I’ve been extraordinarily busy over the past year.
Today is the one-year anniversary of putting in our 30-day notice on the house we were renting in Portland. Within the past year, the Huntress Clan has:
- Packed all of our worldly possessions into a storage unit
- Moved temporarily into my father-in-law’s house
- Planted the Fairy Godmother, a dogwood tree that has the placentas of all three of my children in its roots
- Separated for 2 months while I came to New Zealand to search for a job
- Attained a full-time job that qualified me for a Work Visa
- Flew across the Pacific Ocean on a crazy 1-week trip of postponed standby flights, including getting stranded in LAX for three days
- Set up house in a fully-furnished house set up for homeschoolers
- Found a wonderful new house to move into – hand built 37 years ago by the previous owner with Douglas Fir from Oregon
- Renovated the house (still in process)
- Applied for, and attained (as of this week) our residency in New Zealand
One year ago this week, we made the choice to move to New Zealand, and put our plans into motion. Once we put in the 30 day notice, one year ago today, there was no turning back. We made the leap, and as of this week, we have landed.
This has taken a toll on my blogging habit.
Other than my regular annual posts (my Annual Review and New Years Resolutions) I’ve been very quiet on this blog for the past year. One year ago I wrote about my first trip to New Zealand, and included the 21 videos I made during every day of the 3-week trip.
While I am good at writing long, detailed, media-rich blog posts, this skill also prevents me from publishing.
I feel intimidated at the amount of work it takes to create a blog post of the quality I am accustomed to creating – it’s a big investment of time, energy, and creativity. While I am working 60+ hours per week this year (I measure my time every week, and reward myself if I break the 60-hour barrier) it’s hard for me to justify the extracurricular time on introspective projects that don’t lead to revenue or residency.
Now that I have residency, I’m going to start blogging again. This post took me an hour, and it’s the kind of post I’d like to write more regularly. These won’t be big, drawn-out posts with citations and links and custom-sized graphics for social media sharing (I’m still doing that on my other blog), but on this blog I’m going to take a more casual approach to blogging.
I’m thinking of doing a Weekly Digest, where I share the things I’ve been working on, the adventures that I’ve had, and the way that I feel about a few things that matter.
It feels good for me to document these stages of my livelihood, and now that I’ve made it through the period of intense focus – moving to New Zealand and getting residency – I want to take some time to blog again, just for me.
It feels indulgent, to devote my creative production time to my own person rather than to a client or a job, but I feel like this is what’s been missing over the last hectic year of my life. Now that I’ve attained this victory – it’s not yet permanent residency in New Zealand, but it’s solid residency, and a major step forward – I feel like I deserve to reward myself with indulgent creativity.
What I made last month
- 1-hour presentation on UX for the Modern Learner (video) (slides)
- Case Studies on my business website
- Interview recorded with Sean Ogle of Location Rebel (hope to edit and publish this month)
- Launched a Membership Portal on one of my clients’ websites
- Celebrated my daughter’s 12th birthday
Gratitudes For This Month
- I’m really grateful that we successfully earned residency in New Zealand. It’s been a long time coming, and a lot of work, and we did it.
- I’m grateful that my work is mobile-friendly. I spent more than two weeks sick this month, and being able to work from home (or the bed, as my energy sometimes required) was very helpful.
- I’m super thankful that I’m able to write on this blog again.
- I am grateful I had the opportunity to create and give a presentation this month. (Actually two.)
- I’m grateful that unexpected travel delays while I was sick did not derail my performances, or my mood. (See below.)
“Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional. Put a geranium in your hat and be happy.” I read this last night in ‘The History of New Zealand’ by Michael King, when he quoted a man who went panning for gold in the Otago during the Great Depression, housing his wife and children in a cave while it passed. I’m reminded of this story as I am stranded unexpectedly in Auckland, after my plane nearly landed in Windy Wellington, and missed the runway. During the second attempt at landing, we were struck by lightning, and the pilot gave up trying to land in the storm and came back to Auckland. Unprepared for an overnight trip, and missing my family, I could allow myself to be grumpy and irate, as is my inclination. Instead, I choose to treat these inconveniences as an adventure, so that I can decline the option of misery. Life is more fun this way, and tomorrow, I will be back home, with a great story to tell. I may as well enjoy the adventure in the meantime. Big thanks to @airnz for putting me up in a hotel tonight – it’s much better than a cave in the Otago. #newzealand #stranded #auckland #skytower