Signs of Struggle in Relocation

Signs of Struggle in Relocation

Typically, signs of struggle cannot be seen in the first month of relocation.  We are productive beyond our comprehension with planning, managing and settling our families at top of mind. 

We experience energy we did not know we had and creativity in everything.

We are Super Woman handling every task, making decisions and dabbing every tear.  We are taking down this relocation one decision at a time….

Until we can’t.

The relocation struggle is like a stealthy ninja.  We don’t recognize it until it has overtaken us. A devastating blow and we are left incapacitated.  What Happened??

A stealthy struggle shoved us into a house of mirrors.  We can see where we want to go but cannot seem to stand, let alone figure our way out. 

At this point we need a light!  A light to show us the secret path out.  That light is knowledge.

If you can see the signs of struggle early the deadly ninja, overwhelm can be defeated.  Knowing what they are and how to identify them provides the light and power to thwart an attach.

We begin with your ability to remember.

Memory ~ ZAP!

A deluge of information from the day of acceptance sets us up for a potential ZAP!

Information begins flooding in.

    • Potential communities
    • School rating
    • Local parks and activities
    • Specialty programs
    • Commutes
    • Home styles
    • Safety
    • Air traffic paths and so much more

Between the relocation decision and the home decision, a matrix should be created to capture the information and then show implications and dependencies.

Forget something? Probably…most assuredly.

A typically human’s ability to take in that quantity of information over 30 days is capped at some point.  It is like trying to cram a whole semester of British American history into your brain is 2 days for the final.  It just doesn’t really work.

The secret to recognizing this ninja is to expect it and recognize the signs.  By being on the look out for it, we automatically include the possibility in the plan.  Because of this we are better organized in the beginning and create a process to track everything important to us.

“I think I will remember that,” always gets me into trouble.  Accepting the fact that I will most likely lose track and therefore be too much to “remember”, limits the negative self-judgement and help me identify the struggle before it overtakes me.

I now know that when anything slips, my effectiveness waning and I require maintenance.  Ignoring the slip is like ignoring the check engine light.  Ignore it long enough and everything is stuck at the side of the road with a heavy dose of irritation!!

Irritation

Irritation is the most “acceptable” of the signs.  That makes it super sneaky.  Without relocation, we might recognize it and wonder why we felt irritated.  But during relocation it is accepted at normal.  One that our friends may exclaim, “Of course you feel this way, YOU are in the middle of a relocation!”

But that is only an excuse.  Irritation is not normal and that excuse only only provide temporary comfort. A comfort that prevents us from seeing our struggle.  It is yet another ninja there to stop our relocation progress.

Knee jerk reaction

Irritation comes with out warning like a doctor with that little hammer on your knee.  You know it could happen but it is always a surprise.  An instant reaction to a comment, a situation, a tone of voice or your own internal thoughts.  Irritation is almost unrecognizable by the one feeling it, which means it goes unsupervised.

Unsupervised, irritation seeps into most areas of life.

It looks like”

    • Why did you DO that?
    • Can’t you keep your hands to yourself?
    • I already took care of that.
    • Don’t do it that way.
    • Just get away from me.

That exasperation in this season may seem acceptable.  However, why would you accept something that can break relationships, slow down responsiveness and remaining unchecked bring a relocation to its knees.

What if we can head it off at the pass?

What if you didn’t have to walk through irritation to this end?

The answer to this is also the answer to the control freak.

The Control Freak

The control freak comes out to play after the Mind Zap and Irritation.  We are so filled with fear that we have to take control of everything to make sure we are getting to where we need to be.

Normally, I am one of those people who can think about 10 steps ahead seeing implications for miles.  Something my son wishes I could not do.  He’d like me to be blissfully unaware.  But that is not the case.  I am in a constant state of …

How to get out of house in case of fire.

Stay Safe!!

I blame third grade on this.  I had to draw a floor plan to our house and figure out all of the ways to get out if we had a fire.  We learned to feel the door and crawl on the floor to avoid the smoke.  By the end of that school week I had my first extensive plan to keep us SAFE!

Since then I have applied that lesson to every area of my life, which is fine under “normal” circumstances.  However, when the stress and mind drama gets going I might as well be Henry the Eighth.

