Three Steps to Building Community

Three Steps to Building Community

Three Steps to Building Community

Building your community truly consists of 3 simple steps. Simple to understand steps. 

      • Doing what you LOVE
      • Dating the community
      • Choosing vs. Settling

The goal of these steps is to take advantage of the clean slate of relocation and only invite into life that which serves and supports the life desired.

Doing what You LOVE

Doing what you love is just that, seeking out what you like to do in the new community.  That is where you will find others, here, who love what you love. 

These activities can be found on programs like MeetUp, at businesses (riding clubs from a bike shop), through the chamber of commerce, the local parks and rec department, the library, and churches.  The last two Jazzercise groups I found were at a local church and the other was a city recreation center.  You never know.  Look everywhere.

Whether you want to play in an orchestra, do volunteer career counseling, train for a marathon, learn a language or hang out with other people who read Brene Brown, these activities are everywhere.  It is important to not assume they are only in one type of place. 

Doing what you love vs. trying something new

Participate in an activity you already know and love. This makes every outing into the new community a rewarding experience.  Regardless of whether the people you meet are friendship material or not, you do something you love.  This makes finding friend prospects a bonus.

Yes, the point here is to meet other people. However, we can never count on our future friends to be there. We cannot count on our tribe revealing themselves to us in a first meeting.

When interacting with the community early on, choosing activities we already know we like allows us to control the experience and therefore our expectations. We walk in knowing, we have a win.  We do not depend on other people for our happiness or contentment.  In the early months of relocation, this can become an obsessive focus.  When we count on ourselves and we can create joy regardless of others actions or interest.

That joy we create within ourselves will ultimately will be what attracts new friends to us.

Dating the Community

The idea of dating the community can be off putting, perhaps exhausting.  Like we need one more thing, one more unknown to suck energy from us during relocation.

But that is why you start with what you love.  The second reason to begin with what you love is because in order to figure out which of these people would be good friends for you, you must spend time with them.

Finding a friend is not like seeing your soul mate friend across the room. 

Your eyes meet and both of you are struck with the thought, “That is my new best friend.”  From that point on both of you have a friend to do everything with.  That is only a Hallmark movie type of things…and in that case romantic.

One of the things I learned over my many relocations is that “Friendships Don’t just Happen”.  That is also an enlightening book by Shasta Nelson.  Friendships take time, an investment on both sides. 

I know THAT is not what you want, especially if the boxes are unpacked and everyone else int he family is plugged in.  At this point, you are wondering if all there is anything more to life than dishes and laundry.  With your actual friends being across the county or on the other side of the world that exhaustion can just set in with a side of why bother.

But bother, you must.  You can do this.  And in your heart of hearts, you know how you will feel on the other side.  Those friends so many miles away are proof of that, so let’s get started.

Invites and more invites

Invitations extending outward, not toward you…unless you happen to move to Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama then you might receive a few.  Most of the invitations will be from you to others.

As you extend invitations know that the first obstacle is the busy established lives of others.  They are in a groove.  Most people and families have each week laid out roughly as to what happens where they go and what they do.  Breaking into that will take some time.  No matter how lovely or enticing your invitation, that schedule must be shifted and morphed to accommodate a new activity or invitation no matter how small.

This is both a practical and mental shift for the people you are reaching out to.  Both of which affect those weekly activity expectations.  Rarely do the delays or nos mean anything about the activity or you.  As with many things it has to do with them.

With these delays, nos and perhaps last minute cancellations again it is important to schedule the first couple of “dates” with what you LOVE.  And if there is a cancellation, you still have something happy making to do.

Keep inviting and manage your expectations.  We have to meet people and spend time with people to create relationships.  Those invitation will lead to the dates.

Time equals Connection

When I was struggling to connect in my last city, I decided to research what this was all about.  I wanted to figure out why I was having so much trouble.  It had been 4 years by this point. Was it me or was it them?  Was it this community?

In my research I came across a book called Connecting: The power of Female friendships by Sandy Sheehy.  The relationship concept in the book changes how I looked at the place I had landed.

What I learned through “Connecting” was that in order to connect with people, in order to form relationships I needed to spend time with people.  We needed to have shared experiences and through that a relationship could find its footing.  Without time or shared experiences nothing could be formed.  I was expecting that Hallmark movie type connection when that didn’t exist in my world and especially not in the culture I had relocated to.

