My partner Kate and I always promised ourselves that we’d adopt a dog someday. You know, when life came together and we finally managed to rustle up a house deposit. When we could confidently indemnify ourselves from the awkwardness of trying to explain the stains on the living room carpet to a disapproving landlord. We both love dogs, and we both like the idea of a furry pal curled up between us while we watch TV or accompanying us for walks on a balmy summer’s evening. A dog would be pretty sweet in a few years, when we’re ready. But not now. Someday.
Someday. “Someday” is an interesting word.
I suppose us humans like the word “someday” because “someday” doesn’t really exist- it’s always relative, not quite tomorrow but sooner than never. It’s the perfect tool to use for stuff you don’t want to think about right now; a verbal parking lot or “too hard” basket. All the fun of dreaming, with none of the disappointment of reality. “Someday” we’ll hit the gym more often. “Someday” we’ll get rid of that bowl that we got for Christmas and never use. Most of us are quite happy living with a few “somedays” that never really grow much bigger than that. And so were we- our somedays, including adopting a dog, could wait until things were settled and we were in a better spot.
But here’s the deal, people: Like adopting a dog, somedays quite often start off small. At the beginning it’s a cute little “someday” and it’s all fuzzy and wrinkly and adorable and far-off and abstract and quite easily manageable. But the next minute, Someday has grown into a huge, slobbering, panting, eighty-kilo “next week” or “Tuesday” or “tomorrow” that heaves itself onto the bed and jumps right onto your solar plexus (or your ‘nads…) during your Sunday morning lie-in. You wonder why you ever adopted a Someday now that the bloody thing has grown bigger than you ever thought you could handle. But now you’re emotionally attached to the idea and you’ve just got to find a way to make it work, despite the fact that it’s chewed your rose-tinted glasses into a million pieces.
You see, Kate and I adopted another “someday” a little while ago. We talked about getting out of the rat race, about moving to the country and getting settled in a small, rural community. The elusive, yet stereotypical, “tree-change”. Both of us had previously lived in regional centres to chase what we thought would be our dream careers, with Kate working at Dubbo Zoo as a keeper and me at a radio station in Port Lincoln. Whilst we didn’t necessarily yearn for those days to return (minimum wage ain’t our bag anymore), we did miss the five-minute commute to work and the people saying hello when you see them at the shops. Maybe look at doing that in a couple of years, we said. But not now. Someday.
But then our Someday… it grew.
It grew as Kate put the feelers out at work and said she was looking for new projects. It grew as they asked if she’d be willing to work in the country and she said ‘yes’. It grew as she took a job interview over the phone, too weak from glandular fever to go in person (not a great week in our house!) but impressive enough to dazzle them anyway. It grew further still as the contract landed in her email, she quit her job, and signed on the dotted line. It wasn’t a Someday anymore. It was a fully-grown, adult, “Holy Crap We’re Actually Doing This”. And we are.
Our new pet needs feeding. It eats time, mainly, as we look for a house, quit our jobs, and arrange for stuff to be moved to our new South Gippsland home. Soon enough, its diet will increase as I try and find a job too- that other little someday, the one where I “make a career change and try something new” has gone through somewhat of a growth spurt itself and I’m sure it will need feeding soon enough. So that, coupled with Kate settling into her new job, will keep us occupied for now. Long enough to put off all the other somedays for a little while.
So if you take away one thing from this, just remember: a someday is for life, not just for Christmas. They can grow into something that will change your life, test your patience, and question your sanity. But like a good pet that infuriates and bewilders you, you’ll love them despite their faults. I’m sure I’ll love what this Someday will bring us.
I suppose we’ll get around to adopting a pet, eventually. But for now, we’ll feed this beast until we’re ready to move onto the next challenge.
Chris Plumridge is a freelance audio producer, voiceover artist and writer from Leongatha in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.