It sounds much like irritation but with much more direction:

    • This must be my way! (demanding)
    • You know I have already figured this out! (defensive)
    • Don’t even bother to tell me another way! (closed minded)
    • Let’s go now! (demanding again)

A whole lot of fear wrapped up in there make for a narrow field of vision.

Narrow field of vision

When the control freak loop plays in a mind, only one thing can be seen. Any challenges are seen as the enemy.  When I run this loop I end up isolating myself through demands and then blame others for leaving me.

Recognize this in anyone?

We think we are handling IT!  But in actuality, we are shooting ourselves in the foot while telling every one “you can’t help me.” The plan partially or fully fails and we create what we were avoiding or fighting to prevent.

It’s the Fear

Fear is THE FUEL that ignites the control freak. Test it.  If you are afraid, the need to control will increase dramatically.  And if you need to control, it is time to look for what is causing that fear.

The fear doubles down on the belief that we are right & this is the only way!

Seeing this in ourselves should cause us to pause and get curious, because staying here will lead to nowhere.

Sidetrack the Struggle

Sidetracking the struggle begins in our head.  The thoughts we think.  I love this quote,

“Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t
 … you are right.” ~ Henry ford

The first strategy is to observe.  We cannot overcome what we do not see.  Practicing the observance of our thinking allows us to see what is creating the results we are receiving.  Our results are a direct reflection of out thoughts whether we have chosen them or not.

When the negative emotions pop up it is time to get curious and see what in your brain is causing it. Most of us do not capture a fraction of the 50,000 thoughts going on in there everyday.  Just because we do not see them doesn’t  mean they are not causing trouble.

Change the thoughts & the results

I am not talking about thought swapping for sunshine and unicorns. That will cause the brain will double down and strive to prove you wrong.

This is about choosing something you actually believe.  So instead of “this will never work” try on “I can figure this out.”  You will know you chose the right thought by the emotions they create within you.

A productive thought will send the brain off to find proof that it can be achieved.

We will talk more about this in Thursday’s podcast.  There is a little more to it than just this.  But this gives you the basics.

Believe me!  You have it within you to do this!!

Let’s Chat!

For more information and to work on a personal example, Let’s Chat! You can try out coaching to see if it works for you.

Relocation – The Whos, The Void and The Friend

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.

Assessments

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. 

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!

Annette

Tool to Make Better Relocation Decisions

Tools to Make Better Relocation Decisions

These tools to make better relocation decisions,
are not relocation standard.

Assessments, Relocation and Better Decisions.

Many of us took personal assessments before we graduated from high school.  Or perhaps we took them as part of a team building process on the job. But I have not met one person who took these specifically for relocation.

What they measure though, is valuable, if not more valuable in the family setting.  That is because each family member has an innate interest in the relocation.  Outside of the core family, personal assessments can help to identify they type of partners, communities and new friends that create success for the relocating family. 

If you know who you are, the needed whos and whats are more easily identified.

Personal Assessments provide personal knowledge.  Knowledge that can positively impact all decisions and potential success.

What if you believed you had the answer to just about any question, options or conundrum that presented itself?

What if you knew the answer before the question was asked? 

Believing “I’ve got this!” before any question or challenge appeared…opens up options and changes the outcome. 

Assessment Types

Today, we are talking about 4 types of assessments:

      • Personality
      • Temperament
      • Strengths
      • Stress

Knowing these four areas leads to better decisions in every context, like when choosing a school that will embrace and encourage your child, choosing a great employer and negotiating with relocation partners.  Knowing who you are, and all of the “whos’” in the family, affects every relocation decision.  Knowing as much as possible, leads to “right decision” the first time.

      • Who to bring in and who to keep out.
      • What to bring in and what to keep out.
      • How to handle a situation and how not to handle a situation.
      • How each family member gets along best.
      • Which strengths and talents can be tapped into and synergized.
      • What personality types or process types will not work with the family.

When the personal who(s) are known, then it is easier to identify the people, activities, communities and processes that will most likely align with the family.

Personality Type

There are many different Four Quadrant personality type assessments on the market. You, like me, may have taken the Meyers-Briggs assessment in High school and college.  I found it kind of interesting then.  But when I took it later in life it began to make sense due to life experience. 

It reveals personality traits like drive, awareness of details, desire for continuity or even extroversion vs. introversion.  Interestingly, personality assessment can change over time.  This is because personality can be influenced by culture, life experience, what we learn from others and even relocation.