Which takes us back again to doing what you love.  Doing what you love provides that shared experience in a safe non-pressure environment for everyone.  No one has expectations except for doing that activity.  This is important because when our only goal is to make a friend, that is a bit creepy and just about every person picks up on that.

We have to let people get to know us in a safe and unpressured way.  We can only do this through dating.  I wish I had another word for that but that is what it is.

And the last words on dating your community…please take your time.

Choosing not Settling

In that first few months of relocation, and if it drags on the first couple of relocation years, when we are not connected and we are still feeling like a flag blown off its flag pole tossing in the wind, we can get desperate. 

This is a place that we make poor decision.  Poor decisions about what we do and who we let into our lives.

Being desperate for a “friend” leads us to settle for any warm body that will meet our need for connection.  We settle for that who without considering the effect they have on us and our family.

When we settle for someone who does not fit who we are or our lives the results are everywhere.  We can see them and so can our family. 

You know you have settled when:

      • That friend date has been exhausting
      • It has been all give and serving
      • Even doing what you love is draining
      • You are agreeing to things you never would have before
      • Or you no longer do what you want to do

Consciously Choosing

We all think that all the people in our lives are all there by our choice. But there are many who just kind of got in.  And they are not too annoying or harmful to kick out. So it becomes easier to just let them stay.

However, it is time to not live like that anymore.  There are no shoulds in relocation because of the clean slate, which creates a wide-open opportunity to choose everything.  So, choose according to who you are and what you love.

If you are having trouble figuring out what you want go back to the 3 Step Relocation Workbook and work through the 1st section again.  Sometimes we as wives and mothers have spent so much time taking care and managing our families that we do not know what we want in people anymore.  We cannot identity who would really work best for us.

Ultimately, the people and the new activities that are best for us are those that encourage and support us to become more of who we are.  These people and activities help us grow in our ability to positively impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

We know they are good for us because we pouring into them are creating energy for us not depleting us.  And though giving and taking is not an even 50/50, there is enough give and take that both sides benefit from the relationship.

Use Dating the Community time to test all of this, so that you create your interdependent tribe who freely give, receive and support each other in alignment with your needs and values.

ReloWomen Podcast

On Thursday we will continue this discussion with an interview from Tania Thomas, a serial relocating woman who has lived in multiple countries since she was a little girl.  Tania grew up with the world as her community.  Listen in as she talk about developing community and its impact on her relocations.

Available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and other podcast players.  ReloWomen Podcast.

Have a wonderful week!  For more on Building community and all things relocation explore more here on ReloWomen!

Another Friendship  Blog:
https://relowomen.com/relocation-the-whos-the-void-and-the-friend/

#7 Relo Challenge The NEW Normal

(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com,(c) Mikdam | Dreamstime.com,(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com
(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com,(c) Mikdam | Dreamstime.com,(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com

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

CHOOSING YOUR NORMAL

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.

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

→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.

NO MORE SHEEP ~

(c) Publicdomainphotos | Dreamstime.com

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.

DEFINING OUR VALUES

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.

DEFINING HOME

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 | Dreamstime.com

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 Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

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

#6 Relo Challenge What to Do

ESCAPE THE BOXES
unpublished photograph © David Calicchio 200

Relocating, boxes and what to do?  It is time to do something normal, something that is not relocation work.  Life has been on hold for a month or more.  It is time to get life back to living.

THE NORMAL THING

Yoga, running, reading in the park, playing halo, museum lectures, writing group, garden club, Rotary, school volunteer, field trips, sewing, cooking….

What activity makes you feel normal?

Traveling every summer to visit my girlfriend, my first activity would be to stop by Target.  It’s not that I really needed anything.  I visited Target because it somehow grounded me in an unfamiliar place.

That first visit made me a part of where I was.

MEET THE LOCALS

(c) Publicdomainphotos | Dreamstime.com

These familiar activities are a perfect places to meet the locals.  The activity created by a common interest gives you an instant connection.

Whether you are running, volunteering or walking in the park, you will find people to talk to.  Asking them simple questions about the local area will be welcome and as I have stated before, just about everyone likes to be helpful.

Asking locals where they take out of town guests is an excellent question.  This will not only give you destinations but insight into what they find interesting.

And the bonus is that you will have something to talk about when you see them next time.

BE A TOURIST

Being a tourist is pretty easy these day with the internet.  There are a number of blogs, even for the smallest towns written by people just like you.

I visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma recently.  With only 3500 residents, one blogger found 70 things to do and see in this 2 stop light town.

Start exploring for you and your future guests!

Without kids’ sports’ schedules and dinner invitations, NOW is the time to explore the museums, libraries, city events, sports teams, heritage village, parades, state fairs, theme park, and brewery tours.

Learn how to make Indian flat bread, see the first ladies’ dresses or learn to ski.  Beyond putting the dishes away, this new world is your oyster.

Explore like you are trying to convince your mom/sister/friend that this move was the best idea ever!  You will find your footing as well as plenty of things you like.

SEARCHING

The internet makes being a tourist easier than ever.

Every community, city and state spends a ton to entice you to come visit.  Take advantage of their websites as well as what you find with these search ideas:

  • City site, click on the visitor link
  • Chamber of Commerce members
  • City tourism board
  • State tourism board
  • Community Parks and Recreation
  • Library events
  • Local and State Events

Need the personal touch, call the library research staff.  They love a good research project.  Also check in with the chamber of commerce and the local or state visitors centers.

If you have hotel nearby, look in the lobby for their concierge and tourist brochure rack.

THE LOCAL THING

Just about everyone in your new community will have something they love about living there.  A restaurant, a parade or festival, experiencing any of these is part of being a local.

Ask about high school football’s Friday night lights, the annual Christmas parade or the Bluebonnets pictures. Every town, county and/or state has their thing.

Participating in community life is being part of the community.

Other ways to be part of the community:

  • Attend the city council meeting
  • Visit the Saturday farmer’s market
  • See the homecoming parade
  • Attend your HOA Bunco
  • Take swing lessons at the community center
  • Volunteer at the library
  • Be a voting volunteer
  • Join the local Rotary or Lions club

Participating in the community help understand what is going on outside the 4 walls of your new home.  You will make new connections and build that support system.

DO SOMETHING NEW

Yes, another encouragement to do something NEW!

The clean slate of relocation is a unique opportunity.  Take advantage.  If you have moved to hockey country for the first time, go see a game or set you kids up with lessons.

If you’ve wanted to try areal Yoga or learn a new language, make it happen.

Nothing is set.  No schedule requires your attention.

Dream about the what ifs and the want to dos.

The need to dos will take care of themselves.

For more ideas and “What to Do” direction check out the
What to do worksheet!

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

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

#5 Relo Challenge Cultural Differences

ReloMoms Cafe and Chairs
(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com

Cultural differences, cliques in school, are in every cafeteria. The smart people sit over there.  The pretty people sit there. The footballers in the middle gregariously demanding all the attention.

Sometimes divided by appearance
while other times belief, interest or personality.

Humans divide themselves into tribes.  A primitive survival instinct, we have done this since the beginning of time for safety and security.

The funny thing is that we don’t really do it all that well.  It’s a work in progress.

SEEING THE UNSEEN

Our son was in 4th grade when we moved to Texas from Minnesota.  Within the first few weeks he said, “The kids are nicer here.”

It wasn’t that the kids were actually nicer.  The Texas kids used a rule of respect for everyone that was similar to our son’s definition of nice.

Every community has a way that it acts.  Hence the stereotypes.

People fall in line with what is acceptable in public, even when they disagree.

ReloMoms Cultural Differences
(c) cc0images | Dreamstime.com

“HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM”

Sometimes the cultural differences attack your rules or sensibilities.

While living in Minnesota, I met a woman born and raised in Philadelphia.  She had been in Minnesota about 3 months when she asked me,

“Why are they looking at me?”  Carol said.
“What?” I responded.
“At the grocery store.  Why are the looking at me?” Carol asked again.
“Minnesotans will make eye contact as an unspoken greeting.  Sometimes they will even ask you if you need help when you look concerned.” I explained.
“Why?  I don’t like it.  What do they want?” she asked with real concern.
“Nothing.  It’s just what they do.”

Carol was truly unnerved.  Being from the Northeast, she had been taught since childhood to keep your head down, get your business done and keep moving.  Eye contact meant trouble or harm.   That Minnesota Nice thing was hard for her to understand and adapt to.

OBSERVE AND LEARN

Expect differences.

Moving around the world or even 30 miles from where you started, expect to find cultural differences from extreme to subtle

Knowing the rules of behavior and watching people in action helps you form an  understanding of where you are. To get back to living your way, this is imperative.

