Listen to other peoples opinions – then do the opposite!

We’re holding off telling any family and friends just yet about our new challenge – mainly because none of them understand our need for change or to live a little differently.

I don’t think any of them read this blog, simply because their not that up-to-date with what blogs are I don’t think – most of them have been using the interweb for a number of years but they don’t use it to find much information on things, it’s still only an entertainment thing for most of them.

I remember when we told family and friends that we were going to New Zealand last time, none of them could understand why we wanted to go, they all asked why we were leaving full-time jobs with good pay to go travelling – and for such a long time.

It took us a few months to get them to understand why we were, but even then I don’t think deep down they were overly happy with our decisions, but they seemingly accepted them anyway.

When we got back from New Zealand you could almost see the relief on their faces – “ah, look their back now and will start to settle down, get a job, a house etc” and although yes we got a job, it didn’t last long for both of us, and within a few years we had changed jobs a number of times, because we were always looking for the right job.

And today having found that right job, we are again looking to go travelling – they really wouldn’t be able to understand it.

Their thinking would be along the lines of “you’ve found a job you love, you’ve stayed in it for a few years, it’s now time to settle down etc”

And yes perhaps we thought that up until a few months ago, but not now.

Now for what ever reason the travel bug has been reignited inside of both of us, and we’re now ready to go off to another country again.

We’ve got no inclination anymore to settle down in one place, work in the same job for 20 years, paying into a pension scheme (for it to be robbed off us by government spending).

And personally I couldn’t care less what happens in 20 years time, I’m thinking about the next few years and that’s it.

I believe that the world we live in is so fast-moving now, that even in 5 years time things will be a lot different then they are now – with the way technology has moved forward in the last 5 years, over the next 20 years I just can’t imagine what it will be like.

I honestly believe that by the time I get to 50 (16 years time) the world will be a much different place than it is now, and it will be mainly down to the advancement of technology.

I don’t care who you are or what country you live in – if you look at where technology has come in the last 16 years, you’ll find it very hard to predict where it will be in the next 16 … I don’t think anyone can predict, but one thing is for certain is it will have changed and changed beyond what we can comprehend right now, and this will affect jobs, housing, the whole economy.

So with that in mind, I really don’t see either of us staying in one place for longer than a few years anytime soon – even if we found our ideal job, which I haven’t a clue what that would be.

Right now at this very moment, we both just feel that it’s now the right time to be moving on (well in 10-12 months, heh!) and from there who knows, but we certainly don’t feel like settling anywhere long-term at the moment.

The strangest thing of all is that over the last 13 years since me and Dena have been together, all of our friends and relatives have offered their opinions on what we are doing or going to do, and each time we’ve generally ignored them and done the exact opposite.

And yet year after year they still offer their opinions as if this one time they may be able to persuade us to do something like they suggest.

Thankfully they have been open-minded enough to allow us to do things our own way, and still speak to us etc when we do – the most frustrating part of this all though is that when we want to talk to any of them about what we’re doing or have done, none of them show any real interest.

But we’ve learnt to cope with that over the years, and it doesn’t bother us as much as it used to – yes it’s still a little frustrating but we put up with it and get on with what we want to do.

I wonder how many other people have family and friends who are like this?

If you do, do you just ignore their opinions and do the opposite or do you allow yourself to compromise your own beliefs just to keep the peace?

I’d be interested to know.

Until next time…

WeeMike

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3 thoughts on “Listen to other peoples opinions – then do the opposite!

  1. Dreamer 13/02/2011 / 1:19 pm

    Yes, I have family and acquaintances who share different ideas on how life should be lived.

    I generally think about what their motivations are behind voicing their opinions. Motivations could be mixed, such as genuine concern, a little envy, and incomprehension. Most people are pre-occupied with making humans and then buying a house to put them all in. That for them is the major goal of life. If you think about it that in itself is a full time job, a huge distraction form all thoughts of “freedom”. It could also be that family are genuinely concerned about the state of mind it takes to sustain a transient lifestyle. They may also be concerned about poverty in old age (or even young age) and even a little envious that they realise that they did not enjoy the freedom you have. Perhaps they are/have been “trapped” rearing and providing for children. Perhaps they now realise how foolish it was too simply follow the crowd. On that latter point IMHO one does have many more options without children, but I digress.

