Wanda and I have been conversing over whether we might, at a date unknown to either of us, leave Logan.

Call it the mid-life crisis I never had. 

When the children left home, I didn’t buy a motorbike or a flash car, I didn’t find myself a strange hobby, and I certainly wasn’t searching for a new love interest – probably much to Wanda’s dismay.

I just went on doing what I’d always done. I worked. I came home. I played in the garden, caught up with friends, played a bit of bowls, and delighted in the routine my life had blessed me with.

I guess that makes me a simple creature with simple needs. I do have, however, a lingering desire to make a difference.

So here I am in my retirement years, still enjoying the routine but hankering for an adventure that lasts longer than a 10-day cruise to the South Pacific.

Don’t get me wrong. One option is a year-long cruise that allows me to eat snails in France, herring in Norway, and hot dogs in New York.

Until, of course, I saw how much that might cost. 

I’d be fine with a beach shack, never needing to buy shoes ever again.

But this is a mutual decision, and as a couple we’ve looked at a variety of accommodation types, in various towns, in multiple countries.

We’ve looked at a rural change, tree change, sea change.

Therein however, lies the problem.

Every time we talk about something new, it entails “change”. Which is when I start to analyse and process whether it’s all worth the effort.

It’s at that point that I think about the things I like about where I live.

There’s the neighbours we dine and drink with regularly without having to get taxis back to our abode.

There’s the park that sends Wags into raptures at its very mention, and the tree he chooses to share his business with on most walks.

There’s the club I’ll boycott for six months before again finding myself carrying my team mates through a mixed triples competition.

There’s the proximity to my children and their families.

There’s even the cranky old codger down the road who spends countless hours telling me how the world could be so much better if he was pulling the strings.

As I move my way through the checklist, I find that the things contributing to my boredom are the things that make me happy.

My community, it would seem, makes me happy. It annoys me. And I complain about it. But it makes me happy.

Who’d have thought an oxymoron like that would delay a move to an island off the south coast of Croatia?

Then I think that instead of changing where I live, I need to contribute to where I live. 

That starts this week when I vote early for our new mayor. I’ll do some research and try to find someone who knows what on earth they’re doing.

That continues the week after when I express my anger over issues impacting my neighbourhood, including that park and that tree where Wags contributes his thoughts frequently.

As an old newspaper guy, I know how the system works. Then, why for so many years have I sat idly by, complaining about the way others complain?

Councils and governments have a thing they call community consultation. They see it as a burden – a box that needs to be ticked that says: “We’ve consulted our community, so that confirms we’ve made the right decision.”

They do that through a website nobody looks at, compile results into a report nobody reads, and they wait to see if there’s an uproar before wondering whether it might be appropriate to change their minds.

This whole process of discussing “change” has confirmed for me that I love my community. I love where I live. I love the people around me, even though I don’t care if the bloke down the road builds his new fence or not.

In fact, I need to ask Wanda if she minds abandoning Croatia for a while. 

Instead, I need to write an email to council about a set of lights we need near those new shops on the corner. It’s near a school and I can assure you something’s going to happen to one of those kids if they don’t fix it.

Hey Wanda, where’s the rates notice? I need to find an address.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.