° How do people greet each other?
° What are some of the colloquialisms?
° What do they reference on a regular basis?
° How does the accent affect your perceptions?

Whatever you find different, ponder it.  Where does it come from?  Why do they do that?  Is this part of their cultural history or something more recent?  What are the most important issues of the local community and the larger city?

EXTREME CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

An extreme example are the serious racial problems in Baltimore. These problems have plagued this community for over 100 years.  Everyday language, attitudes, rules and expectation here both perpetuate and fight the conflict.

You might find yourself scream thinking,

“WHY CAN’T PEOPLE BE NICE, GET OVER IT
and MAKE THE COMMUNITY BETTER?

Isn’t that what everyone WANTS???”

Baltimore leaders agree: City has a race problem

Yes and no.  How do you change what is ingrained within the culture of the community?

CAREFUL JUDGING OTHERS

Coming from a like-minded community with a similar value set, causes most people to harshly judge those that live by divergent values.

Judgement creates separation and isolation.

Remember that no matter where you land, though never perfect, people are mostly good and honest.  Approaching the new community with this truth creates an expectation of finding good people and creating strong connections.

Whatever you ask, your brain will provide an answer;
whatever you look for, you’ll find.

Tony Robbins Facebook May 2016

SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN BE UNDERSTOOD ~ Stephen R. Covey

Understanding is about choosing to learn about people before we judge or try to change them or a situation.   No one takes well to be challenged or belittled.  Working to understand shows respect.

Respect is a polite attitude, is not agreement.

Make an effort to understand others, even where a contradictory attitude or belief could be divisive.  We agree 100% with very few people in life, showing respect allows us time to find something we agree with.

This patience and curiosity may also provide a perspective and the space to create a real solution to cultural differences, like that of Baltimore.

CULTURE, YOURS vs. NEW

Culture is communication through words, actions, attitudes, and tone.

What are you communicating and what are they communicating?

Are either of you missing the point or misunderstanding intention?

The Cultural Differences worksheet give you a place to explore the differences between your expectations and this culture’s norms.

Immerse yourself in your community to find them all, especially the new language.

  • New York “Schlep”
  • Atlanta “Ya’ll”
  • Minnesota “You betcha”
  • Southern California “Dude”

Ultimately, you will find commonalities and your place in the new community.  You will create a support system that encourages and allows you and your family to thrive.

Identifying the differences is the starting point to making this home.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

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


Resources

Cultural Differences Worksheet

Silent Language by Edward T Hall talks about how the secondary or unconscious culture moves with us from place to place and how it affects our sense of self and our interactions with others.

Avoiding Election Infection: How to keep your influence in a divisive world by Andy Stanley

#4 Relo Challenge Support Systems

Calling friends and support system for help
Free photo 8141170 © Dmitry Ersler – Dreamstime.com

Support Systems are one of the most overlooked problems in Relocation.

Most who move are self-starters, people who just get things done.  Because of this we do not always recognize the structure around us that supports and allows our lives to function as they do.

WE CAN FIGURE OUT ANYTHING

And we can.  The problem is, figuring it out takes time and sometime events occur that need an answer RIGHT NOW!
————————-

Mary and Stephan moved into their new Minneapolis home last week.  The new job was going well and they were both excited about exploring the new parks and lakes with their kids.  On Sunday night Stephan wasn’t feeling well and by 10pm Mary knew something wasn’t right.

She called 911 and the ambulance arrived.  Stephan was having a heart attack.

Which hospital?  She didn’t know.  The kids were asleep, she couldn’t go with him.  She  didn’t have any friends.  Would her Realtor answer at this time of night?

What does Mary do?
————————-

Even a month or two from now, she would know ~ who to call, where to go and how the process would unfold.  All the decisions made and expectations known.

When relocating knowing what to do is intact, knowing who and how to is gone. So, lets create both an immediate and long term support structure.

SUPPORT IS ABOUT PEOPLE

Support System: a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support. ~ Merriam Webster.com

A Support System is knowledgeable and reliable.  It is consists of a web of people from the neighborhood, school, work, social groups, the hardware store, the city and more that are go to resources.

This is why choosing your initial relocation team is so critical.  Beyond helping you find and close on your home, these people are your first connections and friends in your new community.

