Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to make a decision

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IMG_9830 Last year, while I was doing the publicity for my book Vantastic, I found that at some stage in almost every interview I did someone would ask me about the process of decision making. How did we decide to go on a six month caravan trip around Australia? Where did the idea come from? Why did we need to do it? Once we'd come up with the idea then what did we do? And why on earth would a family of five make the decision to leave the comforts and safeties of their own home and business and make the risky decision to set off on an adventure? Why indeed.

Considering the fact that I was doing most of these interviews a year and a half after we'd returned from our trip, it was often hard to remember all the minor details that led us to the decision making time three years before.

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IMG_9834 For the past couple of weeks we've been making a similar decision. We've been discussing and planning our next adventure. Another possible trip, another lot of crazy thoughts. But this time I've been aware of the decision process the entire time. I recognised the seed of the idea when it was planted. I watched and noticed how we as a couple looked at that germinating seed from every angle, discussed the pros and cons, analysed the dreams and the realities, our fears and expectations and then introduced it slowly and carefully to the girls and then our extended families.

This time we left the idea as an idea for a while not making any concrete plans or doing anything to make this dream come true. 'This is what we are thinking about doing' we'd say, and it felt safe because it was only words. Words are so easily spoken and then forgotten.

Until a few days ago when someone asked us for potential dates and we realised that it could all be happening less than a year from now and it was time to knuckle down and do some research and write some emails. But before that we had to make the decision to actually do this. Were we serious? Did we really want it? Could we really do it? How on earth were we going to make the decision to leave the comforts and safeties of our own home and business and set off on what sounded like another crazy adventure?

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IMG_9825 We talked, we wondered, we dreamed and we googled, and then I flicked open page 124 of Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things. A page I'd marked a few weeks ago and now knew exactly why. An interviewer asked Cheryl what she does when she doesn't know what to do about something and Cheryl replied;

I talk to Mr Sugar and my friends. I make lists. I attempt to analyse the situation from the perspective of my "better self" - the one that's generous, reasonable, forgiving, loving, bighearted, and grateful. I think really hard about what I'll wish I did a year from now. I map out the consequences of the various actions I could take. I ask what my motivations are, what my desires are, what my fears are, what I have to lose, and what I have to gain. I move towards the light, even if it's a hard direction in which to move. I trust myself. I keep the faith. I mess up sometimes.

And then my sister Meg emailed me with a quote out of my Dumbo Feather article. She quoted me!! I had no excuse not to listen.

My feeling is that there's never going to be a right time for anything. There are excuses for everything. The caravan trip taught me that you can do it. How do you know what's around the corner? I felt that really strongly while we were away. Everyone we spoke to had these amazing stories of why they were away. And most of them were because something terrible had happened in their lives and they were recovering. Somebody had had a horrific heart attack, someone lost their job. Crazy things happen. So you just have to live now. Your family are so precious, time is precious. They're more important than schooling or the same olds. So that caravan trip really gave me the courage to think that we've got to live our lives. We've got to take control of them and engage with them. Not sit back and be passengers.
Not long after reading those two paragraphs I sat down and wrote an introduction letter, this is who we are - this is what we want to do. I sent it to farmer Bren for approval and edits and once he sent it back I took a deep breath and sent it on. Now we're waiting, (and pressing refresh on my email a few times too many each day).

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IMG_9832 This is how we made this decision. I promise to fill you in on the details as they become a firm plan. I'm excited but also a teensy bit terrified. I'm nervous to even press publish on this post. But I guess all the great adventures have to start somewhere.

Now to make the next big decision for our family, what to have for dinner tonight, lasagna or felafel and salads?


Be well and make the good decisions lovely friends.

Bye!

xx

35 comments:

  1. Oooh! Exciting! Can't wait to hear more! xx

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  2. Oooh, now thats intriguing! Can't wait to find out what the next adventure is Kate. Very exciting!

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  3. We need the *really* important information - what have you gone for? Felafel or lasagne?

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    1. hahaha quite right, we had veggie lasagne. x

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    2. Mmmmmmyummy, a personal favourite.

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  4. This is the perfect response to the post I wrote today titled: "Plagued by Indecision". Thank you, Kate x

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    1. Jodi, as I read this, I thought of your post!

      Kate, I am so intrigued and excited to hear all about your plans. There's a part of me that can't wait to be finished with this tiny baby business so that we can hit the road for a spell and have our own vantastic adventure. You're an inspiration to someone who wants to live a life less ordinary. Linda. xx

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  5. What will be .... will be.... xxx ♥

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  6. What a beautiful post. It can be so easy to get dragged into all the reasons not to do something. It is important to remember the challenges can produce some amazing outcomes. I wish you the best as you approach this next journey.

