moving a mountain with a teaspoon

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The sombre latter days of winter preceding the brighter busy-ness spring heralds provide me an opportunity to take stock of our life and progress moving it from city to country. After consideration, I pronounce it satisfactory. We’re getting better at living well in our quest for a simple life. Although it’s not perfect, fortunately we have chosen wisely many aspects we find good in the everydayness of.

Broome vs Sydney
Sydney vs Broome

Comforting when contemplating my sister’s escape from Melbourne’s chilliness to take a break in the Northern Territory, first stop Broome, one of my favourite places, then onto Darwin and Kakadu following a similar route the G.O. and I took a few [too many] years ago over a comparable fortnight period. A timeframe the G.O. and I decided was too short, too exhausting to ever again contemplate. I experienced a few pangs of Kimberley region holiday envy, and got on with Sydney day-to-day life.

I’ve been spending days at my desk glued to the computer screen reviewing documents to a tight deadline, which after I’d rapidly laboured though a thousand or so, the deadline stretched… Notwithstanding I was captive and working I was at least sat in the sun drinking pots of tea and nibbling consoling muffins, so I considered those worse off than me. That would be the G.O. whose unpleasantly cold, windy and dusty construction site environment I wouldn’t survive half an hour in, let alone his 50 hour working week.

Sydney Soossie Cat dining in the dark
Sydney Soossie Cat dining in the dark

The G.O. and I were planning our own late winter escape of a week-long road trip to Queensland but dissecting the time-distance continuum it was pronounced implausible, and shelved [yet again] in favour of a week of attending to a little business, and as much R&R as possible sitting in the sun or by the fire at Taylors Arm.

It’s a change of plan that if she hasn’t sensibly decamped to reside with LHS neighbour our Taylors Arm independent living Claytons Soossie Cat will approve of no doubt, as it will facilitate her access to the inside amenities.

In the meantime our latest Sydney independent living Soossie Cat has after a year of ad hoc beneficence become sufficiently familiar to intercept the G.O. on his evening smoke-stroll, somehow understanding when she does it causes me to appear with not one but two tubs of cat food to feed her hungry self.

We’re impatient to be off on our longer term adventures both at Taylors Arm, and travelling further afield. Consolingly though, we see our forbearance transforming our dreams and plans into the landscape of our future. We’ve recently moved a couple of big [metaphorical] hills but the process requires more industry until the exciting stage is practically and sensibly within reach.

Our basic tools:

pay bills.

buy what we need to live well but not extravagantly.

save money.

ask do we need it now, can we do it differently?

wait.

Simple… Although it took us a while to feel like we were balancing it well enough. It’s not flawless. Sometimes time & energy is short. External factors are encountered. But the more we live, eat and spend ethically, sustainably, enjoyably, prudently; the less effort it takes to live, eat and spend ethically, sustainably, enjoyably, prudently… makes sense, huh.

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 1/4 percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” ― Dr. Seuss

Taking advantage of the embryonic interim we are assimilating much of the lifestyle we aspire to. Once we attain it, carefully considering the best use of our resources will be a necessity. But now it has the correlating benefit of furthering our efforts.

It truly is a mountain of a process, and depending what perspective we’re viewing it from sometimes it’s hard to see progress.  At the end it will all come together quickly, and things will get busy and scary… because scary accounts for the other 1 and 1/4 percent in Dr Seuss’s math.

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36 thoughts on “moving a mountain with a teaspoon

    davidprosser said:
    August 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    The thing is, given your tool is a teaspoon or not, you and the G.O. will eventually dig your way to Taylor’s Arms. You’re determined enough for the journey and prepared to learn all the things that make the path easier.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 6, 2014 at 6:55 am

      Patience has never been my strong suit, and was sorely tested when my sister announced her holiday plans. It took a great deal of restraint to not book plane tickets 🙂

      Like

    roughseasinthemed said:
    August 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    It’s a big change to make. But worth doing. Life is short enough as it is. Good luck and so pleased you feel you are getting there.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 6, 2014 at 6:48 am

      Oh yes, lately I’ve been wondering where the time goes, then I look at what we’ve accomplished not what’s yet to be done and the pieces fall into perspective 🙂

      Like

    The Wanderlust Gene said:
    August 5, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I’m admiring your restraint, but then perhaps I’ve been underestimating the pleasures of the process. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 6, 2014 at 6:53 am

      We’ve made a conscious effort to live well (so only eat instant noodles by choice not necessity!) while we put everything in place. Fortunately we both find enough enjoyment living in the inner-city and satisfaction from our work. But there comes a time for change and we want to be ready for it 🙂

      Like

    Cecile said:
    August 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Sadly – being American – I’m not familiar with the places you mentioned, although I did do ‘a bit’ of travel in Australia. (We visited Sydney, Melbourne and The Gold Coast & we LOVED IT!) Good for you for following your Basic Tips for saving money. My parents were born during the Depression and they were always VERY careful with money, as are most of the Baby Boomers – to which I belong. However – we Baby Boomers tended to spoil our children and the present generation have absolutely no idea how to save… at least most of them don’t. “You Go Girl” – wishing you the best of luck in all your endeavors. (Do you spell it ‘endevours’… like ‘harbour’ & ‘colour’ ?? LOL )

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      EllaDee responded:
      August 6, 2014 at 6:19 am

      The G.O. is a Baby Boomer and I just scrape in, so that helps a bit. I’m pleased you enjoyed the places you visited in Australia. I like them too. We enjoy living in Sydney but country living calls us back to our roots. Ah, yes we vary on colour, harbour and neighbour but we endeavour 🙂

      Like

    Vicky said:
    August 6, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I was about to say, life is short, but see roughseas has said the same.
    Grasp your dream and live it, cope with the consequences if and when.

