In this episode, Lisa talks about the process of moving her family interstate, back to her hometown. She shares how she managed that process, the things it brought up for her and her family, and some takeaways that you can apply to your own life – whether you’re coming up to a big physical shift in your life, or simply wanting to see big inner change.
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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Sorry that it has been a little while between drinks. I have just completed an interstate move with my family of five, and I’m sitting here in a brand new podcast room. I am actually, get this, sitting at a desk to work for the first time since I’ve worked from home, which is since 2008, people, 2008. It’s currently pretty messy in here. Things are not sorted, need another trip to Ikea because I’ve never really set up an office before. I’m feeling pretty excited.
But what I’m here to talk to you about today is the move and this podcast is … This topic is going to run over two episodes so this is part one. And part two is going to be when I actually arrived in Melbourne, but part one is going to be about the actual move, how it happened. Because I learnt lots of lessons throughout it and I realised I had grown a lot and changed a lot doing this move. I thought I would just take you inside.
What actually happened, it was probably closer to the end of July. Wow, that feels like a long time ago and to tell you the truth, this decision for us to move from Brisbane, we’ve been there for five years to get back down to Melbourne. We’ve actually been away for 10 years so we spent five years working in Sydney, and Nick was working for Qantas when we were there, which was awesome.
Then, we moved to Brisbane when I had two kids under two, super fun. We were there obviously for five really awesome years, had another baby. Son started school like kindy and then school. And another daughter started kindy. We had beautiful family daycarers who are wonderful supports for our family and our kids. It was all around a pretty good time, but there was always this feeling that when we were away, and I had thought that our kids would absolutely be starting school in Melbourne back where we live.
I have nieces and a nephew, and I really pictured our kids growing up with their cousins and coming down to Melbourne all the time really started to take its toll. Every holiday, we would come to Melbourne and because we wanted to see our families and give our kids access to our families but we never got to explore anywhere else really. It was always really tiring going around from house to house just trying to cram in as much time with the people we love as possible.
It was always on the agenda that we would get back, but it was always really confusing about how that would actually happen. Nick works in a very niche area, and obviously, I started a business back in 2014. It was my little blog became a business. I sold my first product via that website. That’s when I started that journey which is exactly three years ago actually which is interesting.
I had the intention, I thought really at the time I just wanted to be able to pay for the kids to go to daycare and for a cleaner once a week. That was my intention, but in the back of my mind, I always thought it would be exciting to create something where we didn’t have to be anywhere, that we have the choice. We didn’t have to go where the work is. Lo and behold, three years later, it’s been able to deliver on that. That the dream that we could choose where we want to live has come true.
It’s been a long time in the making this decision. And I’ve talked about it a lot. I’ve talked about it on the podcast. If you follow me on the blog or Facebook page, I’m forever posting farewells and goodbyes to Melbourne or saying how much I love being down here, and whingeing about the heat in Queensland which has been delightful, but there’s a few months there where, well, you just try to get through. It was a long time coming but a very, very quick decision.
Things hadn’t been great for Nick and his health which I have also shared on the blog and our family was just starting to get to a point where something needed to change. We didn’t want to continue the status quo, but it was also a really scary thing to do, really filled with fear, a lot of fear around, I guess, saying goodbye to one life and then starting another.
We ended up making the decision really quickly, and that night, well, I just said, let’s call it. Let’s just call it. Let’s just go. Let’s just take this, see where it’s going to land.
We don’t know, but we’ve got to make a decision. Let’s do it now.
Before I had the chance to change my mind, I emailed the leasing agent and gave them four weeks’ notice. From the time we made the decision, we had four weeks to leave and we got out of there in three and a half.
While it was a long time coming, it was also a big shock to the system. But there’s a few things that I want to share with you that made the move really, really easy. There are a few really tough parts of the move and then I’ll share with you some of the best bits.
To start off with, the ease. Nick and I have been on a process of decluttering and, I guess, that home minimalist lifestyle for a little while. Nick hates clutter, and he’s always had this thing like, “Lisa, one thing in, one thing out, and I’m like, “What? I can’t,” like, “What do you do with the birthday parties and stuff?” It’s been a thing. He’s not a hoarder. He really likes a good clean-up. We’ve moved a lot, so we were in the last house we were in for two and a half years and the one before that for two and a half years. And that’s the longest we’ve ever stayed anywhere.
I find the moving process forces you to look at what you’ve got and whether it deserves to be packed and take into the next place. I thought we were pretty lean, but we got rid of so many things. We just took an approach where if we hadn’t opened it or used it since the last move, well, it’s not coming. There were bits and pieces that we had in our house from the times that we, back in 2005, just moved out of home and we’re taking from place to place with us. And we just decided that we needed to find new homes for those things because we didn’t need them anymore.
