#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!
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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?
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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!

#Meetup,#PTA,#ISD,#facebook,#relomoms,#BSF,#ParksandRec,#Rotary,#Lionsclub,#MOPS,#Kiwanas,