    Taylor’s Arms Soosie cat is waiting.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 6, 2014 at 7:06 am

      We are getting close, can see the finish line… at a distance close enough to be simultaneously encouraging and discouraging. TA Soossie Cat would be pleased if we were there to cater for her in the manner to which she would quickly become accustomed… But I know I’ll worry about the various Sydney Soossie Cats when I’m not wandering around with tins of cat food in my handbag…

      Like

    ardysez said:
    August 6, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Your plan sounds very much like our plan was. We have been on the ‘other side’ of the plan for about 5 years now and it was SO worth the planning and effort, even though we did thoroughly enjoy the journey. When you are focussed everything seems to fall in place because you make decisions accordingly. Love that quote from Dr. Seuss, what wisdom! Very best to you both!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Thank you 🙂 There’s an economy of scale to preparing and leaping… and then the variables that arise for which we’ve extended the timeframe a couple of times to accommodate. But feel more confident having done so. It’s comforting to know others have gone successfully ahead of us.

      Like

    Francesca said:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:21 am

    You are moving towards a beautiful part of the world. I am reminded of my ‘camper trailer’ gathering dust in the shed and the need to journey up that way, to let go of some of the ‘busy-ness’ here.
    Although retired, I have never been so bury.
    Good luck with your resolutions.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 11:45 am

      That is something the G.O. and I were just discussing – the Nambucca Valley is a beautiful place to call home but we don’t want to get too caught up in busy-ness & getting things done at home. We want to spend a balanced amount of time exploring the rest of Australia, similarly towing a modest caravan 🙂

      Like

    anne54 said:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Such wise words, EllaDee, because not only are you building for a future life that you want, you are doing it in a way that means the journey is also enjoyable. So often we focus on the goal, and forget to enjoy what is happening here and now — like your cats, and the markets and the joy in each other’s company.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I can’t imagine a complete sudden change of lifestyle from unfettered city living to modest country… so our way suits us well 🙂 We are fortunate indeed that we have complementary and compatible outlooks.

      Like

    ChgoJohn said:
    August 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Of your basic tools, “wait” is the hardest for me to use. It helps if, as Anne54 suggests, I take the time to notice and enjoy the journey, for it’s more than a means to an end. It’s wonderful to read that you and the G.O. are making progress towards your goal. With the two of you so united, none of your goals are beyond reach.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Wait is the hardest for me too. To assuage my impatience, I write lists… and blog posts

      Like

    Food,Photography & France said:
    August 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Sounds like a busy life …and an exciting one:)

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Sometimes there’s quite a bit of waiting within the busy-ness but the plans are exciting 😉

      Like

    acflory said:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I’m a great believer in easing into major life changes where possible. And you’re right, the more you do the easier it becomes, and the more you discover that you can do. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      I think it would be quite a shock to the system to move from a full-on city life to a quiet life in the country. We are honing our skills 🙂

      Like

        acflory said:
        August 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        -giggles- Are you making jam yet? I’m told that’s…A Sign!

        Like

          EllaDee responded:
          August 8, 2014 at 5:56 am

          If only… jam making seems daunting but no doubt I’ll get around to giving it a try.

          Like

          acflory said:
          August 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

          I remember watching my mother make jam when I was little…I am NEVER going to make jam, lol.

          Like

    Glenda said:
    August 7, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Lovely post Ella, I am so happy for the pussy cat.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you. I’m pleased for her too. For the first couple of years she wouldn’t have anything to do with us, even though other the ‘independent living’ cats did. Then one evening I saw her in the garden watching us up on the balcony, so I went down with a tin of cat food – she had decided we were worthy 🙂

      Like

    Lori D said:
    August 7, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Sounds to me like you’re reaching your goals. Keep up the good work.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      It’s a nice feeling to be ticking things off 🙂

      Like

    mybrightlife said:
    August 8, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Can’t add much to what has already been said but the Dr certainly says it best! Holding thumbs for you!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 8, 2014 at 6:03 am

      Thank you 🙂 I find Dr Seuss a reliable source of wisdom pitched at that fine point just before too sensible 😉

      Like

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    August 14, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Delayed gratification is so rare these days. But when you’ve managed to finally jump to that spot – it will all be worth it. (Some children’s books are so wise – we should all hang on to them to read when we’re all big and really need some encouragement)

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Taking time about things may be considered old-fashioned but in my experience I think the outcomes are usually less scary. I still have my original collection of Dr Suess – priceless 🙂

      Like

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    August 29, 2014 at 7:46 am

    It’s funny how teaspoons can add up. A few a day and in a few years that’s massive. 🙂 Once you plow through the upfront cost of being a new adopter of something, it does pay off in the end. Funny how that works out.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      We tend to look forward at how much-far there is to go, and get quite a surprise when we take stock of what’s behind us… I imagine somewhat similar to your own journey 🙂

      Like

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