getting all our ducks in a row

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Although our aim is to move from our small city apartment to our house in a tiny country village 6 hours drive up the coast and live more simply and creatively, probably by necessity as I dare say we’ll be a lot poorer financially than we are now. Part of that move is also to hook up to a caravan and the great Australian dream of travelling around the country, which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve read the Wherever you go there you are… blurb on the RHS sidebar of this page, the G.O. and I know it isn’t a move to make without getting all our ducks in a row.

Ducks all lined up at Sydney Park
Ducks all lined up at Sydney Park

A few weeks ago, the G.O. & I over a bottle of wine had the conversation. The one we have every year-ish… Where are we at – where are we going? Although we’d quietly stated intentions Year End 2013 would be the time, as 2013 dawned, unspoken it seems we had come to the same conclusion: the reality of the benefits of postponing our planned exit from Sydney until Year End 2014 make sense.

We both are working on projects that have anticipated end dates of December 2014.

We will make our last house payment in December 2014.

My youngest-younger sister’s wedding is in May 2014. There’s no point in being on the other side of the country.

Our landlord/eldest-younger sister has no plans to do anything with her apartment other than rent it out, so we still have a real estate agent-free place to live.

2013 has passed quickly – we’re in the 4th month already and I have dates pencilled in my diary as far as August.

Life’s not getting any cheaper. Another 2 years of full time work salaries, superannuation contributions and bill paying will make a huge difference to how much poorer financially we are then, and the travel & lifestyle we can afford.

Things changed. When we’d made our Year End 2013 plan, we were living in our old apartment and paying much less rent. Figures, at least in this case, don’t lie, and money only goes so far.

We’re a little disappointed but simultaneously relieved of the burden of ill-advisedly making a premature move, and for now the logistics of packing, and unpacking the contents of our Sydney apartment into an also fully furnished house at Taylors Arm.

It’s not all bad. We enjoy living in the city fringe-Inner West. We love the proximity to Sydney Park  and Newtown,  if not the proximity to the trains. Interestingly there was a “Petition Against RailCorp 2013” flyer in our mailbox last week stating “In the past 18 months there has been increased activity on the rail tracks resulting in a substantial increase in track noise and ground percussion”.  We’ve lived in this apartment for those 18 months!

EllaDee_the office
EllaDee_the office

I fair a little better than the G.O.  I work 5 days a week. He works 6 mostly. I work in the CBD with a short train commute, in a nice office building with a sunny desk and an iconic view. The G.O. commutes by car in iconic traffic congestion to a construction site on the other side of the city, and works in dirt at the mercy of the weather.

The G.O. on site.
The G.O. on site

We will continue to spend long weekends and holidays at Taylors Arm.  We estimate from now until Year End 2014 only 23 more 6-ish hour trips.

Reassuringly, around the time of the conversation our horoscopes echoed what we already knew.

Sagittarius: Sagittarians who have been going backwards and forwards with questions about where to live and even who to live with, and/or regarding selling or buying property – there is good news ahead. You should now feel a lot clearer about your best course of action. The past few weeks have revealed the facts and now it’s time for decisions.

Cancer: Crabs who have been waiting for Mercury to end his reverse cycle to make decisions about where to go traveling or when to start studying are in luck. That cycle is ending now. Hopefully you have reviewed over and over again re: your options and have a better idea of what to opt for. Give it a few more days if you can.

Followed a few days later by a final Mercury Rx message “Important News! All is well. Everything is happening exactly as it is supposed to, with hidden blessings you will soon understand”.

Today I consulted Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbol Oracle and got Capricorn 29 – Woman Reading Tea Leaves… Oh yes, that’s me: always looking for answers even when I’m not sure what the question is.

*http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Get%20my%20ducks%20in%20a%20row

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38 thoughts on “getting all our ducks in a row

    metan said:
    April 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Good choice. We would all love to run away from real life wouldn’t we! 😀
    Unfortunately, once you’ve gone there is no going back is there? A good thing in every way, apart from the financial side!
    At least you have your little hidey-hole to run off to, I bet that knowing it is there makes waiting another year easier than it would be if you were still waiting to find your little slice of heaven.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 6:15 am

      We know how fortunate we are to have good jobs, which won’t necessarily be the case once we move north. Back to real life even after the move will be waiting for us after we’ve had a holiday but the employment situation on the mid north coast is very different to Sydney. We’re happy to back ourselves but yes, we’d prefer not to have to come back to Sydney. It is good knowing it’s there but we often feel split. All we can do is make plans, and do our part in making them happen. Life takes care of the rest 🙂

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        metan said:
        April 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

        Yup, no matter what plans you make life does what it wants anyway. I am sure that listening to that inner voice will make everything run more smoothly, and that is what it should be all about really.

