uncertainty

Living with uncertainty in a maybe world


Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.‘ ~John Allen Paulos

In April 2012 I left the security of a substantive contract as a midwife, to focus on completing my Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching topped up with some locum midwifery practice.  Prior to that, in November 2010, I’d resigned from a well-paid senior post to return to clinical practice.  I decided life was too short to take the pressure the post was having on me any longer, took a pay cut and returned to shift work – I wanted to keep my working life a little simpler and less stressed.

My husband and I have been planning a move back to my home country of England since we returned to New Zealand in November 2010, and that’s been the goal we’ve been focussing on.

That dream is almost coming to fruition now …

Being brave or stupid? Embracing uncertainty

In 2002, after a nine-month sabbatical to Gisborne, NZ, I was a week away from returning to UK.  I was consumed with fear for the future – I had little to go back for – no job, no home, no car, no money, but I did have my family.  A book caught my eye while shopping in Dunedin at a midwifery conference, called ‘Embracing Uncertainty’ by Susan Jeffers.  I recall it helped me enormously to let go of expectations and start to live in a ‘maybe’ world.

Maybe I would get a job when I returned, maybe I wouldn’t.

Maybe I’d have to live with my parents for months, maybe I wouldn’t.

When I went to NZ people said I was brave – I wondered if I’d just been plain stupid!  However, that first trip was a turning point in my life and I haven’t looked back.  In January 2005 I returned and gained my NZ residency, and in August that year I met my husband – he’d lived in Gisborne all of his life.

Now we’re both returning to UK to live ‘indefinitely, and Susan’s book has once again called to me.  As we plan our projects for work and home to the nth degree, I know it doesn’t mean it’ll always work out how we would like it to.

Contingency planning is vital, but it’s also empowering to just go with the flow and stop being attached to a certain outcome.  Now that’s a big challenge when the outcome we’ve been dreaming of for over two years is returning to UK, getting Barry’s UK residency visa, and buying another narrowboat to live aboard for ‘the foreseeable future’.

But I believe that we need to trust ‘life’, that what happens daily is for our highest good, and if we can keep an open mind and adjust our plans when things don’t work out quite as we’d imagined, then amazing opportunities for growth can occur.

I’d love to hear how life has given you opportunities for growth …