I’ve been reminiscing – about life changes. It was prompted by the topic for this week’s Sandbox Challenge . When I reflect back on the major changes in my life these come to mind –
Our family moved all the way across to the other side of the world when I was but knee high to a grasshopper. That was huge given it was a totally foreign world to us, language and all. Out of all of us I think I adapted the quickest, being the youngest and most malleable.
Some three years later we had another huge move when Dad, after much soul searching, opted for a major career change from carpenter to priest. It eventually led him to full time work as a Minister of Religion in the Lutheran Church of Australia. In transit to our new home city, Mum had a major health crisis. We had to leave her behind in the hospital in Melbourne till she was well enough to join us in Brisbane. That was a massive change on so many levels for the whole family. For me as the baby of the family, it was devastating.
We moved around a lot for the next ten years, following Dad’s work. Mum and I tried to count once how often we had moved homes and we gave up when we got to about 20. Many of those changes for me meant leaving behind friends, changing schools. Moving is something I have an aversion to even now.
The next big change was spending the last two years of high school in a boarding school. Living away from home was both freeing and scary. Fortunately for me by then my sister had left to go to university. She lived in the same city so I was one of the lucky boarders who got to spend a lot of weekends away from campus.
After high school I moved yet again. This time with my parents to Adelaide, where I have been ever since. By then I had met TRH (The Retired Husband) and got engaged. We met while I was home on holidays from boarding school. Our courting was largely conducted long distance. We did manage to spend times together. But it meant separation was heart wrenching until TRH moved to Adelaide.
University life came hand in hand with the move to Adelaide. I didn’t like it. It was a lonely time as I did not make new friends easily. Study was tedious. I just scraped through. My chosen career (nursing) had taken a detour to social work. I never did finish that course. I applied for and was accepted into nursing as a so called ‘mature student’ in my mid 20’s. Because by then I was married, I was allowed to live at home! That was a big change back then, only just implemented before I started my training.
Marriage and establishing our own home was of course a life changing event. We were fortunate to have been able to buy a home and move straight into it. Three years later we were forced to look for a new house. Because we had decided to test the waters and see if we could sell the one we were in. A small two line private ad in the paper had people queuing up with cash in their pockets. The state was at the tail end of a property boom. Our house had doubled in value. We found a house and moved the day before Christmas Eve. And we have stayed put since. That was back in 1979. Two car loads of possessions had multiplied into several trailer loads. I hate to think how many it would be now!
Around that time I had finished my general nurses training and was in the process of applying for specialist courses. Accepted into mental health, the hospital based training was literally just 2 kilometres down the road from where we lived. I loved it. And stayed in mental health until my retirement five and a half years ago. There were many changes of teams and sites within the span of my career. Some fabulous, some not.
In the midst of the moving houses and jobs, we were also coming to terms with infertility. That was a major, long term journey with many twists and turns. Eventually it led us to adopting from overseas. Over a span of 15 years (!) we battled the bureaucracy that is adoption. We have been blessed with a multicultural family – we are Finns with two boys, one from India the other from the Phillipines.
TRH was working as a carpenter when we married. A workplace accident left him with permanent back problems. Six months off work and intense rehabilitation enabled him to change careers into running a wholesale hardware business. Eventually he set out on his own, working from home the last ten years or so. Overall he successfully established and operated three different businesses during his working life. He retired last year. The plan included buying a new car. We did.
In between all of that we built a boat in our backyard over a period of 25 years. And there were many house renovations and extensions for various relatives and friends. Having been married since 1973, we are now at the stage where finally, we are working on finishing the renovations to our own home.
That’s my potted history. Change has certainly been blowing in the wind in my life. I have been, and continue to be, abundantly blessed.
Since retirement, I have been busier than ever. But it’s a nice busy. I am blessed to be able to follow my passion with what I do now. There have been twists and turns in that path too. It is still evolving and morphing. Blogging was added into that mix on 1st August 2015. It is a delight and a pleasure to be able to indulge my love of creative writing. There will be more.
What’s next? TRH and I have had our first road trip. That was part of our retirement plan. There will be more.
© Raili Tanska
Written in response to Lady Calen’s Sandbox Challenge 65 – changes in the wind