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One day you’re cleaning out the cat box, and the next day you’re moving to Australia. Smack into the middle of Life-as-You-Know-It a bomb has fallen. You may react by seeking a therapist who specializes in stress management. Or you may respond, as I did recently, by renting Australia travel videos, checking out the library’s entire Australia collection, making lists of things to do, questions to ask and stuff to throw away, and spending hours on the internet at .au websites.
“Overkill!” you may say, but I think of it as the Noble Way. See how the Great Woman copes with change, faces facts, deals with issues, triumphs over adversity. Your kids may consider it a mixed blessing to trade math lessons for reports on kookaburras and koala bears. You’ll enjoy tossing words like dinkum, billabong, tucker and furphy into household conversations. Hopefully, you will resist the urge to greet your kids daily with “G’day Mate”. Need a novel way to announce your next pregnancy? If you make this move, you’ll be ‘popping a joey’. So much to learn and so little time!
A still, small voice may penetrate your frenzy, reminding you to walk by faith and not by sight. Your husband’s voice may interrupt the whirlwind of activity, reminding you that he has not actually been offered the job yet. Nevertheless, until the issue is settled one way or the other, you must exist in a Possibility Limbo. (If your honeymoon involved the announcement you were about to move to Alaska, anything is possible!) Even if you stop yourself from sorting out which books to take and which to give away, you’ll have to think twice about buying another one. It may not be time to resign from all committees, find carpool substitutes and cancel the kids’ piano lessons, but you’ll hesitate before promising to be next year’s Cookie Chairman. Perhaps you’ll feel a guilty twinge when putting “Give away cat” at the top of the “Do if Moving” list. Someone must undertake the burden of deciding whether to have the toaster fixed or doing without “in case we must switch to 240v appliances soon”, and it will probably be you.
On the other hand, why spend much time cleaning fingerprints off walls if you might have to repaint the whole house soon? Or dust furniture that may all be sold off in a few months? Or plan lessons for the fall when you might get a giant unit study on Australia dumped in your lap? For that matter, these may end up being the last few months to chat with friends, throw parties, see the local sites you’ve taken for granted. If you’re lucky, you’ll develop a sort of transcendental awareness of the Now Moment. In the end, you may just relax, grab a brew, throw a few shrimp on the barbie and wait on the Lord.