry about things I don’t even know is the truth. I need to calm down and just focus on each little baby step.

Each baby set that will slowly, s l o w l y create the life I’m dreaming of.