WHO IS ON MY INITIAL LIST

Real Estate: Realtor, Mortgage Banker, Inspector
Work: co-workers, co-worker spouses
School: PTA President/Membership, School Counselor, Daycare Manager

These are real people who have personal experience with the schools, neighborhoods, commuting, local hospitals and everything in the community.  And though you are not friends yet, they will have information only gained by living there.

WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW

How to set up utilities
How to apply for homestead
How to pay local taxes
Types of local grocery stores
New processes (i.e. quarterly pest treatment)
Closest Target or Sam’s Club
How to obtain a drivers license, etc.

Family Specific local knowledge is based on your life stage, what your family does for activities, special needs and life style.

School required immunizations
Residency requirements
Eldercare
Biking clubs
Select Soccer
Social/Charity/City Clubs
Community Orchestra
Transportation/commuting options, etc.

Think about how you live life.  Now think about who and what supports or make life work the way it does.

Defining this before your relocation is important.  These are the topics to ask of the first few people you work with and meet in the process of relocating.

IF YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN a Real Estate Team, these are excellent topics to use in the interviewing process.  The information will help you decide if each of the members understand you and what you are working to get accomplished.

#4 Relo Challenge Support Systems Worksheet

The #4 Relo Challenge Support Systems Worksheet through questions and suggestions will help create a list to pursue.  It will help you identify what you are looking for and why.  This makes the support system easier and more efficient to establish.

As will most things this will evolve over time.  So, do not get caught up in making it perfect.

HOW TO SOLVE MARY’S ISSUE ON THE FLY

In Mary’s position, the first call after 911 Emergency, would be to anyone local who will answer the phone in the middle of the night.  The new boss, Realtor, or mortgage broker.  The second action would be to knock on a neighbor’s door that you met while moving in.

Without help, pack up the kids, their immunization records and head to the hospital together.  This way daycare is possible in the morning.

If the #2 Emergency Worksheet is complete, you already know who will pick up, where the kids can go and the where the best hospital is.

PERSONAL SUPPORT SYSTEM

If this is your first move, you may not realize all of the pieces you have put into place.  The people, processes and organizations that make your life run the way it does have been put there through experience and recommendations.

This is what you will do again, but this time more efficiently.

By completing the Support Systems Worksheet you will have the first draft to having your life supported and running like you want to live.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

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

#3 Relocation Challenge–Navigating My New Community

Navigating. I use GPS!

Navigating. I use GPS
Free photo 87858161 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

Navigating an Abandoned Road
Elderly man drives into Sand Pile
Girl drives down boat path into lake
Limo Driver follows GPS down a flight of stairs
Driving into the ocean and 8 other spectacular fails as GPS turns 25
by Sarah Wolfe Global Post PRI

Knowing HOW to get there is a big deal.
GPS is not the whole answer.

Though some of these stories are funny, not finding the DMV after driving an hour, being late picking up the kids, or ending up in a dangerous part of town is not funny.

To live well in a community, you must know your community’s layout, landmarks and how to get ________(there).

COMMUNITY

A PAPER Map.  To many younger than 40 that might seem unreasonable.  However, a paper map, one you can spread out on your kitchen table, is the first step to understanding where you live.

Starting with a paper map identify the major highways and which part of town they are in.  They could be on the north edge, go northeast to southwest or potentially a loop.  By identifying these and knowing generally where you are in the city, NOW you are never lost.

Next identify the landmarks in your city and put a star or highlight the intersection on your paper map.  Whether they are major, like the St. Louis Arch or what your sister would judge minor the high school or the only stoplight in town, mark it all.

Identify landmarks on all sides of town.  Even If one of them is the only sign of civilization truck stop on the west side mark it.

This layering of information creates a spatial map in your brain engaging the navigational abilities we were all born with.

A MAP IN YOUR BRAIN

https://www.facebook.com/StormMountainCenter/photos/a.400315725123/10153339728925124/?type=3&theaterThis is NOT Mount Rushmore
an actual sign 13 miles from Mount Rushmore
referenced in the May 2016 issue of Time Magazine article How GPS is messing with our minds.

Practically, with a spatial map you:

  1. Know how to get there
  2. Are never truly lost
  3. Do not waste time
  4. KNOW IMMEDIATELY if Siri/Waze/GoogleMaps is sending you the wrong way.

GPS, as good as it is, is flawed.  Waze, as much as I LOVE it above the rest, sends me into some of the worst neighborhood when I am not paying attention.