    I have family members who just cannot get their head around the fact that a) we dont ever want children (me being a woman somehow that is just not natural apparently!) and b) I dont really like shopping as a past time.

    As for people not showing any real interest in your plans, well, some people just dont “get” travel and never will. The majority will never leave their perceived comfort zone. THey may like their safe house and the comfort of seeing familiar faces every day.

    But no I dont compromise my beliefs just to keep the peace, I dont think anyone should ever do that. We are now living in different times than perhaps our grandparents or even our parents. Their way of life that worked for them may not work for many any longer. There is little or no job security, heck there are no jobs, who can afford a house anyway? So really there is little incentive to follow the conventional life. I think when you explain those points that sometimes there is often some tacit understanding.

    But, there are many things I havent figured out myself yet, so I dont have all the answers. I do know that for me personally I hate being beholden to an employer, and perhaps I am looking for a more “freedom from” life rather than freedom to go do, if that makes sense?

    And yes, I agree about the alien anology. I have felt like an alien most of my life, you know on the outside looking in. It is incredably isolating when most of your contemporaries are of the job/kids/house/retire at 60 mentality. It really is like living on a different planet.

  2. WeeMike 13/02/2011 / 9:40 pm

    Thanks for the indepth reply Dreamer, you’ve certainly won a friend in my partner with your comments, she thinks along the same lines as you it would seem!

    Ever since we’ve been together she has had to put up with her family and friends constantly asking why we were never going to have kids and settle down etc – and until recently, it has been an almost daily battle explaining herself.

    As time has gone by though ‘most’ of them have realised that she doesn’t want to make the same choices as they have, and that there’s nothing wrong with that – but some of them though still can’t understand it, but they accept it as best they can I think, those people we actually don’t see much more anyway — probably best IMO!

    For me I find it most frustrating when people don’t challenge themselves more than don’t go explore somewhere different.

    I can’t understand going through life doing the same as most people around you, never questioning why your doing something or what would it be like if you did something different.

    Like you said, I think it definitely comes down to the ‘comfort zone’ – we’ve found that a lot of people don’t like this to be challenged and when it is they have a tendency to retreat into it and not come out — I think people also pay too much attention to what others think, if someone else might think they are a bit too different for trying something outside of the box, they tend to not try it.

    But at the end of the day it’s each to their own isn’t it – the hardest thing for me over the years has been accepting that some people don’t want to change and that I can’t help them in anyway except to let them be – but that come’s down to maturity I think, knowing that you may want to help people change or do something different, but if they don’t want to then ultimately you have to leave em be!

    I think I can understand your ‘freedom from’ desire rather than ‘freedom to go do’ – it’s about being able to keep away from something that holds you down?

    And I’m starting to realise that having an employer certainly holds you down.

    I think the difference for us at the moment though is that although we have an employer, we have one that is very easy going, doesn’t put any pressure on us to do things, and lets us get on with the job at hand.

    Obviously it makes a difference with the type of work we do, and to be honest I don’t think we could do any other job anymore.

    This type of work is probably the only type either of us could do from now on – it allows so much freedom.

    Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent here.

    I just want to say that I appreciate your comments on the blog, it’s nice to find a similar mind amongst the crowd on this here interweb — what would we do without it huh!?

  3. Dreamer 15/02/2011 / 2:01 pm

    Mike yes, I enjoy our exchanges, to find someone of like mind is always a breath of fresh air. I do find that it adds to the sense of isolation and despair when there isnt anyone to bounce ideas off or relate to, that to me is why I love the internet. I might have gone round the bend by now without it!

    I do find the comments surrounding having kids particularly wearing and annoying. But its also part of a larger problem. I do feel a sense of discrimination if you like againgst couples without children. Just take the boom in family friendly rights and laws which have blown up in the last decade, ie parternity, maternity, adoption, child trust funds, family allowance etc. Do you need to have kids to get 6 months to one year off work paid, or to get a free meal ticket or a free house??? I used to work with women who used to say that the only way out of the grind was to have kids! Sad really. I just wish that more people would actually think for themselves rather than following the crowd.

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