        Like

    dadirri7 said:
    April 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    sounds very sensible … and it is how it feels that tells you if it is right … so I am guessing it feels right to have your ducks in a row for the end of 2014 … we can only make our plans, the best we can, and be ready for anything! love your office view … yes, we were the little dots down there just over a week ago 😀

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 6:33 am

      It was a comment by the G.O. that was the catalyst… about his project end date being December next year – his boss kept mentioning it in quiet hope I think that the G.O. might change his plans. Once we took our attention off YE 2013 the signs pointing to YE 2014 were very clear. We make plans, life happens and so it goes 🙂

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    acflory said:
    April 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I’m interested in these creative things you guys have planned. Writing? Painting? Other?

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 7:08 am

      I think the main creativity will be making our income feed us and pay bills! I of course plan to continue blogging, but we both like to find-recycle-upcycle old stuff. We laugh at ourselves and our grand plans… our list after caravan includes shed, vege garden, chooks, cat & dog 🙂 But creativity after that, who knows… nature abhors a vacuum 🙂

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        acflory said:
        April 13, 2013 at 11:07 am

        lol – Agreed. I don’t think you’ll be bored any time soon!

        Like

    paralaxvu said:
    April 13, 2013 at 4:26 am

    You may be a woman reading tea leaves, but you’re also doing a lot of sensible thinking and talking together and planning–and coming up with what seems to me to be very sensible ideas and conclusions. Good luck on your continued journey…I’m sure you’ll love the end result even more knowing for sure it’s the right one!

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 6:52 am

      Thank you. It’s our conversations that save us 🙂 Those are great words “continued journey” – nothing is ever certain, and although sensible has a sad ring to it, mistake and poverty jangle disaster! It’s not so bad staying here for a bit longer as it would be going ahead with plans that didn’t feel right, or make sense just because we said we would.

      Like

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    April 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

    It’s very odd, when you are doing what you should be doing, it just feels like the last piece is in the puzzle and “right”. Gotta go with your gut sometimes and be flexible. You sound sensible to understand jumping too fast can be a disaster, but planning and inching along will make it happen. We are trying to scale back, too (already downsized home years ago)- but won’t ever be as free as you two.Still you are so encouraging.
    I do so like repurposing things and travel is the very best choice – go while you can manage cheaply and before health issues throw up barriers! You’ll never regret those trips.

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Thank you. Our freedom will be somewhat modest. When we make the leap will be exchanging money for time, and that’s where the delicate economy of scale is. Also moving from city economy to rural, because although it’s rumoured the city is more expensive, some expenses are across the board & inescapable. People do it but they have no bills – and some have very little of anything tangible, it’s their lifestyle they value. Travel will be our extravagance 🙂

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    ChgoJohn said:
    April 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I think you both were quite wise to hold off. You’ll “know” when the time is best. As one who made a similar leap, I, too, waited until I knew it was the time. Since then, I’ve hit a couple rough spots but never once have I thought that maybe I should have waited. I doubt I could say the same had I left before I did, when I wasn’t so sure.

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you. It’s reassuring to get that feedback. The G.O. was only minutes ago saying how quickly this year has gone, but it’s quite a relief to not have to deal with it yet… this from 2 people who were quite desperate in theory to get out of here 🙂

      Like

    diannegray said:
    April 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Hubby and I had the same conversation last year and now our lives are completely different (and very wonderful!!) 😀

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      That I’m looking forward to 🙂 The logistics of the few things we need to do at TA compared to the scope of the RUC project are incomparable, but I find the thought of them daunting compared to our tidy city existence. I think I was meant to blog in preparation, it’s given me so many ideas and paths to try 🙂

      Like

    Vicky said:
    April 14, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I must admit it does all seem to slot into perfect timing for you both for 2014 🙂
    A shame you’ve had to move your dream back a year, but far better to do that though, than make the move too early and it all goes pear shaped.
    You’ve just made me look at my horoscope for the first time in about twenty years 😮

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      April 14, 2013 at 7:07 am

      We were a little disappointed at first but now relieved to have more time to put it together. It’s amazing how when you look at things differently your perspective changes. For some time my job may have been tenuous, so we had been prepared to run with that outcome, but the new project started and although we still have a plan for that eventuality it’s currentlly shelved.
      I probably wouldn’t bother with my horoscope but it’s only a click away and Moonology.com is good for a general feel, which I’m looking for rather than specific (& mostly unrealistic) detail. I hope what you read was good 🙂

      Like

    Leanne Cole said:
    April 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I love the view from your office, it must be wonderful to look out onto that.
    My husband and I are going through some similar things, he doesn’t want to work for the rest of his life. We don’t talk about it much, but I know I have to start earning. Great that you have a plan. I hope it all works out for you.