Like with everything else in life we must take responsibility for where we are.  This is as much for our safety as the safety of those we love.

FUN WITH PRACTICE

We have a bird’s eye view of where we are going.  We know the major landmarks to verify our route along the way.  Now it is time to practice getting there.

We might as well choose something fun as our first destination.

Let’s say you have a passion for Italian Ice, fabric stores or select soccer.  Find the top 3 of your thing and plot them on the map.

  • Look over the directions both on your paper map and GPS.
  • Print out your directions
  • Make your way to your destination without voice directions

Without voice direction you notice the environment around you and increase practical knowledge of the area.  Are these good areas of town?  Would I walk around here?  Is there a brewery or pie shop to explore next time?

Each trip into the community will provide another thread of information that ultimately makes this community, your community.

YOUR SUPER POWER

Becoming a navigational expert in your area is a SuperPower!  Who knew all you needed was a paper map and a little practice

Most locals only venture within a 2 mile radius.

You will find that they will start asking you how to get places.  Being navigational expert people will start asking you, the new kid, how to get there.   All is all, it is an easy and practical way to understand where you live.

Perhaps you can even encourage others to learn about and engage more in their community.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

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

Top 7 Relocation Challenges

(c) Monkeybusinessimages | Dreamstime.com
(c) Monkeybusinessimages | Dreamstime.com

The same 7 Relocation Challenges, every time.  These will test your resolve and question your decision to accept a relocation ~ at some point.

Knowing and identifying these 7 challenges as they come will prevent the challenges from delaying your progress.  Here you will learn what they are and be able to identify them.

These 7 blogs will further explore and provide tactical solutions.

The 7 Relo Challenges in order of appearance

#1 – Who to Call

Usually taken for granted, the list from (your last city name here) was curated over years of trusted referrals, friends and good experiences.   Upon relocation though, there are no trusted local friends and resources to help you manage the uncountable demands of finding what you need a getting things done….now.

In Who to Call, we will talk about who can help you, identifying new people and tapping into trustworthy community resources.

#2 – Emergency Plans

This is a rather scary one.

Let’s say you have small children and your spouse experiences some episode that require a trip to the hospital.  Who do you leave them with?  Which hospital is trust worth?  Who is part of your insurance anyway?

In Emergency Plan, we will list out the type of events that require an emergency plan and how establish immediate connections and put provide support.

#3 – How to Get There

During unpacking you realize you need _____.  That requires a trip to _____.

It is time to learn the area in more detail from the major highways to finding the best repair shop, perhaps across town.  We will talk about core landmarks, major highways/boulevards and the process by which to efficiently learn the area and not feel lost.

Get on your explorer hat because here we go!

#4 – Support System

Support System follows on the heels of Emergency Plans.  This is the long term solution for matching your values and needs to what to do, who to ask and where to go.

Here we will spend time talking about how to define you values and quickly identify both personal and professional resources.

#5 – Cultural Differences

Everywhere you move is different.  A true cliché.

Even moving across a Metroplex like Dallas Fort Worth can be a seismic culture shift.  Urban city to cowboy country requires a different attitude and rules.  Whether across country and global move we will discuss how to use those values of yours, adapt, and appreciate while still staying who you are.

#6 – What to Do

In the first few weeks, you NEED FUN to off balance all that work!

What do you like to do?  Is it here?  And what else?

Adventuring through your new community and beyond will help you relieve stress and acclimate to where you are now.  In a less obvious way, this will also help you define and refine challenges 1 thru 5.

#7 – The New Normal

Normal life, will it ever happen?  Though it seems impossible in the first few weeks or months, on the other side of this, your predictable daily routine will be established.

Don’t Worry…well, not so much.

We will talk about how you define home and normal life as well as the things you will learn and incorporate as the journey from here to there evolves.  Hang in there.  So many of us has survived this before you.

You can too…can have an amazing journey along the way.

The first one Who to Call is already here.

Please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com with any questions or thoughts.

Have a wonderful Relo,

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

#1 Relocation Challenge Who to Call

ReloMoms Who to Call
Who to call after relocation

Relocation week one!  The kids are sick.  The washer is missing a part. The water is still not on.  School starts Monday.  And oh by the way you need to start interviewing.

Who DO you call in those first few days or weeks?

It was your friend.  She knew everyone and had a knack for knowing what to do and who to call, but she is 350 miles away.

