Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reactions to the move

Fascinating to me are the reactions of people to the news. Especially in light of the dramatically different reactions our move is causing compared to some close friends of ours - but more on that later.

It seems to me so far the reactions have been very positive. This should not come as a surprise, I would think, for most people. While some friends have said they'd be sad to see us go, they also agree that it is an adventure and one worth taking. Some agree wholeheartedly with the move - "it will be good for you", they say. I agree.

My own family have been a little less enthusiastic. To be fair, I had always been a great one for dreaming big dreams, talking big talk and being a little shy on the follow through. They know me well - or at least they know who I used to be well.

Every day, in every way, I keep getting better and better.

Better at following through with plans. Better at doing things on my to-do lists. Better at throwing things away (I have great room for improvement here!)

A cousin I spoke with today at a family christening, S., has lived in a few places around the world. She has lived notably in New York and Melbourne. When I asked S. why she was now living in Sydney, the answer was so that her kids would grow up being connected to their extended family. What a great answer. Fortunately for us I think our kids have had a good deal of that experience. Not the best, perhaps, but they are aware of being connected to a greater mob, so I think we can check that box.

So what of other reactions? Well our good friends have moved out of Sydney to a regional area. A large family with four kids and a few pets, the move was - interesting. While we were (I hope) very supportive, others have not been so. Especially their families - on both sides - have been downright unpleasant. Which is really sad.

The reasons center around family responsibility. Who will be looking after their parents? Up until now these wonderful people had been taking on a caring role of their own parents - but they are not only children! Are the siblings scared of having to take over? Feel that it is not their responsibility? Who knows - but these are some of the adverse reactions that can come up.

How have your loved ones responded to you moving away? How have you dealt with those reactions?


yatima said...

Oh... that is a big and complicated question. I think it's fair to say all sets of parents were thrilled and supportive when we moved; but they never dreamed we'd stay here for eleven years. It is much harder now, as they're growing older and the kids are growing up, to justify the ocean between us.

I have no idea what we're going to do about it.

Vivid Images said...

Hey Matt,

Our family has left us behind in Sydney. So the shoe is on the other foot I guess. But family should realise that distance is no barrier.

It is harder without family closer around and one thing I have learnt is that mostly people do not travel.

By that I mean, be prepared to travel to see people when you move away. Because most of the people who tell they will be visiting never do do. My sister lived in Tassie for 10 years and none of her brothers siblings visited ever. I went every two years. But we are travelers. I'm not being negative just stating some observations, I visit my relatives in Melbourne 5 times as often as they visit me here, but they aren't travellers.

We visit Melbourne most years and will do so while Dad lives there but after that far less often. So you will see us. Which would be funny since we have never been to your house in Sydney :)