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Plot Twists Over Wine Sips: a 4000 km Midlife Expedition.

Is moving 4000 km’s at the age of 47 to start a new life, a midlife crisis?   If you read my other empty nester blogs you'll know I have really tried to embrace this midlife empty nester phase, but as time went on life kept presenting me more twists and turns. After facing so many losses over the previous years (my daughter leaving, my sister passing) I grieved, I did the work, and I was ready to restart my journey forward.

I was a quarter the way through the year, lulled into a false sense of security - when gracing the front page of my  morning newspaper was news that the builder of my future empty nesting apartment was going bankrupt. I felt sick. I was advised to be prepared for months of unknowns and had no idea if we were going to get our sizeable deposit back.

I zeroed in on staying both distracted and moving ahead by focusing on work and studies. There was a transformation happening at work so I thought - heck yeah, that will be interesting.

But picture this: just days before hitting 47 years of age, I got the news that my role wouldn't be part of the new organisational structure! Talk about a midlife plot twist!

Navigating 47 brought the looming possibility of both joblessness and an empty nest slipping through my fingers. Life seemed to be spiralling into chaos,  - I had to reclaim control.

With a glass of wine in hand, I embarked on a wild job search adventure on, and it ended up reshaping my entire life. In the midst of life's chaos, I thought, "Why not pursue a role I've always dreamed of?" The universe is throwing its own craziness my way, so why not embrace a bit of madness myself? Granted, it might have been the wine talking at this point... then again, who's to say for sure?

6 weeks after that wild job search I received an offer for a dream job - 4000 km’s away in Perth Western Australia. A job that was actually in the same state my daughter was living. P.S. She wasn’t that excited at first but that is a story for another blog!

My husband and I had lots of deep conversations about what to do. We wrote down all the pros and cons. We compared the future scenario with our current situation. I didn't have a future role in my current organisation. He was also experiencing job and structural changes working at the same organisation. Our empty nesting apartment was in a state of limbo. We didn't have anything to lose but there were so many unknowns.

Time was a ticking....and l didn't want to lose this opportunity waiting for everything to fall into place. We decided together to take a leap and I accepted the job. Heck, I accepted the job and had no idea where we were going to live, or if my husband was going to also find a job!

We began madly packing. We had nowhere to move to - but kept madly packing, as we knew somehow we had to make this move happen. After all, I'd accepted the job and had a start date in 10 weeks. 10 weeks with nowhere to live, and no second income! 10 weeks to down size our life, say goodbye to family and friends, and pack up and move 4000km's away!

A week later my husband had 3 job offers. We couldn't believe it! Was the universe trying to tell us this was meant to happen?

A day after I received my employment contract we mad a verbal offer over the phone to purchase an apartment after video inspection. Crazy right? We researched the neighbourhood and location, and had only seen the apartment by video. It was a two bedroom, 2 car park unit near the Perth CBD and close to my work.

The owner was willing to settle in 4 weeks - which meant we could move into our new place before we started our new jobs...phew. Ok, by this stage was I was definitely thinking the universe was telling me this was meant to be!

In our younger years, we never would have done something like this. All our previous life decisions were low risks, Sensible life decisions with low risk.

We laughed.....were we having a midlife crisis? Our family and friends thought so when we told them the news.

We had two weeks left to say goodbye to everyone and then move. Things did not go to plan and there were a lot anxious tears along the way. My daughter said the carpet in our new apartment was terrible (in the video it didn't look that bad). I then went on a mission was to pick carpet and arrange for installation in an apartment on the other side of the country. Why oh why did I add that stress to my plate?! Navigating new body corporate rules was a nightmare!

Then there were the move challenges! Our bank refused to pay the removal company, as they thought our invoice was a scam. Our removal company forgot to pick up our second car to load on the truck the day before we were supposed to leave on our road trip. We had to call the removal company the day of our road trip and arrange to drive our second car 85km's so it could be taken and trucked to Western Australia. I was angry, tired and anxious.

10 weeks after accepting the job offer, my husband and I embarked on an amazing road trip to our new home. 

Here we were sitting in my trusty Subaru, in the bustling parking lot of the freight company. We were definitely ready to embark on the first leg of our road trip.

The journey leading up to that moment spanned a whopping 10 weeks, filled with fatigue, anxiety, and a myriad of emotions.

As we sat there, a wave of relief washed over us, accompanied by an undeniable excitement for the beginning of this new chapter in our lives.

Our midlife expedition unfolded on the open road, with a road trip of a lifetime spanning over 4000 km through the diverse landscapes of four Australian states.

Stay tuned for our travel tales in an upcoming blog!

As I reflect on that roller coaster period last year, I am glad it happened. I had to lose almost everything to be brave enough to take the leap and try something different. Here I am living a new life, with a dream job and with a safe place to live. Forget the midlife crisis; I prefer to call it a midlife resurgence. 

If like me you find yourself at a similar juncture in life, seeking a way forward; here are some insights drawn from my own experience that might just light your path:

Embrace Change and Chaos:

Life's unpredictability can be daunting, but I've come to see it as a canvas for growth rather than a series of setbacks. Embrace change with an open mind and open heart; and consider it an opportunity to evolve. Adapt your plans as needed, and you might just find new avenues for personal and professional development.

Acknowledge Your Feelings and Do the Work:

Acknowledging setbacks is crucial, and allowing myself to experience all the feelings associated with the set backs was important. However, I refused to let it paralyse me. Instead, I took proactive steps to overcome obstacles. Whether through self-reflection, seeking professional guidance, or acquiring new skills, doing the work paved the way for my resurgence.

Reevaluate Values and Pursue Passions:

In moments of change, I discovered the importance of reevaluating my goals and priorities. I reminded myself what I valued in life and work. By aligning my pursuits with passions and values, I found a deeper sense of fulfilment. This shift not only transformed my journey but also made it profoundly meaningful.

Stay Proactive and Focus on Possibilities

Maintaining a proactive and possibility mindset proved to be a guiding force. Focusing on what I could control allowed me to take meaningful steps forward. Even in the face of adversity, focusing on possibilities rather than problems, became a beacon of resilience, shaping my future path.

Be Willing to Take Risks:

The journey from crisis to resurgence often involves risks. I embraced the idea of stepping outside my comfort zone, both in career choices and personal life. This willingness to take risks opened doors to rewarding experiences, demonstrating that sometimes the greatest opportunities lie just beyond our perceived limits.

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