In this new city, the only people you know are your realtor, mortgage banker and perhaps a neighbor who dropped by to introduce themselves.  Not friends, but the only locals you know.

WHO AND WHAT YOU NEED

Is everything an answer?

Perhaps, but let’s categorize these needs 4 ways: Me, Home, Children, and Spouse

Below each list out what each needs to move forward tomorrow and in the next week.  Here are some examples.

Dividing them in to categories makes each easier to prioritize.  You mind will automatically jump to the ones with the most urgency.

The relocation challenge of this list is that it takes extra time to make any of this happen.  Phone calls, online reviews and referrals from the few people you know here will add 5 to 15 minutes to each.

Knowing this ahead of time will help manage expectations.

WHERE TO START

Start with who you know, then move to those organizations or other individuals who are accessible.

Everyone loves to feel like the hero, especially when helping kids.  Asking the questions gives them that opportunity.

BEFORE THE MOVE

Create an organized list, by type, of all the go to people in your phone.  Chances are these are the same services, activities and types of organizations you will look for in your new community.

As you contact the “Where to Start List”, ask them for referrals to fill out your list.

If you are working on your second black belt OR your children are current Karate students, ask everyone.

Oh by the way, do you know of a great Karate school?

You will find that they have children, neighbors or cousins that love their dojo.

A FEW ADDITIONS

Emergencies happen.  These are times when you call your next door neighbor, your mom or your best friend.  Those are not available in the first few weeks so you need to be prepared for

Just in case

Work Colleagues

Being a corporate move your first line is the new colleagues.  These are the people you met before the move and now are seeing on a daily basis.  That working relationship is actually stronger than any of the other connections.

Community Options

Professional organizations and services are your next option.

Medical and Childcare will be the most important issues that will arise.  A medical emergency that keeps you from being able to take care of the children is worst case.

As you are asking for opinions and referrals, remember to ask for local organizations that help with 24 hours childcare as well as preferred emergency medical facilities.  If anyone in the family has critical and specific medical issues this is imperative.

ONE LEADS TO THE NEXT 4

Your dependable Who to Call list will grow exponentially.  Everyone will have multiple referrals for you.

The entire list may be filled in a few chats, especially if both of you work on it.

Who to Call Worksheet

For more information, ideas or encouragement, please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com

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

RELOCATION: Holidays away from home

After relocation, the first holidays away from home will be the most challenging.  Both awkward and isolating, they are filled with the reminder that, “You are no longer in Kansas, Dorothy.” (Wizard of OZ movie reference)

Our first year in London was all fun and games.  In early summer, we explored and learned all about our new home.  But that first holiday, I wondered, how am I going to do this?

By November, we were pretty well established into routines.  We had daily and weekly activities that kept us full up on groceries and busy.  But what about Thanksgiving???

As an American in London, it was a bit awkward.  Celebrating holiday that was the led us to disconnecting from Britian?  On a non- “Bank Holiday”?  It was a Thursday.

The biggest hurdle though was that the lack of family and dear friends.  We were literally isolated while trying to do something normal.


American Thanksgiving in London

After 36 years of American Thanksgivings though, I couldn’t help myself but to plan yet another one, so I got to it. For non-Americans ~ Thanksgivings is surrounded by harvest foods (pumpkin pies, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey and such), watching the Macy’s day parade and football on TV and mostly spending it with friends and family.

Since only one of the three would be available (this was a few year back), I concentrated on the food and adapted it all to my very small refrigerator, stove and oven.

We invited locals and other expats to join us.  It was fun to explain what Thanksgiving was.  We talked about the foods that make up the meal.  We enjoyed a few chickens since turkeys were not available until Christmas, and I think I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, like starting from a pie pumpkin.

Without Thanksgiving football & parades we decided to go for walk in Kensington Park and played table games. It was nice to take advantage of the temperate London weather.  It was 42 degrees and blowing back in Minnesota.

Everything shifted into something a bit new.

Remembering to keep living!

One of the toughest things in Relocation is to keep living.  There is continual change and adapting going on.  The holidays highlight this additional challenge like a blinding spotlight.

Holidays are surprising.  Since the holidays only come once a year and most relocation assignments are less than 3 years, there is no consistency, no daily practice how to do it.

However, like with most topics on ReloMoms, this post is about getting around being Stuck.

Because everything is new the planning starts a few months early.   This allows the event becomes an adventure with participants on both side of the pond and figuring out how to get this done away from normal.

