Every time I relocated, it is like I have been making it up as I go. I go along following the latest article or “squirrel” that crosses my path. And then the Void hits. I forgot about the Whos. And the friend? I don’t have any friends here.
I think to myself, certainly I know how to do this. I am an adult. I am successfully raising a child. I have relocated before.
The challenge though is that I am out of practice. I have forgotten what I knew. The rule and processes of the partners chose in the past have changed. Regulation always change. It is like I am almost doing this for the first time.
In additional the “HELP” I am receiving from the employer is helpful monetarily but it doesn’t actually provide a roadmap to relocation. Housing check – Transportation of household goods check – a bit for miscellaneous expenses – perhaps culture or language training if an international assignment.
Each being static pieces of a much larger organic puzzle. Required but not really connected, leaving us ReloWomen to fill in the gaps. All of the gaps, which are like tendons and muscles. Without the tendons and muscles, it really doesn’t matter much if you have the bones. They are not going to go anywhere.
Oh, the Gaps
These gaps are everywhere and we are expected to know how to not only identify them and fill them. I don’t know how many times I have heard…
“This is just moving from here to there. You know how to live life. You obviously have already set one up. You already have a place to live and your things, so no problem, You’ve got it from here.”
The problem is that that life, that successful life was set up over years. It evolved over time to become what it was. Things, people and activities were brought in and let go of. That evolution happened slowly with lots of information…
NOT in 2 to 3 months knowing almost nothing.
But now we are being asked to pick up multiple, whole lives, roots and all, and replant them in a place we know nothing about. Where’s the roadmap for that? Who is going to help us? Typically no one. We are on our own.
And this is why ReloMoms was born, now ReloWomen. I have seen the struggle. I have experienced the struggle. I have scars from the struggle and I know it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, I am sharing a few nuggets from the ReloWomen Crash Course. A six week intensive course designed to get teach you what you need to know to create a roadmap that works for you and your family.
First Nugget – The “Whos”
One of the foundational concepts of the ReloWomen Crash Course is knowledge of the “Whos”. Who you are, who your partner is and who your children are. Knowledge of the whos is foundational because every decision made during relocation is directly related to one or all of you.
The first nugget here is actually a collection of assessments each of which analyzes different aspects of each family member…each of your whos.
I recommend 4 different assessments to be completed by each family member over the age of 10(make your best call as parents for applicability). In the ReloMoms 3 Step Relocation Workbook available at www.ReloMoms.com the first section lists these assessments along their links.
- Personality – Meyers Briggs type test FREE
- Temperament – “I Said This ~ You Heard That” app w/videos FREE
- Strengths – StrengthsFinder2.0 from Gallup https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/strengthsfinder.aspx
- Stress and Stress Responses – Birkman Method Assessment
- Personality – Meyers Briggs type test FREE
When we know who we are and how we work, we make better decision that align with us. In addition, when each family member takes the quizzes it opens up additional conversations about similarities, differences and shows how each person is best supported.
During all of the change and stress of relocation, the more each one understands the other fewer conflicts and more compassion is possible.
Second Nugget “The Relocation Void”
Not many people talk about “the relocation void”. Perhaps they forget after a year or so, but the relocation void happens upon most every relocating woman. Typically, as relocating women we take it upon ourselves to plan, arrange and setup for our kids, our partners and our family. We make phone calls, create schedules and get things all ironed out to make daily life run well.
We are so very busy attending to everyone else and their settling that we forget to attend to our own. Therefore, when everything is running like a Swiss watch and there is nothing else to organize the Relocation VOID appears.
Our daily purpose in the new place is gone. And without that daily purpose, that activity we experience a void of purpose, of usefulness.
Similar to Gone
The only other place I have seen this is when my mother was taking care of her mother during her last years. Everyday my mother would go out to Grandma’s place to get her up and going and then later again to go to bed. She would take care of everything Grandma needed in between. And then one day Grandma was gone.
My mother had such purpose taking care of her mother. She took such pride in it. Mom loved taking care of her mother and saw it as a privilege. When Grandma was gone, so was my mother’s purpose. For a couple of years Mom filled every day full with activity supporting her noble purpose. When Grandma was gone, so was her activity. So then what? What could she do that would be close to as meaningful as taking care of her mother? How would she spend her time?
That is the same with the relocation void. It means so much to us as ReloWomen to make sure everyone in the family adjusts and adapts, putting life in just the right order for everyone to begin living their best life. Everyone except us.
It is noble and right to do this, but many time we get so busy with them that we do not start to put the pieces in that are just for us. ReloWomen are both individuals and a family member. It is important to pick up knowledge, activities and connections for ourselves while we are setting up everyone else’s life.
That too, is noble and right.
Third Nugget – A Friend
We need a friend. I heard a great podcast a few weeks ago Women Who Lead. On the second one on relocation the guest being interviewed, Tania Thomas remarks that it wasn’t until she found her first friend that she began to settle in. This relocation at that time was 2 years old. It had taken her 2 years to find that first friend.
This is not unusual, especially for us ReloWomen. We are busy taking care of everyone else that we do not spend time finding that friend, no like we do planning play dates for our kids. We come last.
Either this OR we do not recognize the people in front of us as friends.
Friendship Reality & Illusion
In Friendships Don’t Just Happen by Shasta Nelson, she talks about the 5 different circles of friendships. The range from just met acquaintances(Contact Friends) to “call you at 3am” always show up friendships(Committed Friends). Shasta says that if at any time, one of those five friendship circles are empty you will feel a loss, like you are missing something. And that feeling will distract you from “seeing” those lesser but valuable connection right in front of us.
Sometimes we do not see it because we are looking for someone just like our best friend back in __________ .
In ReloWomen Crash course I go through the stages of friendships and how to set proper expectations for each stage friendship.
Ultimately, when you recognize a connection in the mid-section of the stages, you begin to feel that connection to the community. That is when that sense of community and home can begin.
To learn more about these topics and others browse the ReloMoms’ library of blogs and podcasts on the ReloMoms website…soon to be ReloWomen.
No Longer Alone
And if it is time to not walk through your relocation alone click this link and try out Whole Life Relocation Coaching. The first one is on me! We will primarily focus on relocation coaching and then spend the last 5 minutes talking about the ReloWomen Crash Course and Coaching options if you would like to hear more .
Join me on Thursday in the ReloMoms Podcast as we wrap up the week with more nuggets in the ReloWomen Crash Course. A ReloWomen Relocation Roadmap and experiencing hope.
Hope is everywhere when you know where to look for it. The ReloMoms Podcast is available in Apple Podcast, Spotify and other podcast players.
Have a Wonderful Week!