Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Shifting The Goal Posts

In considering our recent experiences it has become clear to me that humans can define success in a fashion that is relative to current experiences. In the beginning we set some expectations of what we defined as success, and then worked toward that goal. As events have unfolded, and the goal posts have moved further away, our definition of success has been adjusted to suit the new information.

There have been times when we have railed at the fact that we have needed to go further and further each time we reconsider our ultimate goal, and this reinforces the mystic idea that it is expectation that is one of the primary causes of unhappiness. We were unhappy because we expected that our original goal would be set in stone and we would be able to work towards it, achieve it, and then move on.

The universe has different ideas. It has "reasons" for making us take a certain path in life. Certain events must unfold before other events can take place, things must happen in their proper order. In the dark times when we are ruled by our expectations it is hard to see this, but it generally takes a display of generosity on behalf of the universe to set us back on track.

A case in point is the fact that we now not only have to get a construction certificate before we can buy the land, but we also have to begin construction. Now this is so far from the original advice given to us by the council that we were quite upset and wondering what on earth was going wrong. After a couple of angst ridden days considering this, we decided that if we could afford it we would forge ahead. In order to satisfy the certifier and council we would need to construct the new entrance to the property and do the earthworks for the site.

So yesterday I called the council to organise an on-site meeting to discuss the entry way to the property. The first DA on the block had a set of conditions on road signage, a new public intersection and the gateway to the property. These had been transferred directly to our new DA.

The first spot we stopped at was where the old lane joins to the new lane, which currently runs through a gate, dog-legs and then runs up the boundary fence of two blocks of land, through a paddock. We were required to put in a heavy-duty stock grate, and fix up the intersection. The stock grate alone is in the vicinity of three thousand dollars.

After discussing this with the gentleman from council we arrived at the conclusion that it would be alright to fence the road from the paddock, and do away with the stock grid and associated access gates to bypass the grid. Doing this could result in a massive saving on that bit of work.

Buoyed by this tentative bit of news (we still need to get approval from the owner of that land for that little scheme) we drove up to the top of the hill and stopped at the current gate to the block of land. Now the old DA was on an envelope further through on the block, along the new laneway, winding above some impressive hillside, over culverts and what-not to the furthest point on the property via another gate. Our decision was to have our home at the "front" of the block, the eastern-most side (the lane runs roughly east to west along the northern boundary of the property).

The fellow from the council pulled out the DA, then his itemised list of costs for the signage that would need to go in on the public road. He immediately began ticking and crossing things on his list. Because the conditions had been transfered directly from the old DA without consideration they included close to four thousand dollars worth of signs, three of which weren't needed as our house site was nice and close to the old lane. We would need only a T-intersection sign, and two for a culvert crossed on the road up. No winding road signs, no "don't drive over this cliff" signs, no signs for the four culverts further along the lane. Total saving in the vicinity of three thousand dollars!

So in one short meeting the universe was out to show me that it wasn't trying to make things hard for us (well not too hard, anyway) it was just organising things in it's own inscrutable way. When we can accept this and flow with it then we can be happy. I think ultimately it's a distinction between whether we believe things are meant to work out for the best, and we can therefore put our faith in the mysterious forces that direct events, or whether we feel negative about it all, and descend into the unhappiness of disappointed expectations.

Our "Sacred Lily Of The Incas" or Ismene


Phelan said...

I might have missed something. . . how come all this isn't an issue with the current owners? Shouldn't they have all this in place to even be able to sell the land?

I am glad things are working out a bit better for you. (at least it isn't going to be as costly as you were fearing)

Geoff said...

Hi Phelan,

As the block is agricultural land it's not like normal residential lots. It could quite easily be sold as vacant land and let the building permission expire (due to new planning laws minimum agricultural lot sizes have increased dramatically) but of course we are caught by wanting to build a house on it.