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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

Breaking up is hard to do. Sit back, make a cup of tea and glance over The Pond at the mess called Brexit. Britain’s vote to leave the European Union set off a series of stunning events. Stocks sliding, political chaos, the prime minister resigning, and the uncertainty of an economic downturn has caused more than a few Brits to spike their tea. Piling on to the overall misery, the country’s mighty soccer team was thrown out of the Euro 2016 soccer competition by tiny Iceland. This in itself is shocking, since the coach of Iceland’s team is a dentist who coaches part-time and the players are “working blokes.” How did this happen? As one headline in London screamed, “It is a sad time to be English.” (Ouch).

Hey, we all know what it is like to make a decision, be completely confident that it is the “right choice” and then wake up the next day thinking, “what the hell did I just do?” Life is like that. All the rational reasoning and weighing of possible outcomes might not prepare us for that moment when we think, “Uh oh, maybe I should re-think this.” After Brexit, Google claimed that there were tens of thousands of Google searches coming out of the U.K. asking, “What does it mean to leave the EU?”

There are unintended consequences for some of our actions. We want peace, and might start a war to get it. We want things to “go back to normal” but the clock races on and the world keeps changing just when we think we are comfortable. We want freedom. Not always the price we have to pay for it. We want national autonomy and are sick of globalization. But we do like cheap prices. Yikes, life these days is pretty complicated.

“Be careful what you ask for,” might sum up the current state of affairs. Of course, maybe we only appreciate what we had once it is gone. A woman in Iowa named Betty was married for over thirty years to her physician husband. One day he asked her for a divorce. He wanted to leave her for his office secretary. Betty wanted her husband to stay. He insisted on a divorce. Her world crumbled. Until one day, she got in her car and headed west to San Diego and “reinvented” herself.

Betty changed her name to Bella. She learned to surf and teaches yoga, and opened up a small coffee shop on the beach. She teaches surfing to women over fifty. And once her ex-husband came out to visit to tell her he “really misses her and her cooking” she realized that leaving was the best thing that ever happened. She likes to tell people, “It was not a door I would ever have opened, but once I was pushed through it, I feel my life began.”

Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Just ask my horses. They have plenty of pasture but can be seen stretching their necks through the fence to nibble on the grass next door. They have everything they need at home except they prefer to run out the open gate to find “something better.” We want to be free, get away from any restrictions, push through any barriers and find that paradise that awaits us where “things are different.”

Our friends in England have a lot of sorting out to do. Their world is in chaos, by their own choosing. And when the dust settles, they will regain their footing and always “remain” a great country. Change is disruptive but sometimes worth it. Time will tell. Looking for greener pastures? From Betty to Bella or Brexit to “Regrexit,” breaking up is hard to do. I shall “remain” upbeat for positive outcomes. Or as the Brits like to say, “Stay calm and carry on.”

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at