Involve the friends and family back home.  Get recipes and maybe have holiday care packages sent from there to incorporate into your day!  This also alleviates the day of calls from home full of tears, “We miss you so much.  WHEN are you coming back? It’s not right without you.”

These calls do not help. However….

By involving them, they become part of your holiday even from a distance.  The questions become, “How did the sweet potatoes come out?  Did you play the game? How did your new friend like the ______?”

At your new home, involve the new friends you have made.  They also have local holidays, customs and foods.  Perhaps they could bring cornbread dressing to your holiday event.  Great!  Add it in, and experience something new.

Something NEW

Ultimately, holidays will all change.  They always have, even when you were home from year to year.  It’s just not recognizable because it happens to all of you at the same time.

People come and go.  Foods change, and the days morph in to something bigger and more full than they were in the years past.

The most valuable to do is to embrace where you are and the life you get to lead today.  And when you want to change it, you will make new decisions that will lead life in a different direction.

But today, Celebrate and LIVE.

Explore your new town next:  RELOCATION: What the Locals Do

RELOCATION: Search & find what you Love!


A Mom Scavenger HUNT!

Finding what we love after relocation is a lot like a scavenger hunt.  You have a list and a general location, but not much else.  Discovering what to search is key.

OLD SCHOOL GARAGE SALE-ING

Back in the 80s, Mom and I got to figure this one out through garage sale-ing after our move to Dallas from Atlanta.  In Atlanta, the Garage Sale paper would appear every week in our mailbox.  This community guide detailed items for sale and ALL of the garage sales that weekend.

Once in Dallas, we figured this would be a fun way to learn about how to get around. However, there were no Green Sheets.  In fact, there was no garage sale source anywhere.  Dallas was all about the newspapers, both major and community.  Even those didn’t include very much, so mostly we drove around  to find them.

WHERE SHOULD I SEARCH?

The primary source of information varies from community to community and from activity to activity.

In Minnesota, information primarily came through through the community education department in each school district.  There was always an abundance of activities for everyone from learning Spanish and reading to dogs in the library to senior trips to Europe.

Atlanta proved more difficult.  The school district had limited events and opportunities outside of the school day.  In this area, online searches for specific group or location searches were the key. For example, Atlanta area moms group or Lake Lanier events proved much more effective than searching for a central source.

And then in Dallas Fort Worth, I found a number of printed sources that would keep track of festivals, educational seminars and kids events.  Between Ft Worth Child, Suburban Parents and Texas Highways, I could find what I needed while exploring the greater area.

THE WEB ~

The secret is to know what to search in every place.  I suggest the following “just general enough” types of searches:

  • (City name) magazine, events, calendar, chamber of commerce
  • (State name) magazine, events, calendar
  • (City/County name) Garden/womens/MOPs/Newcomers/etc. Club, Group or Association
  • National Local Clubs – Rotary/Lions/Kiwanis/Sorority/Fraternaty/College/etc.
  • Meetups – Moms/Writers/Language practice/nurses/music/etc
  • Religious Studies – BSF/MOPS/Bible Study/Prayer groups
  • Moms day out – a infant/pre-school Southern thing
  • Local (type specific) shops – biker/English EXPATs/running clubs & groups
  • School district & school specific PTA/Gifted and Talented/Moms
  • All of the surrounding city Parks and Recreation Events/Magazine/Newsletter
  • Facebook for all the above

ENGAGE! ~ Yes you need to call,
possibly email,
or just show up
😉

Most of what you will find, does not require an RSVP.  Showing up at a local club (Rotary, Garden, PTA, etc.) or a of course something like a bike shop is pretty easy.  Ask some questions, get on the newsletter email list and start to connect.

If your favorite activity/sport/club isn’t listed, call around.  The local Chambers of Commerce will have people answering the phone that will give you information about their members, as well as the area they live in.

No one to call?  The public libraries have research desks, for You.  Call the research desk and ask.  Nothing is too mundane or crazy.

The bonus to showing up or calling, is that by visiting or calling you will meet people who want to talk to you.  Chances are they will be willing to answer future questions, too.

BUT, WHAT IF YOU CAN’T DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT??

Sometimes as moms, we just don’t know what we want.  After being so busy crafting lives for those around us…Frankly, we forget.
Click on the Next blog to learn more about YOU

Relocation: Discovering who YOU are!

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