There's a TV programme here in the UK by the name of Relocation Relocation. The format is simple- the presenters, Kirstie and Phil, work as estate agent/realtors to help people in their quest find new homes. The twist (if you can even call it that) is that for the people in question (invariably a couple, or perhaps a mother and daughter), the relocation usually represents a full-on lifestyle change.
So for example: Sally and Bob live in Swindon. Bob is a marketing executive and Sally runs a business from home. Tired of the rat-race, they want to sell their current property, a nasty four bedroom bungalow, and purchase an old barn to convert in the south of France, which they will then run as a B&B. Ideally, the barn should come with acreage, so they can keep bees and chickens, plus grow all their own vegetables. Of course, not wanting to cut all ties with jolly old England, they will also keep a small flat in Devon so they can still be near Bob's parents. With the sale of the Swindon house, they have a budget of three hundred and fifty thousand pounds to achieve their goal.
Go, Kirstie! Go, Phil! Make that dream a reality!
What I like about the show is that the lifestyle changes are occasionally wacky enough to entail traipsing around a large number of interesting properties. The south of France features fairly often and I enjoy choking into my gin and tonic at what you can get for your money there, as opposed to here. Kirstie usually wears some fetching ensembles- in particular, she has this blue coat with very large buttons, of which I have become quite fond. Lastly, things don't always go to plan for the intrepid couples, so it's not uncommon for the show to end without a happy resolution. To my mind, that is good reality TV.
What I find myself wondering lately is how is people actually manage to make all these major, life-changing decisions; some of which involve a fair amount of upheaval and financial risk. Whereas when I look at myself and E., I see a couple who are hamstrung by an apparent inability to decide anything. Sure, we talk a lot about grand schemes to do things: move back to America, build a house in the country, run away and join the circus- but when the talking is done, we don't seem to be any further forward. After all that, it was just talk.
What does it take to make the big moves? To take the big risks? Is it courage? Is it desperation? Is it idealistic naive wishful thinking? Or a bit of all of the above?
Personally, I feel as if I have completely lost my nerve when it comes to going out on the proverbial limb. Which is why I am all about the small steps- one little decision, one tiny move at a time. But eventually, if things are really going to change, there will need to be a large leap.
And the prospect is scary- so much so that lately, I find myself scuttling back to the sofa with the TV channel clicker in my hand. Marveling at those who seem so much braver than I. Of course, they do have help- and some very large buttons- to accompany them on their way. But where did they get up the gumption in the first place- and how do I find some of that resolve to call my own?