2023 What’s Next For The Pluck Family

Is this what time travel is like? In one moment you are welcoming in the new year and the next you are hurtling toward mid-year faster than you can keep up. I can’t quite believe that April is here let alone that the year ahead is full steam ahead, I have yet to share what 2023 holds for our little family so perhaps we can start there. What I can say is that we are looking forward to the sunrises, the sunsets, the beach barbeques, mountain hikes, sand between our toes, and seeing our girls together and happy again.

“23 in 2023” is usually how I set goals for the year and whilst that worked for a little while, I felt that it put so much pressure on achieving instead of living and experiencing life. It was more a to do list that became like a year of chores, so I am scrapping that! What I want is to share our plans for the year and what hopes we have for our future from this point in time. I will however still have a word of the year to help me focus on who I want to be this year and decided on two words: GRIT and CHARACTER. I figure that with what we have ahead of this year a bit of grit won’t go astray and big changes build the kind of character that fortifies you as a person.

2023 is going to be a year where we as a family predominantly focus on the next right step, instead of the 1000 steps after it. I think this is crucial and allows for us to pivot to the changing circumstances rather than being disappointed with unmet expectations about our life, and opens doors to opportunities that may not have presented if we kept to the straight and narrow so to speak.

Steve Jobs said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the fits will somehow connect in your future”. I didn’t fully appreciate the full meaning of this until we started some serious planning for moving back to Australia, and the anxiety of another global move has been daunting. I began getting stuck on the finer details and instead of feeling more organised I started to feel like the way forward was uncertain. What I began to realise is that we won’t be able to see how each step is going to connect us to the next until we are through it, and our track record for getting through hard stuff and thriving is 100% – that’s pretty good odds.

So, what’s next for the Plucks? This is the year we finally move home to Australia after what will be four and a half years living and working in England through a global pandemic. We had originally commited to three years to spend time with our family here, to travel, to expand my experience as a nurse and now we are are moving home for good in just over 100 days from now. It certainly is a bittersweet decision as we are unlikely to return any time in the near future as we commit to so many plans including exploring Australia and New Zealand, cruising with my cousins, a trip to Canada and Hawaii, and an adventure to Antarctica.

Flights are booked and after spending £4500 on three one way flights our savings accounts are feeling the pinch, and we have now also booked a shipping pod for our belongings. Its quite an extensive process moving in between countries and I promise to share the finer details seperately to shed some light into this, but for the meantime we have commenced with the packing and have begun to think about what we want for our return home.

We have decided to aim for around two months off work to allow us to muddle through the reverse culture shock we have heard about, and we are realistic in understanding that the home we left is not going to be just as it was – how could it be with the global upheaval caused by the pandemic. We plan on flying into Malbourne and slowly working our way up the east coast to visit the people who are most important to us, and we have been blessed to have some friends and family offer a place to stay for a while until we find our feet again. Idealy we would like to resettle back on the Sunshine Coast, it’s where we feel most at home and where we have so many amazing memories.

Mackenzie completes her GCSEs in June and celebrates her Prom in July and although technically she will have finished year 11 here, there is some uncertainty about how it will translate in Australia with the whole ATAR process. In any case we will likely let her homeschool for the remainder of 2023. She is certainly excited to be coming home although I anticipate it will be a strange experience for her acclimatising without her best friend being in the same district as her, and many of her other best friends being in varying friendship groups.

Kevin and I have explored some of our work options and with him being near to retirement than I, we are prioritising a financially sustainable future that also allows us to continue travelling to some extent. Kevin is clear on what kind of work he wants to do when he gets back, and my options are quite open, flexible and varied. I envision a future in my career that allows me to spend more time with our family and friends (and of course grandchildren), but also because there is an age gap between my husband and I, that I will have the income and flexibility to care for my husband should that time come in the later future. Although I will likely work clinically onsite for a period of time into the future, I also want to develop “Intrepid Nurse” as a business and provide consulting services to health care (and other) companies in leadership/culture training and development, career coaching, clinical supervision for nurses, and counselling services by nurses for nurses – this means it is a return to university part time to complete my masters of counselling in order to privide evidence based trauma counselling for nurses.

In the meantime we have planned a few things for our last 100 days here in England to make the most of our time including plenty of days with family and friends. We are planning on having a massive “Aussie Bogan Beach Party” prior to our leaving for my colleagues (there are alot of them), to ensure I can have a proper goodbye and create some lasting memories. We plan on having a long weekend Bournemouth to enjoy the English summer culture, and will also be visiting friends in Ireland for a long weekend before we leave. It was our goal to do a few overseas trips before we leave but we are willing to sacrifice that in order to enjoy a couple of months off when we return home, and lets be real – our downsizing, packing and organsing this next phase will take up much of our time too.

Its going to be an interesting time but I hope you stick around for whats in store – I plan on sharing all the stops along the way along with sharing the endless adventures we have already had here in the last four years.

Cheers From Kent, Tams.

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