June 18, 2007

This is a really strange time in my life. We spent the first 6 years of our marriage attempting to become debt free so that we would be able to do whatever we wanted with our lives except now that we have achieved that goal are a few problems. Apart from the fact that we don’t really know what we want to do there’s the added dilemma that we may not be mortgage free as we first thought.

Six months ago, after selling our house we went on a bus trip around New Zealand. During that time there the pre-existing property boom in our town went into over drive and we got back to discover that houses in our price range had gone up by about 30%! While the money in our bank account had not. We could go somewhere else, downscale or do another house renovation to get back where we were but mentally I am at a point where I thought I wouldn’t have to do that anymore.

Naturally readers who don’t own their own home (and possible never will) are laughing at this terrible predicament, but that’s what having money does to you – gives you new things to worry about – like what would become of you if you lost it.

The answer of course is that we’d only be back where we had been previously but somehow this goes against the myth of perpetual progress that underpins much of our value sytem.

Our next problem is what I will do to make a living – I can’t even begin to answer this question. There are a few options, most of which I don’t feel very excited about and most of which don’t meet a criteria that I have set myself: That I should work with people instead of by myself because that suits my personality type and I tend to go a bit crazy when I’m by myself.

Next is where we are going to live. We spent that entire 6 months of our bus trip trying to decide between the areas of Nelson and Northland.

In Nelson we have my extended family (my parents, who currently live near us were both born there and would move back if we went there) and close friends who raise their kids the same way as us and have been very supportive in the past.

In Northland we have my wife’s family and other friends who are very close to us and who are homseschooling their kids as we plan to do.

We decided we couldn’t chose either because then one of us would be permanently seperated from their family and ended up deciding we should stay where we were. Except we can’t do that because no one is homeschooling in Raglan, and the two families who might have are our two sets of friends who moved (one to Nelson and one to Northland) so we thought we’d move to the nearest large town (where my parents live) Hamilton. But then we tried and…

This must be a problem at a kind of spiritual level, I have this theory that Raglan (which could be described as being alternative) exists because of Hamilton, which is to say that Hamilton is so conservative that Raglan was forced into existence to kind of balance it out. Anyway the end result is that we’d rather die than live near Hamilton. So….

Now we’re up north staying at my in-laws for a week while we try to find a piece of land where we can build a mud house, grow a food forest and maybe have a few animals. Except….

I have found that I am severly attached to Raglan. My parents shifted about every 3 years while I was growing up so I’m really surprised to find that the thought of leaving town really really hurts. Yes, I have immersed myself in the community there but our best friends no longer live there and I though this would be easy to do. To make matter worse moving up here would take me even further away from my extended family to whom I am also greatly attached. I have already mentioned my uncle who is important to me but I also have become very attached to my cousins now that they are all adults and it tears at me that I will see even less of them. I’d quite like to move down to where they are except….

Karen would never be able to live away from her family (especially one sister in particular) so I couldn’t ask that of her so here we are with everyone important to us scattered to the four winds (my brother is in Japan too) and we don’t have a good answer.

I don’t know why this affects us so badly when it clearly isn’t affecting anyone else. Both my parents and Karen’s fourth sister (also in Hamilton) said we shouldn’t stick around just because of them and that we had to ‘live our own’ lives but they don’t understand that they are our lives.

I have at least worked out that whatever I do with my life in the future it should have people and community as it’s first priority but moving away from family and places where I have put down roots in order to do that seems to be something of a contradiction.

Lastly, I hope this post hasn’t bored everyone senseless, I tend to find writing like this helps clarify things for me but right now I’m along way from knowing what that right answer is.



  1. Hey, at least you can grow avocados in Northland. Also, that’s where Kevin and Becky live (cryptogon and farmlet.co.nz), I’m sure you’ll find lots of cool people there. I’d move there if I could (know any single kiwi women?).

    Posted by: limukala | 06/24/2007

  2. […] the moment (as previously mentioned) we’d just like to be able to find families doing homeschooling so that our five year old […]

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