Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Living the Good Life - Part 3 Planning

Living a good or simple life is a dream for many people the world over. If you've read my blog for the past few days you'll have seen how we decided on our current course of action which basically involved selling all our worldly goods and moving across the country with our children in hopes of a better life. I guess that really does make us modern day pioneers or homesteaders. But like the homesteaders before us we needed to have a goal and then a plan of how we were going to achieve it. They had to build or buy wagons and handcarts, stock them with provisions and then set out towards a new land. None of them went without planning it first.

Planning takes time but is worthwhile because it can help you foresee and avoid some difficulties ahead. Planning gives you time to consider the things that could go wrong and also the various ways in which things may work out. For example, if you are a pregnant woman and you know you'll be going to the hospital you may keep your fuel tank topped up and do a couple of practice drives to try out different routes before you go into labour. You might also put aside money for a taxi along with their phone number or arrange a ride with a friend. Either way, the planning can give you a sense of direction and purpose, and also security. That's not to say that things will always go as planned but if you've thought about it ahead of time you can make several contingency plans in the event of something unexpected such construction or a flat tyre.

When you are making plans to change your life or lifestyle by going back to the land there are so many small decisions that they can all blend together and seem insurmountable. The trick is of course to break it down into smaller steps so you don't get too overwhelmed. Writing things down and keeping your notes organized is a good idea and I recommend the use of binders because you can divide them into sections with loose sheets  that can be changed or added to as needed.

If you find that you're getting bogged down in your plans and can't seem to find the way forward I have some advice. Start from the end and work backwards. For example:

I want to move to BC from NS. I've planned the vehicle I will use and how my things are going to be transported but after that I'm at a loss to know what to do. So I imagine myself arriving in BC. Okay, where specifically am I going to arrive? What will I have with me? Where did I stay the night before? What am I doing for meals? Often imagining a thing from the end to the beginning can kick start your thought process and get it going again. I can now see that I need to arrange and budget for places to stay and food. I need to have a specific destination and starting point. Before I can start my journey I must have taken care of things such as closing utility accounts which will remind me to arrange to start new ones, and I'll have to either sell my furniture and buy new when I get to BC or I'm going to have to move it somehow. So I need to research moving options and do a comparison budget before I make a decision. When you've made a decision don't second guess yourself. Just stick with it unless you get more information that changes your mind. But endless worrying and speculating serves no useful purpose and will only make you more tired, stressed and overwhelmed.

Asking for help and using available resources such as realtors moving guides can really help you find a place to start and get organized.  My friend Justin is a realtor here in Nova Scotia and he deals with military and RCMP moves to Greenwood as well as general moves, but because he's used to helping customers who are moving here from other provinces he has information on his website about the local area and different neighborhoods, he can tell you what to expect for weather and local schools and other information that people new to the area need to know. It doesn't cost anything to have a look and see if there's something useful for you too. His website is http://www.justinveinot.ca and if you need anything I know he's always willing to answer questions. He's a good honest guy and while it's true that it's his job to sell houses he is also interested in having happy customers who are going to love their home so he's definitely a real estate agent who will listen to what you want. If you happen to need a realtor I highly recommend him and you can tell him Elizabeth Faires sent you.

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