EPMEPM: First Person

The secret to handling change: Fiona Blayney

Adjusting to any kind of change can be daunting for the best of us. Fiona Blayney looks back at a steep learning curve and advises: Just give it time.

A single woman doesn’t really need a 4WD, especially when she has nothing that needs carting around in the back of it; a laptop can surely fit in the front seat.

After caving to the advice of Dad when I returned from my backpacking adventures, I bought that sensible Green Corolla Hatch instead of the Jeep Wrangler I so desperately wanted. At age 30, however, I bit the bullet and bought the Black Rav4 Cruiser L, for which I had no purpose but an insane desire to own.

I loved that car: its leather interior, heated seats and phone carkit…. Did I say it was black and had a sunroof? Driving it off the lot, I thought I’d made it and cherished every moment behind the wheel.

Of course, there have been several cars since then – and no, I’m not a European girl… I like my cars like my men. I’m a ‘top of the line mid-range kind of gal’ (snigger). But funnily enough the Rav hasn’t left the family and instead it made its way to its current home, the nature strip at Dad’s. Seems he found a non-use use for it too.

When I jumped into my old Rav4 last week, whilst it looks better than new, I couldn’t believe how different it felt.

The first day I got my new Mazda CX9, I pulled out of that dealership at a snail’s pace. It felt like I was driving a tank, it was so big; it had more sounds and flashing lights than a jumbo jet. I was on edge for days as I navigated the streets of Sydney, and had a near miss with a pole in the shopping centre car park (OK, it wasn’t a near miss; it was a slight kiss of a pole that left a slither of a paint deposit – thank God it came off with that useful tool, my fingernail). I was seven months pregnant and crying that day, contemplating how I would ever navigate out of the car park let alone drive this car as our new mode of transportation.

I somehow managed to not only get out of the car park but make it home, and now 10 months later I’m zooming around the streets of Sydney. The noises are now alerts, the reversing camera a must and the keyless entry ensures I never have to turn my handbag upside down in a frantic search again.

When I jumped into my old Rav4 last week, whilst it looks better than new, I couldn’t believe how different it felt. Something that was once second nature was now old and clunky. Everything about it felt ‘harder’: the steering, the mirrors and even those butt-warming seats.

There are days when, like you, I’m overwhelmed by too many new things and brought to tears.

There’s been a period of major change in my life in recent times, and it continues; with the arrival of our now six-month-old, I’ve gone from being a mum of two to a mother of three (wow, what a ride that is!), our business has expanded in the past 18 months, which has meant what was a team of six is now tribe of 16 – oh, and my eldest started school so I’ve joined the P&C (that’s an article for another day).

At times life feels just like it did when I drove that CX9 for the very first time. There are days when, like you, I’m overwhelmed by too many new things and brought to tears. I keep reminding myself that even if I bump into a pole in the car park, one day soon this ‘new life’ will have become my normal and I’ll be driving with ease. All it takes is a little time, patience and practice.

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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.

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