Tick all the boxes

5 May 2022
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There is a lifestyle show on tv that offers people a chance to look at real estate in the country, near the coast or in another country.

People have certain criteria they want, and many seem quite fussy and not prepared to compromise. They want a place that ticks all their boxes, and this is not always feasible in the location or on their budget.

Sometimes in life when making choices about places to live, jobs, and partners among other choices, one may have to leave a few boxes unticked or be prepared to choose something not on the list that they had not considered.

Years ago, I thought the ideal job for me would be a few days a week, local and would involve children. I would never have thought of owning and running my own shop 7 days a week, I am so glad I took the risk and tried it.

A friend told me she was looking for a partner that had a steady job, no children, lived nearby and no beard. She ended up in love with a bearded father of two who was a struggling artist. So far, she has been married for 30 years.

Why do many of us feel we must tick the boxes to be happy and are not prepared to take a chance on something different.

Can you tell me If you have had an experience where ticking the boxes worked for you?

If you took a chance and did not tick all the boxes how did that work for you?

Leah

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Sally

May 6, 2022, 4:34 a.m.

The ipad falling off the bed woke me up ( yes, I know, admonish me ) so here I am! Brilliant ideas in your blog, Leah. Just what I've been reflecting on too lately. I like Caroline's/ the Moodscope quote too. A relative is undergoing a radical shake-up..a break up..and has also broken a leg. And just for good measure, lost a dear friend to suicide. I found her sad but stronger than I'd seen her for some time. Which I hadn't expected . Life is full of surprises. I never dreamt I would be living in the same locality for 44 years, saw myself more as a gypsy when in my twenties. Its OK to have your wings clipped as long as occasionally you can stretch those wings and take off for a bit though.

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:32 a.m.

Sally glad you woke up. Staying in the same place for 44 years is amazing. Since I was 18 I have had countless addresses, possibly over 18 .

Sally

May 6, 2022, 12:06 p.m.

That was me up till the age if 26, Leah. A real rolling stone! Do you have anything remaining from the house fire/ Mogo that you've always had?

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:33 p.m.

Only a few broken mugs .

Chris

May 6, 2022, 4:59 a.m.

Hi Leah, v thought provoking. Currently I am 'taking a chance' on a job out of my comfort zone. It challenges some of my physical anxieties and if successful will boost my self esteem, if unsuccessful I've lost nothing. I think it is truly correct that the more that you risk the more you stand to gain. Currently I am pushing myself to engage in activity when my instincts are to protect myself and back away. My counselor has nick named 'him' health and. safety guy, my protecting angel but ultimately he holds me back!

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Bearofliddlebrain

May 6, 2022, 5:49 a.m.

Good luck with your new job Chris…I now have ‘Take a Chance on Me’ from ABBA in my head ;-)*. Bear hugs x x x

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:34 a.m.

Chris thanks for answering my blog. I am glad you are taking a chance on a job. I think often the you risk the more you may gain .

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:35 a.m.

Bear I have in on repeat in my head too.m

Valerie

May 6, 2022, 4:11 p.m.

Wishing you lots of luck Chris.x

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:35 p.m.

yes Chris all the best and let us know how you went. A lso by challenging yourself and going outside your comfort zone you have leant more about yourself.

Bearofliddlebrain

May 6, 2022, 5:48 a.m.

Hey Leah, great blog! I was in awe of you having your own bookshop and the teddies and people dropping in and out all day! So sad you lost that part of your life. We thought we’d ticked so many boxes on our first choice of house - but there was a niggling feeling in my stomach - it fell through…wasn’t meant to be! After many more ups and downs of trying to buy a house that ticked more boxes than didn’t, we found and bought this one. We have been prepared to compromise as it didn’t tick all the boxes. It even has ‘features’ we never ‘ever’ wanted to choose if we could help it, yet here we are in a village we’d never heard of, near a town we never wanted to be near, but it’s residents look after the people here, seem to help each other, everyone says hello, even the kids say hi! There’s a shop, a couple of pubs, clubs of all sorts. We are getting used to living in half the space we used to have ;-)) I have joined a few things and am being invited into circles of friendship which is lovely. I love Sally’s sentence "Its OK to have your wings clipped as long as occasionally you can stretch those wings and take off for a bit though", and at the moment our wings are only clipped because of the house space reduction - I’m ‘flying’ meeting new peeps and making new friends, learning about them, showing them who I am and trying not to let my ‘people pleaser’ head take over!! Have a lovely day Leah - I am sure this blog will have its own wings and you’ll be busy replying! Much love and Bear hugs x x x

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:37 a.m.

Bear I love your description of living in a place you never heard near a town you didn’t want to be close too etc.

The Gardener

May 6, 2022, 8:46 a.m.

