Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello 2012

Dress Circle - Lake Kununurra

I am so excited to see the arrival of 2012.

It’s going to be a cracker of a year! I hope it will be for you too.

We are finally declaring 2012 The Year Of The Dream. Our Dream, that is. No-one else’s. Who would be interested in running someone else’s race anyway?

It’s a dream we have been working towards for many years but the last two years we have been on a little detour. A detour, which we thought was necessary to get our lives back on track and turn the dream into a reality.

We have known for quite a few years what we wanted for ourselves and our family so 2012 is all about implementing.

Our Dream involves 3 main elements, which all have at their core the concept of living simply (sorry, the lawyer in me requires there to be a structure to my Dream):

1.Love where you live.

For us, this means moving back to our little Farmlet in Tasmania. We were so happy there. We bought our patch in 2006, the place where we wanted to raise lots of children and create happy memories, which we did. We loved it. We knew we were happiest in a smaller sized place where you can have strong ties to the local community and we were keen to have some acreage, for enjoyment, solitude and as a refuge from the very ‘public’ life the Pianoman was leading as a high profile lobbyist during our years in Tasmania. When we left Tasmania in 2010 we actually had our place on the market to sell. Buyers from interstate were looking through it saying they loved the land but wanted to knock the house down. But I love the house. It needs some work but it has a lovely feel to it. It was heartbreaking going through the sale process when it was something we had worked hard to achieve. But in a stroke of luck it didn’t sell. So we decided to rent it out. This has been one of the best decisions we have made. Cant wait to get back there, despite the fact its condition has deteriorated over the last few years and I will be doing nothing but weeding for the first few months.

2. Be more self-sufficient

Following on from point 1 is our Dream to be more self-sufficient. The main reason we left Tasmania was due to the political affairs of the state at the time. The Pianoman was Chief of Staff to the Premier (actually 3 premiers ago now!). The Premier resigned in 2008 and when a Premier resigns, the role of the Chief of Staff goes. The Pianoman refused to be a joint Chief of Staff with the incoming Premier and so was left without a meaningful job. It was a politically hot environment and difficult to find a suitable job in such a small State where lobbying skills are not in huge demand. There was the added stress that our twins had just been born and with 4 children to care for and a mortgage to pay, there was no way I could contribute financially as any income would have been eaten up in childcare costs. Playing the Piano would only go so far to paying our bills. And so we put our dreams on hold and moved to Sydney where work was plentiful. To cut a long story short, we have realized that we need to be more self-sufficient, financially. So this doesn't happen again. This will mean living on less money and simplifying our life to do so. So next year the Pianoman will be his own boss, no Boards or Chairmen to answer to. For me, it means a return to the workforce after almost 8 years ‘off’ looking after children. Exciting and scary.

3. Spend time doing things you love with those you love

Living and working how we want means being able to spend more time with those we love - our children and friends - as well as having more time for doing things we enjoy. I know this is obvious but I really noticed that despite my best intentions, it was harder for us to be the parents we wanted to be in such a big city.  All the (totally necessary) scheduling, travelling, commuting etc was a constant challenge. Of course you don't have to live that way but for me it's like asking a person to stop eating chocolate but making them work in a chocolate factory. I'm longing for a simpler life. Full stop.

So, with that all off my chest, will you be seeing 2011 out with a bang or having a quiet one like me?

We have moved through quite a few time zones the last few weeks and it’s playing havoc with my body clock. Midnight is 3am here in Kununurra so I'm pretty certain I won't make it.

We’re just about to pull up a seat at the "Dress Circle" here on the banks of Lake Kununurra to watch the magical sunset. The Pianoman and I will be holding glasses of bubbles and the kids will be holding sparklers and we’ll be partaking in some croc spotting.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2012! To all the fellow bloggers out there, thanks so much for your company, inspiration and encouragement this year in what has been my first year of blogging. I've loved every minute of it.

Looking forward to hanging out with you all next year J


  1. i can't wait to see your home in the Coal River Valley. sounds like very sensible resolutions to me!
    I look forward to watching you transform your home. I've really enjoyed "meeting you" via your blog this year, it's a lot of fun, finding people with similar (or different) lives and following along.

  2. Happy New Year Mel! What a lovely way to spend it.
    Thank You for sharing your Dream. Looking forward to following along as you live the Year of the Dream!

  3. I have been drafting my HNY resolute no resolutions and they are to
    Iive simply and happily as we settle into our farm life. We are starting our dream a little opposite to you guys. Our house didn't sell so we renting it out , a safety net if the farm change is less than ideal.
    Ps love catching up with your travels too.

  4. Oh Sweetheart, how I adored this post! Loving the 'back story' as only a born-and-bred Tasmanian could ☺. I'm so intrigued about your return to the workforce, too. My, we have so much to talk about! J x

  5. I agree with this completely. I made a lot of changes this year, not all of them deliberately, and I think 2011 was extraordinary. Here's what I can think of that had an impact (in lawyer format):

    1. Notice the moment. This is like "stop and smell the roses", but not as cliche. When something good happens (even if it's something very small), I notice it. And I notice myself noticing it. I don't think I've ever been happier.

    2. Lose some inhibition. I lost a whole lot more inhibition than I expected I would. I try things now that would have been ridiculous to the 2010 (and earlier) me. Sometimes this can put me in peril. I think I'll try and gain a tiny bit more inhibition (knowing my limits for a start...) in 2012, but overall I'm happy to toss the majority aside.

    3. Take risks. Not sure how often this should apply but I've been getting pretty lucky lately with this one. Some people say you make your own luck and I think taking the initiative is synonymous with that.