Stop Reacting…know before IT happens

What do I do?!?  What do I do?@!??

That’s the feared question.  In those times when the truly unexpected has appeared, I am gob smacked!  How do I stop reaction and know what to do before IT happens.

…and then I remember what my father does.

My father, the retired Senior VP of Sales, is a master negotiator and sales manager.  In most times he is unshakeable and moving forward with a momentum hard to stop.  For those of us not quite as motivated by a “goal” this is exhausting.  We all wonder if he ever really takes a break.  A break from thinking forward. 

What if…

His “what ifs” are generally positive and in working to his end goal. He is improving “something”.  From the way his charity club works to keeping his pool in top condition he is driven by what he believes is possible.

The most valuable thing my father taught me is how to look forward and believing it could be better.  For many years this was just a single belief that I applied to life.  Break up with a college boyfriend…I will find another.  My car gets randomly hit in a parking lot and moved 3 spaces…It can be fixed or replaced.  I am rejected by someone I love…even though I don’t know how, I believe I will be OK.

Not in a Pollyannish way, with hope as the only tool.  But with a belief and determination to make “it”better, I get out of bed and push forward.

Mission and Vision ~ not all that boring

See my father taught me about Mission and Vision Statements.  Though he had primarily used them to focus and motivate his sales staff, he took time to truly understand the mechanics of these two statements.  He first moved it into his personal life with my mother. 

The two of them sat down on many occasions to craft the Mission and Vision for their lives, their marriage and their kids.  When I got married he ran John and I through the process.  Though we didn’t use it the way dad intended, when I came across it a few years later, all of our goals had been met.  The act of putting what we wanted to words meant something to us, even in a drawer.

Before needed…

That focus carried us through a few difficult times.  It was knowing we were literally on the same page that we stayed on the same page.

Momma’s Balance

My mother, the wise one who always seemed to be right during my teenage years, taught me a sister lesson to Dad’s mission and vision lesson.  Because she wanted me to make decision that fed who I was and kept me from only reacting, Momma taught me to know the why behind the mission and vision statements.

Mission and vision of anyone’s life is built on the back of knowing oneself and the personal core values.  Momma knew that if I would internalize and really know my core values, I would make a decisions and live with less regret.

Logic fights Emotion ~ in the moment

A lot of times we learn the logical thing to do.  It all makes sense intellectually.  However, In the midst of that crisis, reacting prevails in the face of crisis and our ability to be logical is gone. Emotions take over. 

That knee jerk reaction from childhood lashing out, both attacking and reaching for comfort. Searching for a temporary pain reprieve, no matter how destructive our intellect knows it to be.

Knowing my why keeps me from allowing emotion to get too carried away.

I feel the conflict during the consideration phase.  When an idea is contrary to my core values and mission, that very act of considering “it” feels like course sandpaper across my skin.  Instead of a faint whisper of hesitation, Multiple parts of me that SCREAM OUT, “don’t do that.” 

Relocation and Desperation

Relocation has led to some of my loneliness times.  So desperate for a friend and emotionally ready to  take anyone.  But in the midst of getting to know someone, the red flags went up.  Different values.  Conflicting kid rules.  No real belief in Kindness or got pleasure from other’s pain.

And though I was desperate and thought I could make this work, the conflict in my brain, that sandpaper across my skin told me ~ in no uncertain terms ~ “Oh heck no.  But please be nice as you end this.”

Apply to every relocation decision

When relocating, as the trailing spouse we are required to make a plethora of decisions every day from the day we agree through getting connected in the new community.  In the past, under non-relocation circumstances, we all tried things out.  Does this person or activity fit?  We will see if the program works for little Johnny.

Not too focused and with plenty of time we can just figure it out as well go, casually.

Ability to take our time LOST 

This is because little Johnny is having a melt down about leaving Curtis in the last city.  Suzi is falling behind on her AP classes and they don’t offer the same program here.  The dog has an infection and there is no vet.  Add to that, the seller screwed up the close so you are two day behind in moving in and can’t travel more than 2 miles, just in case.

An established mission and vision statements based on the known family core values gives focus and clarity

Many potential crises are averted because you know what is most important to the family.