Bear is the third person I know who has made a major change for the better - challenges maybe, but each one has found a 'community' which they hoped for but was better than expected. My 'community' so good for over two decades has disintegrated - done soul searching, not me.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:51 a.m.

TG I was forced into a change of location. Sorry about your community.

Sally

May 6, 2022, 1:51 p.m.

Bear, your house moving experience sounds similar to ours. In fact, half the space, admittedly 4 bedrooms but small ones. Two are studies/ workrooms. I miss having an extra downstairs room other than the kitchen. At the other house , we could both entertain, separately, whereas when I have my Bookclub here, OH has to go upstairs, same for creative writing group. Something we didn’t really think through … we like the area and amenities and there’s a pretty park a couple of minutes away. We are very lucky. And at the end of the day, it’s our fault if we STILL have too much “stuff”!

Valerie

May 6, 2022, 4:10 p.m.

Bear,it's great that you are doing so well.Do you think the sleep improvement has played a big part in that? ***

Bearofliddlebrain

May 6, 2022, 7:09 p.m.

Thank you all - I love being here - I’m almost too scared to say I’m excited at a couple of the new friendships I’ve made already - I’m being wary only because I’m old and have seen how peeps can be unfriendly even when they’re supposed to be your friend…I have a new swimming buddy who is lovely - adorable and I love her friendship. My sleep is up and down because of wine but mostly Mr Bear and his snoring and night terrors, Val, but I’m so grateful my sleep is so much better than a few years ago. Sleepio is good - but you have to work at it! I still stick tot the regimes. Sally - the house can seem difficult at times - we have two main rooms downstairs: kitchen and sitting room however the kitchen is a sitting/dining/kitchen so we entertained a group of six the other day and it was fine - would be more difficult for a sit down dinner…but it would be relaxed! Today we have set about emptying and sorting the summer house - not like our old one that I designed and had built - if it works, it works, if not- it will become Mr. Bear’s workshop! Will see ;-). Thank you all for kind and welcome replies. Bear x x x

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:39 p.m.

sally and bear with each move I learn more about what works and what doesn’t not and how to adapt. i have found I have gained stuff at an exponential rate in last few years, rather than others in my position who became minimalists!

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:40 p.m.

Val, that is a good point about sleep improvement playing a part in adapting to a mi e.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:41 p.m.

bear is a summer house like a shed in the garden? here a summer house is a house to go for holidays.

Jul

May 6, 2022, 6:40 a.m.

Hi Leah Like Bear, we have moved house recently and it definitely does not tick all the boxes. I love those property programmes. A Place in the Sun here in the UK is one of my addictions. In fact we bought our first French house from this programme. You realise that many of the buyers actually don't really know what they want until they explore the area and see a few houses. Often they end up buying something completely different to their initial wish list. This makes me think one should always be open and not too rigid in our ideals and potential choices. Jul xx

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:39 a.m.

Jul I agree that people who can change their list are flexible to adapting to new places. I never know viewers could buy off the programmes unless you went on the show. Thanks for your comment.m

Bearofliddlebrain

May 6, 2022, 11:05 a.m.

Definitely have to be flexible Jul - Location, location, location is the same - a Kirsty and Phil are always mentioning ‘things’ that the guests are afraid of or won’t let go of…until they see the place that pulls them in, and then they compromise. I hope you can tick more boxes the longer you live there x x x

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:49 p.m.

Bear Some people never compromise in life be it with location, houses, partners or work. They are too set in their ways.

Oli

May 6, 2022, 7:09 a.m.

I think we’ve all got some core values and then a few preferences over the top of them. We sometimes mistake one for the other when making our lists. Then there are trade offs: we can put up with dissatisfaction in some areas of a relationship if another area is particularly good. But that is kind of saying the same thing: you might think you want a nice intellectual partner but discover you’ll put up with their outlook because they are particularly good at romance. So you’ve basically just discovered that one of your core values is physical intimacy -- and you value it way more than you thought you should. Interesting topic Leah – I think we’ve all discovered things about *ourselves* in the light of our relationships.

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:41 a.m.

Oli, in relationships I jump in without really knowing my partner , I have no boxes to be ticked except no smokers.n

Orangeblossom

May 6, 2022, 7:21 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Leah. At the moment we are planning to move to Shrewsbury in Shropshire. We visited just before Easter. Had a look around the town which we like. Viewed one house which was lovely. We won’t be too far away from the Welsh border which is an advantage. As a child I wanted to leave Nairobi & go somewhere else. Having lived here in Lampeter for 35 years, & having made a life for myself, leaving is going to be a huge wrench. House hunting is more restricted since 2020.

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:43 a.m.

OB thanks for sharing.,I think it is helpful when people can agree, leaving will be hard.

Lexi

May 6, 2022, 10:56 a.m.

Good luck with the move OB! xo

Bearofliddlebrain

May 6, 2022, 11:07 a.m.

