Is it time to break up with the rat race?
I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to summer.
Long hot days at the local pool, admiring the towering gums.
Wine and cheese under the eaves at the Heathcote Wine Hub.
Icy craft pale ale at Palling Bros Brewery.
All of this to enjoy, within 15 minutes walk of home.
Such is life in my little town.
But there is more to living in the country than chowing down on wine, cheese and beer.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, when you move from the city to the country, you swap one set of problems for another. The choice is - which set of problems do you prefer? To live the life of a rat, jostling for success - and space?
Or the life of a kangaroo? Free to hop in any direction, but uncertain about which way is the right one? Particularly when you're caught-out in the middle of the road in headlights - in the depth of night?
I find that in life, most people go with the flow.
Meaning that they move toward a destination that does really doesn't exist. They do this without so much of critically thinking WHY.
Why does everyone have to go to the city for work?
Why must we all start by 9am? And finish by 5?
Why do we work 5 days a week?
Why is it only young people and retirees who get to enjoy life?
Why are we developing big cities when it's plainly obvious the infrastructure exists to develop smaller ones?
It goes on. Have you ever wondered how this whole set up was set up? And more to the point, why intelligent beings, generally copy and follow each other, rather than bravely contemplating what is right for THEM?
The day my husband and I drove the removal truck form Pakenham to Heathcote was one of the most liberating of my life. We did it! We'd finally broken up with the city!
And the day I quit my Council job 9 months ago, I'd never felt so free. But just because I took the cliched 'leap', doesn't mean that the path 'emerged'.
In many ways, life has been more challenging. There is no blueprint or formula. I've also found that copying or following someone else ISN'T a successful business strategy. Nope. The most terrifying - yet the most personally and financially rewarding thing has been figuring the damn thing out myself.
Leaping is easy. CREATING, on the other hand, is scary. The path doesn't emerge immediately. But once you make a decision for yourself, that horrible "gnawing" voice inside goes away.
Whether it's moving to the country, starting a small business, changing careers, picking up a new hobby, if the voice inside is imploring you to listen, do yourself a favour. Listen. It's no one else but you.
And if you trust the flow of life, rather than just going with it, I guarantee that a path WILL emerge. There is no wrong way to go.
Director, Spark Rural
95a High Street, Heathcote VIC 3523
PO Box 265, Heathcote 3523.