“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
The quote doesn’t have direct relation to this post but I really liked it the other day, and identified with it. It does set the stage for how I feel about preparing myself to be more flexible for opportunities that come my way by being “stable” in life, which I guess is a comment at least on financial and professional well-being, or just being in a good place. Allow me to share the big news, the decision that has given me nightmares, the huge change on the horizon:
We are moving to Ireland. Holy shit.
A couple of months of are you mobile? will you? maybe? for two years. is there a budget? wait for the meeting. what do you think? here are the benefits. dog quarantine. abandon pets. no, wait, only for a year and lesser benefits. hand wringing. never mind, good benefits are back. paperwork issues to cover domestic partner. how about insurance? most questions answered. And the answer is…yes?
Now, nothing is official until all the paperwork is done and visas are granted, but after all this time of not knowing and feeling like life has been on hold while figuring out how to handle an international move without really telling anyone has been pretty challenging. I feel like I will regret it if I don’t take this opportunity and I’ll never be offered another chance if I turn it down now. My employer is cutting jobs and yet asking if I would like to spend a year abroad at their expense. I’ve always wanted to do something like that. In fact, it’s just ‘life’ getting in the way that makes it hard: David’s business and our pets, and the general hassle of figuring out what to do with your stuff. But I have been saving money, simplifying my possessions and expenses and life, all to be able to take an opportunity just like this! It seems almost perfect: I’ll have the same job but in a new place and my employer pays all the expenses to get me there and back, and pays for my housing and car too. There will never be a better offer, I will never be less entrenched in life, I have enough funds to make it fun and I’m still young enough to call it an adventure but old enough that I don’t want to always sleep in hostels when I go on vacation. Add to that a partner who seems willing to try the adventure and we’re in business.
David and the dogs get to come. It’s hard to figure out how he will maintain a business back home (let alone an income in Ireland without a work permit), but we think he’ll stay behind the first couple of months while the dogs finish their at-home quarantine. Now I have to work to find guardians for my rabbits, an agonizing part of the decision to go. I have bunny friends I trust and I will set up a stipend plus cover vet fees, but a lot of my nightmares have been about doing wrong by my pets. Was it not contacts in rabbit rescue that got me this job in the first place? How can I send Arliss and Vegas to live with someone else? They’re OLD! Plus the pigs, who at least seem to have a place with my parents. And there’s even a frog becoming homeless.
There are so many things to plan I don’t quite know where to start, but at least I seem to be past the nightmare/decision stage and now we’re getting into the practical planning stuff. Departure for me won’t be for a couple of months. Just how much prep will I get done? Can I purge some of my belongings? I love the idea of living simply (a furnished place where I can’t haul most of my stuff anyway is a great starting point), but wow. Just figuring out what to do for a cell phone (this would be why I still haven’t gotten that iPhone) and banking and OH GEEZ I HAVE TO DRIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET… it can be overwhelming. Exciting, yes, but I’m a planner and this is stressful.
Short term: line up pet care (and get the buns healthy) and figure out what’s going to happen to the house while we’re gone. Mid-term: buy raingear? Couple months: move by myself and entertain myself for a couple of months. After that: stress about dogs in cargo hold.
But I bet County Cork will be fun!
Any advice is appreciated.