Our baby turned three in June, and we got rid of the cot that she was still in, and the change table, and that felt huge but also this really amazing, liberating, letting go. And I think that our move was easier because we have been on this path, this, I guess, decluttering and minimising the physical stuff in our lives.
Because we’re in the head space where we only want things in our home that make us feel good, have a purpose.
It just made the whole thing so much easier because we didn’t pack a lot of stuff.
I think the fact that I also … My brother said to me when I got down here, “Lisa, I actually can’t quite believe how well you did that move. I’m not used to that, Lisa.” I’m like, “What do you even mean by that?” Because in the past, I have been quite a scattered, chaotic person. They were also surprised that I just got about the business of moving. I took a really organised and logical approach to these. I thought I don’t have to approach this in the way that I usually do, ignoring the things that are boring but very necessary.
I just need to write a list, prioritise what needs to be done first and go for it, and I did. And it was seamless. Mom and dad came up to help us pack and by the time they got there, a lot of stuff had happened. Nick and I are a really good team, and as I said, we have done this many times. But accepting the support from mom and dad was an amazing thing to have happened, and it made it easy for them to know exactly what they could do when they arrive because I was so freaking organised.
I think that has come about because I don’t choose chaos anymore. I don’t choose the overwhelm.
I chose to make this as easy as possible, and it was an actual choice.
Over the past few years, I have had to talk myself around from chaos and overwhelm being my normal and that is what I help women do in Small Steps Back to You because once we start to prioritise the things that’s important, once we start to know what is important to us, what our values are, we look at how many balls we’re juggling and we start to decide which are the ones we really need to keep in the air and which ones we can just let slide, everything else becomes easier. Once we’ve done that work on ourselves and we’re coming from a place where we have clarity … I had clarity. I knew I wanted this move. I knew it was going to be easy. I did the things to make it easy.
The weird thing is I also had a trip to America scheduled in during that four-week period where we had to leave by, and I went. I wasn’t sure whether I should but because things felt so organised and easy because mom and dad … Because I learned how to accept help, and mom and dad were there willing and able to help us, I went to America. I think I was gone five nights, right in the middle, and I had no guilt about it. I felt better for it. I felt energised from it, and I felt like I was right in the head space that I needed to be for this big transition for our family.
They were some of the things that made it easy, almost enjoyable, but there were also obviously some tough parts of the move. I’ve mentioned before accepting help and being completely honest. I did found that very hard. I think we’ve been self-sufficient for so many years that accepting people’s help … Nick’s brother flew up to help with some big stuff happening around the house. Mom and dad, all the things. It’s something that I’m getting used to.
I feel like it will only bring me more joy in my life to accept the help that others are so willingly want to give. And I don’t know why we’re stoic a lot of the time and we think that we can’t or shouldn’t accept help that other people genuinely want to give. I don’t know. I wonder how good you are at accepting a helping hand, at asking for a helping hand.
That was a little bit tough. Preparing the kids for leaving was probably easier than I thought but it was the thing that gave me probably the most angst. Even beyond myself leaving, I am a highly emotional person, like I was driving down the streets and thinking, “This could be the last time I go down this street.” I have made the most amazing friends and I was so sad to leave them, but I knew I was going to be able to maintain relationships.
What really got me in the guts was the kids and their beautiful special friendships with kids who I adore and I adore their parents and I just thought, “What are we doing? They’ve got to say to goodbye to everything that they know,” and even talking about it now, I still feel a little bit teary because we were just making a decision on behalf of them. My son, super punch, he was six at that time. He’s just turned seven. I don’t think he really got it. He does. He’s here now. He was really excited to start his new school. He went for one day on the last day of term after we just moved into this house. Then, it’s been school holidays so he’ll start again in a few days.
He was pretty excited. To him, Melbourne is good times. It’s his cousins, his grandparents, his uncles and aunties and some kids that he really likes. All the boys basically that are down here who he adores. And he just went with the flow. I was really, really thrilled with how he handled himself, how he talked about it with his friends. The youngest is three and she really understands. She was going with the flow but our middle daughter found it a lot harder. There was one night, I heard her in her bedroom crying at night and she said she just didn’t want to leave. She said, “Melbourne is for holidays, mum. Brisbane is where we live.” Oh, kick in the guts.
But I explained to her that our family was having a new adventure and that it’s okay to feel worried and nervous and shy when we meet new people, and I told her that all her feelings were absolutely valid. I didn’t try to make her feel something … That was her emotion at that time and it was completely valid. We had cuddles, lots of cuddles and lots of reassurance and I said to her, “Let’s just give it a go.” Those words I heard her repeat to people many times.
“We’re just giving it a go.”