  • The familiar activities are already planned
  • Fun days out reduce stress
  • That consultant/coach has already been identified and the pre-work has been laid
  • And you built in 3 or 4 days between close and move in so a few more days in the hotel works.

Relocation scope must expand

The crises that cause the most problems are nothing that your relocation department or real estate agent ever thinks of or helps you with.  These people consider these items “personal” for you to work out

But in reality, these problem items are all about the community your are moving into.

By defining your core values and creating a mission and vision for this relocation, you become efficient at making decisions, helping people truly understand what you need with the why behind it, as well as jump starting life for everyone in your new location.


The Path by Laurie Beth Jones

The 4 Elements of Success by Laurie Beth Jones

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Annette Walters is a new empty nest ReloMom with 13 moves under her belt who is just about ready for her next adventure.

#7 Relo Challenge The NEW Normal

(c) creativecommonsstockphotos |,(c) Mikdam |,(c) creativecommonsstockphotos |
(c) creativecommonsstockphotos |,(c) Mikdam |,(c) creativecommonsstockphotos |

The New Normal.  What is that?

So many changes & so many differences, normal after relocation can seem unattainable.

Interestingly, our brains are always looking to create normal through  shortcuts. It does this in the background or even unconscious to conserve energy for the next fight or famine.  See The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

Do you want what comes without choice?

I challenge you to slow down during the first few months to choose not just fall into your new normal.

Defined by BING


With the clean slate of relocation, ask yourself…Do you want life to be like it was?  …OR is it time to bring in some new and toss some old?

Most times, what we do is not by choice. We do things because of who we know, their values and what they choose.  Whether a friend, parent or authority figure, going along with their choices, interests or values is the easiest path to connections and a daily routine.

Though easy, these activities and people may not support your values and how your family wants to live.


→Want to try Yoga?
→How about a more creative workplace?
→Think your kids should try Awanas or Scouting?
→Are you really a minimalist, a gypsy or sailor?
→Would homeschooling for a year allow the whole family a Japanese adventure?
→WHO do you and your family want to be???

Dig down and imagine a life without the shoulds and coulds of the previous place.  Push aside the assumed or real judgement of others and design life.


(c) Publicdomainphotos |

Live here, buy that, do this! All clamoring for your attention ~ media, family, friends and “accepted” rules/norms and then judging any deviation, it’s amazing any of us live outside of the 1.86 children, 1 dog, white picket fence house.

Some choose this.  And you can too…but you don’t have to.


There are few times in life where we have the empty space to create a life.

Being physically separated from who we know, the culture we know, the rules we use and the traditions and habits we participate in, gives us that empty space.  This is the time sift all that we have been doing.

What is liked and valued?
Name what propels you forward?  And sucks the life out?
When life felt as big and as wonderful as it could be,
Who were we with, what were we doing, who were we blessing?
Types of friends encourages us to be who we are?
What or who told or implied we were not good enough?

It is how we feel about our experiences that help us to verbalizes what we value.

See the NEW Normal worksheet for examples of core values.


Where you sleep at night, what you do and who you are with, that defines home.

Home noun \ˈhōm\ :1. Place of Residence. 2. Social unit formed
by living together. 3. familiar or usual setting.  Merriam Webster

What works for your family?  Who are you?

* A loft downtown with artsy friends, weekly cocktail parties and selling party art.
* A sailboat in the Caribbean with Fluffy and a captain going from island to island giving lectures on organic farming.
* Backpacking with a travel journal, your family and wherever you lay your head every night.
* Two and a half acres in the country where the kids can be raised without big city distractions and taught to hunt.

The point is to personally define home.

How, when, where and with whom

Home is built upon the activities participated in, the supportive people allowed in, and the physical home recharged in.  The structure is ultimately a single cog that supports how you live, not the definition.

THE END GAME ~ Your New Normal

(c) Ilona75 |

Now THIS is home!

The Primary GOAL of ReloMoms is to help you create home wherever you land.

By taking time to create and know your normal, it is something that you can take with you and your relocation adventures wherever you go.

Take some time and use the link worksheet to define your new normal:

And ultimately living Your definition of HOME.

Craft your NEW Normal with this week’s worksheet

#7 Relo Challenge The NEW Normal Worksheet

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.