A FREE personality assessment based on the Meyers-Briggs Test is from Personality Hackers.  The nice thing about this company is that they provide immediate results to an email. That free information includes potential personality traits and even how one type gets along with other types.

This assessment takes about 10 minutes.  https://personalityhacker.com/genius-personality-test/

Temperament Type

Temperament is different than personality, in that temperament is hardwired and unchanging.  What I learned through taking this assessment is that I am not as go with the flow as I thought I was.  As a matter of fact, my family was like…”No, you are kind of controlling.  And you always have been.”

Once I made peace with this information I realized it made quite a bit of sense.  I could see it as I looked back over my life.  I always thought my sister was the controller type, but it was really me.  I am the ring leader in my little family,  and that’s OK.

FREE Videos that explain and explore the different temperaments are available from the app “I SAID THIS, YOU HEARD THAT”, available on Apple IOS and Android.  Watching the videos as a family will help everyone easily see which temperament they are.

A workbook is available for approx. $30 with a paper assessment and worksheets at https://www.isaidyouheard.study/.

Strengths Type

The Strength assessment is the fun one.  CliftonStrengths or StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Gallup lists out the strengths for each individual in descending order.  They have interesting titles like Ideation and Woo.

Woo is one of my 5 Strengths – “People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.” From https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths

This assessment show what each individual is strong iin, what they should lean into and where they will most likely experience success.  My dad asked me to do this for years.  When I finally gave in, I found this enlightening especially in relation to how my father and I work together.

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths Top 5 Strengths $19.99 or
all 34 CliftonStrengths $49.99 per person.

Stress Type

Knowing your stressors and more importantly, how you react in normal situations vs. stressful situations is enlightening.

I think most of us think we will react the same exact way, based on our values and who we are, no matter the situation or the people involved.  But, that simply is not the case.  When I took the Birkman Assessment a few years ago, I was shock to find out that I do not react the same way during stress.  In some situations, I do the exact opposite of what I would in a “normal” situation.

Relocation months 0 to 4 is anything but “normal”.  This is why I found the Birkman Assessment so fascinating and applicable.  During relocation we all experience multiple missed expectations and disappointments, perhaps daily. When the stress response is known ahead of time, the response can be decided in real time.  Knowing that the “normal” response is not the auto response, we have the ability to remember, pause and choose our response.

The Birkman is the most expensive of the four assessments, but it assesses something that the others do not; Stress and stress responses.

Birkman Method Assessment https://birkman.com/solutions/birkman-basics/

Assessment Wrap up

Most importantly, sit down as a family and compare everyone’s results.  Each family member, through this exercise, will learn something new about each of the other family members.  The new knowledge, especially when the kids learn something unknown about their parents, gives the children another way to think about their parents and potentially create another connection.

When talking about each person’s personality, temperament, strengths and stressors each family member, everyone gains new insight and has new ability to understand the others.  This understanding drives compassion.  Compassion drives patience in the time of hardship or disappointment.

Patience is something that everyone in the family needs an abundance of during relocation.

Practically Speaking

On the PRACTICAL SIDE, know this information helps drive those “first right” decisions I talked about in the beginning.  It is through knowing ourselves that we can hire the best partners.  Whether real estate agents, mortgage brokers, movers, inspectors, etc., when we know ourselves we are able to:

      • See the people who will best work with us.
      • Share or adapt to our work ethic and rules.
      • Negotiate for things we now know are important.
      • Educate partners as to how best to work with us(time sensitivity, attitude, work ethic, communication, pet peeves, etc).
      • AND Not bring in people or processes that will slow or hinder our relocation.

Personal assessment knowledge provides a new level of control. 

In Relocation, the last thing we need to is have anyone slow it down or throw in a monkey wrench.  The assessments help identify who and what will not work or serve the relocation.  Even when we must accept the only option, this information provides a reminder to communicate what is most important to a partner so that they can be successful.

For more information about all things relocation explore the ReloMoms Weekly Podcast available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as the other blogs here on ReloMoms.

WE ARE REBRANDING!!  As of October 1st
ReloMoms becomes ReloWomen
Same great mission with more inclusion.  All of us women, whether accompanying or transferred employee, design, create and run our lives and those of our family. 

By including all ReloWomen…we all can Relocate Well!

Ready to NOT relocate alone? 

Try out Whole Life Relocation Coaching. 

Schedule your hour of coaching today!

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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