30 Jun 2020

Coming home

Coming home feels really good after you’ve lost your way a few times. Finally reaching your destination is so much sweeter when you’ve overcome setbacks along the way. 

My latest transition began with a relocation to Nelson. 

A place where we knew no one - no friends or business networks. 

I transferred a health research contract which made the move less stressful, but the work involved lots of evening, weekend and out of town interviews. Eventually I grew tired of the unsociable hours. 

After the research contract ended, I made some useful business contacts, started volunteering, experimented with different interests, organised meetup groups to meet new people and set up a special interest group around longevity, age and work.

A number of potential work options did not work out for various reasons - a cancelled toolkit development project, a consulting arrangement that did not utilise my strengths and abilities.   Meanwhile I continued with individual coaching assignments and further personal development. 

During lockdown I had more time to reflect on what is most important in my life. It was time to dig deeper to find out what I really wanted to do, how I want to be and who I want to hang out with. 

Letting go of dreams and schemes tied to a previous identity, place or role is never easy. It takes you into unfamiliar territory. Ending a job, a relationship or leaving a place where you have strong ties. 

For a fresh start – a new beginning – we need to create space for a new way of being. 

Coming home for me has meant saying goodbye to old identities that have passed their use by date like “business woman” or “scuba diver”. The latter was harder to let go.

It involves peeling away layers and removing labels that no longer fit. Strangely liberating but also a bit scary. Daily meditation has helped me through the transiton. 

One advantage of being in a new place around new people is no one knows what you did before so you can be whoever you want!

Staying active continues to be an important part of my life but I am doing things differently – more walking, e-biking and kayaking (when the conditions are right). 

We are spoiled for choice of outdoor activities in the Top of the South. What better place to relaunch AWOL (adventures for women on the loose) – regular fun activities with an interesting bunch of women who enjoy good company and shared adventures.

Giving back has become more meaningful through taking part in the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme where mentors get as much back from their mentees as they give. I am grateful to be surrounded by good friends and supportive neighbours.

I am rediscovering the beauty of my surroundings, finding joy in simple pursuits like beach walks, writing about inspirational individuals and taking photos of our stunning surroundings.

This lifestyle reminds me of happily spending hours making daisy chains as a youngster in our back yard.

A new beginning in later life.  Coming home to a place where I want to be inside and out. 

Image by: Steve Vaughan 


Mary Somervell

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