#7 Relo Challenge The NEW Normal

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(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 ~

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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.

#5 Relo Challenge Cultural Differences

ReloMoms Cafe and Chairs
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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
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“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

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(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.