I figured that that was a perfectly reasonable way for her to explain it to people. That for her at that time, something completely permanent was a bit scary even although she knew we’re moving for good. We took the attitude that we’d just give it a go. And we do it as a team, and we have. In the next episode, I will talk to you more about what it’s been like down here in Melbourne but one of the hardest bits was her and just holding her safe in that space where she’s nervous and sad and a bit scared and validating that for her, but then also reassuring her that we’re a family.
We stick together. Life is an adventure and let’s just give it a go.
Obviously, the other thing that was difficult was saying goodbyes and I’m just going to take a deep breath in, because I am highly emotional and because I find goodbyes really, really hard. I have made beautiful friends in Brisbane and some of those friendships I know will peter out and some of those friendships are going to stick. I just have to trust that that’s absolutely okay and we will all do our best but those women, I hope that they always know how important they were to me through that stage of my life. Deep breath … So bad at this stuff, see?
In the next episode, I will share a bit more how processing all these stuff came as a bit of a shock because the move was so fast, because there was also a lot to do and even although it happened really with a lot of ease, there wasn’t any huge dramas around the move. It just happened really well. We still do need time to process these big huge life moments and I’ll share a bit more about that in the next episode, but for now, I just wanted to say that the goodbyes weren’t easy.
What I wanted to finish up with was just some of the real best bits of this move and some of the things that I … You know when you think logical thoughts and you can know something intellectually, but it’s only when you experience it that it really lands for you and it really becomes what you know to be true.
One of those things for me was leaning into trust, trust that everything was going to be okay.
Now, this is something that I have thought I’ve done before. Creating Small Steps, leaving the business. Before that, it was Lisa Corduff in the Kitchen. At the very start, it was Lisa Corduff in the Kitchen, then it was Lisa Corduff Keeping Food Real and now, Small Steps Living and all of those things, it’s come from a place inside me and I have trusted myself on a lot of that journey. If I try a bit too hard or do something that doesn’t really feel aligned with me, it always backfires. No, always.
That has been my lesson in trusting that inner knowing that we all have whether we call it the gut feeling, whether we call it intuition, whatever it is, some people might refer to that feeling as is their relationship with God or the universe or something like that. But for me, really deeply learning how to trust myself and knowing when things are right or feel right or don’t feel right is a huge lesson. And it’s been something that I have been practicing over and over and over again.
It’s same with our kids. We don’t trust ourselves and bang, we find a reason to come back to trust, trusting that inner voice, that inner knowing. With this move, I really lean in hard and just allowed myself to trust that this is a right time that it might not all make sense, it might not all go smoothly but I’m just going to trust it will unfold perfectly for good or bad that this is the path that we’ve chosen and that if I just allow myself to trust that, then everything else felt easier. And everything has worked out even although there’s been moments of high anxiety, worry, sadness, I can’t even say the G word goodbye without crying. But what I’ll share in the podcast is how that trust was really tested on the other side of the move once we were down in Melbourne.
And I’m sharing this because I really want you to know that when I share things, even like the declutter challenge, and everything in the Small Steps Living membership, everything in that Easy Kitchen Reset, everything in Small Steps Back to You, it’s all coming from a place in which I am learning as I go and I am sharing and teaching what I have learned from putting stuff into practice. There is absolutely no way if … Like for example, right now, we’re in our new house. It’s school holidays. We’re in a community. I want all the friends. I want it to be happening. I want it to be easy. I want to know where I get my hair done. I want to know where the best coffee is. I want to know the back streets and all that stuff.
But I keep coming back to, “Allow this to take time, Lisa, just one thing everyday. Take small steps.”
It is the only way I can get through life without it being overwhelming. The Small Steps mantra is the mantra I live by and I hope that you can see that just deciding to do an interstate move and making it happened. Move out of there in three and a half weeks and I was in America for five days during that. It’s come about because of a lot of the work I’ve been doing on myself and that work is really shared in Small Steps Back to You.
I think that is the stuff that is the most important foundational thing that we, as this generation of women need to be doing, because I see it all the time. We’re all so freaking stressed out. We are all overwhelmed and busy and our lives are chaotic and we cannot hear ourselves think. I am so clear on what I value and Nick and I are on the same page together. I’ve got a clear vision. I prioritise my time without packing it in all the time. I am a complete work in progress and none of it happens perfectly but I am just so glad to be on this journey.
I hope that that has given you a little bit of an insight into where I’ve been the last, oh, my gosh, when was the last podcast? I just hate to even think. Hopefully, we’ll get back up into a weekly podcast transmission. And I’ve got so many ideas, lots and lots of ideas and guests to be bringing you. This is my happy space and I am glad to be back. Thanks for listening and I’ll see you in part two of The Moving episodes.