Hope you find the house you can call home in Shrewsbury - it’s a lovely area x x x

Sally

May 6, 2022, 1:54 p.m.

I am in Shrewsbury meeting a cousin tomorrow, as it happens, OB!

Valerie

May 6, 2022, 4:15 p.m.

I have only been to Shrewsbury and Shropshire a few times,and thought it was the loveliest county.It felt like stepping back in time,in a good way.x

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:50 p.m.

Lexi I think all moves need patience and good luck.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:51 p.m.

Bear and OB. I have heard it is a lovely place.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:52 p.m.

Sally what a coincidence

Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:53 p.m.

Val, Stepping in back in time sounds nice as long as it is a peaceful time.

CMM

May 6, 2022, 7:23 a.m.

Great blog, Leah...you make me think, always. We moved from the East coast to the West coast and had tick list to help eliminate properties. 1. bungalow 2. trees 3. stream 4. mountains 5. sea. We got them all. But I did not want to move here. I did not want to move at all. Here, I am trapped by 10 acres of woodland on a wet Welsh hillside; trapped by having to spent hour upon painful hour gardening with a pickaxe, with a lump hammer; with blood, sweat and tears. Sounds idyllic? trust me, it is not. Mostly I do it alone; my partner prefers the comfort of the couch and writing pithy comments on Facebook to actually doing things. A great reader she knows a lot about what we should be doing...but it is me who attempts to implement it and then am criticised for "doing it wrong". The list that got us here is now an albatross around my neck. And I am drowning.

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:49 a.m.

CMM, I am sorry that even though all boxes were ticked you feel like you are drowning. It is hard when you both want the same things but only one is doing the hard yakka, Aussie for work, It is difficult .What would happen if you decided to stop gardening until she helped.

CMM

May 6, 2022, 11:01 a.m.

Thanks, Leah; I have tried that. quietly finding something else to do, somewhere else to be....and it isn't noticed. It is what it is. She is what she is. A Dreamer not a Delver. Polite discussions do not work...changes nothing. I have tried saying how alone I feel in our relationship, with just me pulling at the garden....sometimes that works for a while....but normality and the pithy comments resume quite soon. Rowing...well, the fallouts are not worth it. Tears, tantrums...blame....always me blamed....I continue to drown quietly....but thanks for hearing xx

Bearofliddlebrain

May 6, 2022, 11:14 a.m.

CMM - that’s so incredibly sad and insensitive of her - I’m so sorry. Such hard work. We have much gardening - I do the weeding of beds, trimming back etc as Mr. Bear hasn’t a clue about what’s a weed and what isn’t - but he does the heavy lifting, weeding of the drive and paths - when I ask. One thing I learnt a number of years ago, is the word ‘NEED’. Apparently, if you say: ‘can you do this, that or the other..?’ It often gets a lukewarm or negative response. However, if you say: "can you do this bit here for me? I need you to help me." Is more likely to get the other person to do it without grumbles..try it. I can’t remember where I heard this - it was years ago, and it has worked in the Bear household with Mr. and Baby Bear! I hear the distress you feel and much as I’d love to have moved back home to Wales, we know the weather is often, well, damp - tis why the fields are mostly green. Love and an especially comforting Bear hug x x x

Oli

May 6, 2022, 1:25 p.m.

CMM, I hope that writing is helping you get a sense of what you might want instead. I'm rather fond of wet Welsh weather but it's not for everyone. xx

Valerie

May 6, 2022, 4:30 p.m.

Whatever your partner's reason for wanting to move (a fresh start perhaps,leave problems behind?) it clearly has not been a good thing for you. I think in the short term I would be reducing the gardening.Back-breaking work like that is not going to help your depression. If your partner does not like it,suggest she takes over for a while. You can't make big decisions when you are at rock-bottom, getting your energy back and your mood stabilised should be your priority. Going along with things for the sake of peace and quiet never works out well,the resentment festers.Please look after yourself. Sending hugs ***

Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:10 p.m.

CMM, Thanks for replying. It is a very sad situation. I hope writing here and expressing yiur feelings helps even in a small way. Bear Val and Ola have offered some suggestions. Take care, look after yourself.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:13 p.m.

Bear Thanks for your kind and helpful reply . For me saying this needs to be done, how will we do it, works better than I need as the reply is well you do it,,!, Interesting how different ways of saying the same thing work for different people.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:15 p.m.

Oli, Yes I hope writing helps CMM as well. I don’t like co,d climates but have spent most of my life in one, well relatively cold fir my country.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:21 p.m.

Valerie, Thanks for your very helpful suggestions. I agree about keeping the peace at a all costs can result in deterioration of one’s mental and physical health. I think when one dienes not want jcan cause difficulties,

Teg

May 6, 2022, 8:39 a.m.

