We’ve been waiting on some information that we were told would come twelve hours ago. We don’t mind waiting, if we know exactly how long it will be. Tell me, from the start, that it will be twelve hours and I’ll arrange my day accordingly. But don’t keep me hangin’ on. I hate that.
In the last couple of weeks some people I know have made a fairly monumental, life-changing decision. Months of agonising over possible outcomes, months of consulting with accountants and lawyers, months of writing lists of pros and cons have ended with a final, sudden decision about the way forward. I’m being deliberately vague with the details but the reality is that it doesn’t matter what the decision has been about; what’s important is that these friends have made a huge choice and you can almost see them walking around a bit taller, without the weight of indecision sitting heavily on their shoulders. Now that they’ve made the decision, they wonder why they waited so long to do it. Why they put up with the status quo when it was so obviously slowly destroying them.
Years ago I saw an episode of 60 Minutes that was talking about families who had over-committed themselves to enormous mortgages, and how they were now trapped in a cycle of working hard just to pay the house off. There was one couple in particular who were shaking their heads at the ridiculousness of the situation they’d got themselves into. But it had taken them a long time to get to a point where they were able to be that objective, because they really, really wanted to believe in the dream.
I don’t think you can see the problem until you have detached yourself from the feelings you might have, whether they are love or guilt or ambition or whatever. Sometimes it really does come down to cold hard facts (and cash) and then maybe somebody on the outside saying to them ‘You know, you don’t need to put up with this… You have a choice.’ That little nudge is all-important.
We got a little nudge just recently and as a result we have decided to move house. If you know me or have been reading for a while, you might know that we have been waiting and hoping – for years – for an opportunity to purchase a rural block of land so we can build a house from scratch and, just as importantly, get the kids puppies and horses. But the opportunity hasn’t come along yet, and we are living in a home that doesn’t really suit us anymore. We could stay here, waiting, for years if we wanted to, or we could leave and spend the waiting time in a better house. So that’s what we’re going to do. I’m very excited at the prospect of finding somewhere new to live. I doubt we’ll be able to manage a horse for Madeleine but puppies are, as I’ve hinted, a distinct possibility.