Help! I’m relaxed and detached


I once met a German entrepreneur who told me he never took holidays. ‘It destroys my routine’, he said, ‘and it takes me weeks to get back to the right level of stress’. Personally I thrive on change and disruption and to me, routine feels like early internment. I often think of this German man when I deliberately sabotage a good rhythm.

I just got back from a week in the South of France (I hope you got my postcards). I know I had a great time because right now I’m sitting behind my computer wondering why I am sitting behind my computer. Yesterday was worse.

I’m depressed, I said.

Me too, said my wife.

Coming home is equivalent to coming back to reality. Reality being a not so subtle mix of unpaid bills, outstanding repairs, impossible work challenges, unanswered emails, brewing adolescent issues, unmet family obligations and, well, you get the picture.

Fortunately over time, we have found a well tested cure for this: sell up and move to another country.

Do you want to go back to the UK? I try.

Nahh, you wouldn’t like it and besides, they wouldn’t understand us. Mind you, they have nice houses there.

Madrid is a great city. That would make a nice change.

Sure but I’m not going to learn another language.

Fair enough. OK, let’s see. Yes! I’ve got it. Beijing!

Too much smog and two friends of mine went there for a year each and didn’t like it. It’s OK for the the one that works but the other gets stuck in a small apartment.

But you could learn Chinese and silk painting… My voice trails off as I can see that Beijing is off the map. Singapore?

Mmmh, yes. For a few years, that would be fun.

OK, how about New York?

Yes, that could work too. The kids liked it there.

We travel the world throughout the day and ruthlessly pick and choose great places to move to next. We visit schools and check out the houses we’ll be living in. Our house here is both rented and then sold with a good profit.

Life is good when you are relaxed and detached. But here is the scary part. These are not meanderings of fanciful minds. These are both echos of past situations and the rumblings of things to come. I recognize the signature in these shared thoughts.

I have an unspoken deal with my wife. When I dream of making big changes in our life, she acts responsibly and points out the potential issues. However, when she as much as murmurs about such changes, I go out and do it before she changes her mind!

So I’ve got a few days to get a job in Singapore or New York because by the end of the week, we’ll be back into the routine and then, the deal is off.

Now let me see. I think I’ll start with Philippe. He mentioned Miami the other day.

8 thoughts on “Help! I’m relaxed and detached

  1. I love this! Is it serious? I wish I’d given thought to developing a career that would enable me to take decisions like that. Although the thought of having a career always freaked me out anyway. I wonder how difficult relocation must be with older children as well. Anyway, very interesting read.

    1. If anything, it’s an anti-career thing. Every time I drop out, I change career – seriously. You can’t worry about details like jobs, houses and kids. It always works out, even though it is dead scary. In fact it always works out better, that’s the weird thing.

      1. I agree. I don’t have much of a career which is why I’ve always been able to be flexible about where I live. But now I have a child, I figure that for the sake of her emotional ties, we’ll probably have to choose a place for longer term living by the time she goes to school. Perhaps it’s just another fallacy I’m picking up from everyone who stays in the same place …

      2. Perhaps my comment was a little too categorical. Kids matter – of course! We have stayed put for while to give them stability but at the moment I have the impression they too would benefit from change. I’m not sure we ever know what is right. I guess it is a balance between the sanity of parents vs their offspring.

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