Hi Leah I'm not in favour of too much box ticking. It can be very restrictive and there is a risk opportunities may be missed. As far as property buying is concerned you need to have some idea of what you want but sometimes you need to think "outside the box". Even if you find something that ticks all the boxes it does not guarantee it will the perfect acquisition for you. Box ticking seems to be with the head. The heart often has other ideas! Thanks for the Post. Txx

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 8:50 a.m.

Thanks Teg, outside the box, means you still have a box.

The Gardener

May 6, 2022, 8:53 a.m.

Never in my life has a decision been made by having a 'list' to tick. Everything by default. No home, no money, took wrecks and got stuck in. In France, no intention of buying a house, fell in love with first two, in third again, by default. Best holidays by default. Our life in intensive agriculture was bound by machines - two farms 5 miles apart, town in between. In cars, in traffic jams. High cost, expensive, compiicated machinery - mending, spending, swearing. Holidays, bikes by the Breton canals. No traffic jams, no car keys, no searching for parking, no worries about alcohol. The bikes were fold-up, so traines, buses, taxis and aeroplanes took the strain. Cycling into a town square, sit under a plane tree, bikes beside us, Kir, watch the world go by, buy a sandwich and peddle off again, bliss. No 'Le Planning' except to cross the channel. Thanks Leah - you have opened flood gates, as your blogs often do. xx

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The Gardener

May 6, 2022, 8:56 a.m.

Oh, on taking chances, no boxes to tick, our second bank manager said we deserved to go broke. Not a nice thing to say to hard working young hopefuls with a wreck of a house and two children. We survived, he, poor man, died of a heart attack in his early 50's.

Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:45 a.m.

TGI am glad you don’t have a list. Did you have a list for Mr G. I have never had one for a partner or a place, was a mistake for partners winging it

The Gardener

May 6, 2022, 10:18 a.m.

Definitely no list!!! 'Thrown together' he student on farm where I had my horses. He always claimed I laid 'siege' on him. His mother and his boss's mother formed a committee to keep us apart - and they were a couple of strong adversaries. My Pa even more so! He was against my marrying, anybody, not just Mr G, Dad would have lost his slave.

Norman

May 6, 2022, 8:59 a.m.

I hate that "property ****" genre. As you say Leah, real people in the real world have to make choices, sometimes hard choices. I really can't stand the cossetted little darlings that infest these shows, with their "me, me, me" outlook. Funny how they never make shows about the struggles of people to get allocated a council or housing association property, and how dysfunctional the system is.

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:47 a.m.

Yes Norman those shows agrees are escapism as I look at my roof leaking, and possums destroying my roof.

G

May 6, 2022, 10:11 a.m.

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 10:56 a.m.

G I hope you are ok. Having computer problems?

Lexi

May 6, 2022, 11:05 a.m.

Lovely post Leah. I never really thought about ticking boxes. I do know that when we bought our house it had purple walls and weird light fixtures (all gone now). But it did have a bathroom on the first floor so I saw beyond all the fixable things and concentrated on that. An eye to the future perhaps? These days I don't have anything to tick, just wondering what comes next :) xo

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:22 p.m.

Lexi thanks for your reply , Purple walls, when I was a teenager I painted my room purple.

Valerie

May 6, 2022, 12:19 p.m.

Hi Leah,the refusal to compromise or put up with less than perfect is a popular topic in the dog rescue world. We all have our own favourite reasons why someone has brought a dog back after adoption." he barks at the hoover"," She growls when the postman comes round" "She moults and the hair shows up on my new carpet" I could go on.My own favourite was the woman who drove up to the roundabout a couple of hundred yards away,came back round to the kennels and dropped the dog back.He had done a little teeny vomit from nerves.She even had the nerve to ask me to clean it up as she was too senstive. My house was built in 1890,and I have kept the period features.I can never understand the neighbours who have bought them because they love the "character",then promptly ripped it all out to modernise. Don't get me started on the many many ways in which Spock and I do not fit each others ideal partner profile! x

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Leah

May 6, 2022, 9:28 p.m.

Val, that is so true about the reasons people give for returning dogs. The teeny vomit, oh dear I would not have been able to remain quiet,, Thamks for your very interesting posts which has made many interesting points. I agree about old house or people who move to a place full of trees as they love trees than chop them down.

Patty

May 7, 2022, 2:22 p.m.

Hi Leah. Well, I do have an instance where I wanted to tick all the boxes. That was is marrying my husband. I wanted a man with a good job, honest, kind, liked dogs, liked to spend time with me and maybe one or 2 more. However, I must add that my list had been adjusted from my original list of around 20 things. I had decided that most the things were not important and therefore I would not be ticking them off. My husband is all of those things and I am very happy with him. Sometimes he gets me angry, but overall we are a good match and have been married almost 17 years. I wouldn't trade him and guess I just ticked off the most important boxes and left the rest from that original list.

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