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 15, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Thank you – a nice view, after many years of the alternatives of looking at a wall, partition or computer screens is a bonus 🙂
      Everyone is different, all I can say is we’ve found success with prefacing such discussions with the words “this is just conversation…” and working our way along. I’d hate to think how many hours we’ve spent, but none wasted. I’ll never not work, I would go crazy, so I trust the universe will come up with what I need for the next leg of the journey, when I need it. I hope it all works out for you too – both of you, but for you I have to say your photography and ideas are fantastic 🙂

      Like

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    April 15, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I think the most important thing about having a life plan is being able to revise it when needed. It sounds like you are making good decisions that will help your plan in the long run. And 2014 isn’t that far away. A year can fly by when your busy at work and planning a move. 🙂

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 15, 2013 at 6:06 am

      I agree, I learned the hard way, significant life lessons in not revising flawed plans 😦 YE 2013 seemed so far way for so long. Suddenly it loomed, and we realised we weren’t ready, and are grateful we have the option of giving it more time 🙂

      Like

    Marylin Warner said:
    April 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I enjoyed so much reading this, as we went through many of the same “should we?” shouldn’t we?” struggles years ago. We soon found that when it came to actually getting all the ducks in a row, it was more like herding cats and impossible to do at the time. But the thinking, planning, evaluating and dreaming stage is a part of the adventure. You’ll get it worked out.

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 15, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Thank you – it’s wonderful to get thoughts from someone who’s done it… herding cats is a very good description! Behind the scenes it is surely but so slowly as to be barely noticeable coming together – it doesn’t feel like progess but it is. The dreaming is the good part, no hard work there 🙂

      Like

    Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said:
    April 15, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Sounds like you’ve made sound and considered decisions. And the timing sounds sensible! Hang in there, I know how keen you are to make the move, but it will be nice to do so from a financially secure base! xx

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 15, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Thank you – we try to make good decisions… we’re out of tenure on the premise “if you can’t be a good example you can at least be a dire warning” 😉 it’s funny since we realised that YE 2013 wasn’t realistic we’ve stepped back and settled into it’s not perfect but it’s ok here right now 🙂

      Like

    Richard Guest said:
    April 15, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Yes, it looks like you’ve definitely made the right decision. If there’s no rush, then giving yourselves the chance to get off to a sound start will make the transition easier. And you get to extend your anticipation! 🙂

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Thank you – the anticipation is still there but it’s interesting as it’s a lot more tempered with realisation that if it had caused us to move too quickly we’d have missed out on benefits a little patience will reap us 🙂

      Like

    Pete Denton said:
    April 15, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Sensible approach to revise the plans. Sounds like a good plan in the long run and like you say, 2013 is flying 🙂

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 15, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Thank you – one of the upsides to being a little wiser, and older 🙂 The first half of any year always flies for us, and it will be the same for 2014, so we need to be prepared.

      Like

        Pete Denton said:
        April 16, 2013 at 6:42 am

        It’ll be 2015 before you know it 🙂

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    The Wanderlust Gene said:
    April 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    That’s great. EllaDee – it’s important to be able to review and redefine plans till they’re just right – especially when it’s for two.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      April 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you – they must be getting close to being right – our plans have been reviewed and refined quite a few times 🙂

      Like

    roughseasinthemed said:
    April 21, 2013 at 4:46 am

    We’ve been planning to drop out ever since we came back from Australia and started working again 😀 (more than 20 years ago). Seriously. We went up to Scotland, and realised it wasn’t quite the right time at age 30 ish.

    But after I hit 40, it kicked in big time. A couple of tips. 1) Which you have worked out. You can never have too much money. 2) You may have to go back to work, unless you have ginormous pensions (we currently don’t have any) or mega savings 3) That work is less easy to come by, well in my case, as you will be aware. Not that I’m hugely sad about that. 4) The right time does indeed come at the right time, 5) It’s great when it happens.

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      EllaDee responded:
      April 21, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Thank you – all those points are very relevant, to us anyway as it’s essentially the criteria we’re working with. We’re both hoping to work in some form and quantity both for economy and sanity sakes, after and in between catching up on the holidays we’ve been banking up 🙂

      Like

    lorddavidprosserDavid said:
    May 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Here’s hoping the start of 2015 sees you settled in the new house with all the financial stability you need and giving the chooks a good home. You need time to carry on blogging though so don’t take on too much. xx Hugs xx

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      EllaDee responded:
      May 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Thank you – it’s as good a plan as we have 🙂 The chooks will wait until we come back from our travels… they and planning the vege garden will give me something else to look forward to. Will be blogging across it all 🙂

      Like

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