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  7. Kate, I smile when your blog pops up in my Blogger feed...every single time. Wise words, gentle advice, creative thoughts, exciting plans...I really am intrigued now! I am trying to guess what you might be up to, I wonder if I am even close? x

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  8. In my early adult years I found this so easy to do. IDEA. BAM. Plan and go.

    Now married with two kids and a picket fence I find myself less inclined to drag everyone with me but also less able to decide on what I want to do.

    I look forward to hearing all about the next trip for your family.

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  9. what a lovely post. I've been travelling around the world for four months last year. It was not an easy decision but looking back now it was the best decision I've ever made! We had a caravan and drove along the West Coast of Australia - from Darwin to Perth. Your blog brings back a hundred memories. I'm really curious about your new adventure!

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  10. Oooh exciting!!! I'm a fan of big scary decisions - good things always come from them. I'm not a fan of the waiting part though (I'm having to do that right now!) so can completely relate to you checking your e-mails all day long for a response :-) Can't wait to hear what you are up to and hope you don't leave us hanging too long! Mel xxx

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  11. Thankyou Kate. We are absolutely plagued by indecision at the moment. We are leaving our home state and can move anywhere on the eastern sideboard. Anywhere. How to chose? What criteria? When/where/why...

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    1. When the kids were little, we lived in a small fishing village between Coffs Harbour and Port MacQuarie, this is an awesome part of the country, the climate (at the beach towns) is PERFECT no frosts, plenty of rain for gardens and great lifestyle,plenty of fresh local produce, no pollution, sunny, warm and you can still be swimming at 7pm with daylight saving.
      High fashion and the latest car or macmansion is not the norm, so debt reduction is easy......win, win, win

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  12. Ooh...exciting times :-)
    Tracey xxx

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  13. I love posts like this (well I love your whole blog). We leave for 6 to 12 months doing the big lap of Australia January 2015. It was a big decision, but definitely the right one. And now we have made it - SO excited with patches of nerves. But during those patches I think about why we made this decision for our family and what it will bring to us. X

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  14. In times like these I keep telling myself things are "exciting" instead of "scary". And it's always both.

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  15. A very timely post Kate - thank you!

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  16. I'm excited for you Kate! Gosh, I dream of doing something like your caravan adventure, at this point in time we can barely plan to go away for a weekend, you're inspiring me to at least try to do that x

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  17. This is a beautiful post. And I love all things Cheryl Strayed. I hope the nervousness turns to excitement!

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  18. So exciting. I can't wait to hear more.

    How does the saying go? She jumped and on the way down built wings. xxoo

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  19. I love this post. As I get older i get more terrified to make decisions! Before children it wasn't a problem and radical change was my middle name! Funny that!
    All the best with your new change!! It's great to have the choice!

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  20. This is so exciting! I must admit though...this post hit home a bit today. I've been having baby fever but you know..."it's not the right time" to have another one. The realistic side of me knows that there will never be a perfect time to have a child so your words are just pushing me in that direction more. Haha. I hope things work out for another possible trip! If it happens I'll be very excited to read about it. Also, I'm gonna check out that "Beautiful Tiny Things" book. I read Wild and loved it.

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  21. You've certainly made me curious! We just made a HUGE decision today too. I am so happy about it. We need to start the next adventure. Thank you for inspiring me with your words and your images. Love this space so much. x

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  22. hope your plans all work out and am interested in your comments but love your photos they are so beautiful and serene

    elizabeth s

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  24. Kate - this is such a terrific, terrific post! Huge decisions are so tricky, but they are almost addictive to you know? They make you feel alive! And then after they are made you feel exhausted, almost a bit of a comedown really! Love, love your blog so much! You really put so much in to words that I would love to say!!

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  25. I'm guessing there was a small reference to this big decision in an earlier blog post. Wonder if I am right?
    I live vicariously through you and your family Kate...thanks.

    cheers Kate

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  26. I'm so strange with decision making. When it comes to really big decisions I usually just make up my mind and take the leap, but when it comes to tiny decisions (like making dinner!) I am hopeless and tend to deliberate and faff about like it the hugest choice I will ever make. It's quite ridiculous! I can't wait to hear about this new adventure for you guys. I very much admire your resolve to follow your heart and make good things happen. So excited for you!!

    Katie xx

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  27. Love this post! Sometimes you just have to do something out of the ordinary!
    We did!
    While we were on our 9 week adventure from south west Victoria to Cape York and back we decided if the opportunity ever arose we may move to Qld. 7 weeks after we arrived home the factory my husband worked in announced they would close in 12 months. So we set about making plans. We have now been in Brisbane for 6 months and are loving it. If any one had told me 5 years ago that we would move away from all our family I would of said no way.
    Good luck with whatever you have planned :-)

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  28. Good luck with everything falling into right place and the plans smoothly becoming the reality. I'm looking forward to reading about your next adventure.

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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