The Footy Season is Upon Us: Decisions, Decisions

“Don’t worry about it, Jan, give it over to the Universe” were my friend’s words, when I told her of my inability to decide on whether to leave Sydney and finally return to Melbourne to live.


Jeni, the friend, knows all about decisions; her physical ailments have usually dictated them for her: the loss of vision in one eye at a young age, followed not long later by kidney and pancreas failure requiring a double transplant operation; breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and very recently another kidney transplant. She is the longest surviving double transplant recipient in Australia, and despite the daily dose of high-fuelled drugs that she needs to pump into her body to keep her alive, her positive attitude is what gets her through, and keeps her going. Never a complaint, never a moan or groan, never a hint of “why me?” She just gets on with it and enjoys life to the fullest. She is an inspiration. So when she suggests giving it over to the Universe, why not?


I left Melbourne, my birthplace, in 1969, and despite hundreds of visits back over the years, I’ve never felt a need to return to live there. Been tempted many a time, mind you, especially after finishing my working career in Sydney seven years ago, but the pull of my beloved footy team has kept me there. Let’s face it, I moved from Brisbane to Sydney for one reason only: the Swans. To be closer to the team I’ve followed since I was a kid and to be able to get to games again. And what years they have been!


Marshall and I have been in Sydney now for nearly eighteen years. It is home. It is comfortable. It is familiar. But there is no family there. They are in Melbourne and England. And as we get older, and in some ways more vulnerable to what ageing offers – dammit! – family and the birthplace beckon.


But we just can’t decide.


“Go and see a clairvoyant” another friend suggested. Been to plenty of them over the years, but been there, done that is the feeling this time.


“How about that astrologer you saw years ago. You thought she was pretty accurate” was the advice from a sister. Maybe? She did warn me that the area we chose to live in seven years ago would be “very noisy”. I took no heed, and yes, it is noisy. So, maybe?


Meanwhile, as the year draws to an end and footy is on the horizon, I’m trying to weigh up the pros and cons. I also need to organise the various trips throughout the season, well in advance. Do I book flights/hotels/road trips/motels from Sydney to Melbourne (seven trips) or Melbourne to Sydney (eleven trips)? (We would still keep our Sydney and Vic memberships and go to all the games). Do I start googling property in Melbourne now or later? Do I put our own place on the market soon and try and juggle selling and buying simultaneously? Can it all happen before the trip to Perth in March for the Swans’ first game? Do I do this and do I that? How about this and how about that? Or, do we just stay in Sydney?


I’m getting myself into a right old mess, worrying about the future. Worrying about how many more years we have, years together, as the trips to the doctors, the acupuncturist and the chiropractor occur more frequently these days as the ageing process becomes more apparent with each passing year. My worrying mind – or maybe more to the point my perfectionist/wanting everything organised and in place mind – is keeping me on my toes at the moment, even though I know full well that the future can certainly look after itself without interference from me.


So, will it be Sydney or Melbourne?


Who knows. In the long run, it won’t be the weather, or the property price difference, or the travel to the footy difference, or indeed the Swans that will decide our fate. Hopefully we’ll simply know, deep down, what is right and what is best.


Meanwhile, having just arrived in Melbourne for the three C’s (Courtins, Cricket, Christmas), I’ll sit back, relax, and hopefully hear from the Universe pretty soon.



About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Toss a coin, whatever the outcome, you will know once it is decided if it is the wrong one. If not, it is the right one.

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Go the Melbourne option. Family and more importantly footy-central. It looks like the grand-final will be in Melbourne for a while yet so you’ll be handy for the Swanies next appearance on that day. You also will be closer to your extended family of Almanackers who meet regularly at the North Fitzroy Arms. There are a few of us including me who would like to catch up with you in person.
    We are going through the same decision -making process as you regarding shifting. But from very small country town to large provincial-city with a lot more services for our age-group.

  3. Cat from the Country says

    Have you made a pros and cons list.
    If you are honest with yourself, this will really help you make up your mind.

    I did this when we lived on the farm.
    Should we, shouldn’t we.
    The should we had so many more positives, and we made the move 10 years ago last month
    Could not be happier.?

  4. Thanks one and all. Yes, I’m sure we’ll make the right decision. It will probably come to us at the least expected time; as long as it doesn’t interfere with the footy!

  5. Hi Jan,

    Sorry for commenting bit late, but I would suggest you to make a balance sheet as the balanced life is needed as it’s said and what I agree.

    Neil’s comment / advice of meeting fellow Almanackers is good, in my opinion. Then you will have more family in Melbourne.

    I don’t have any family connection at all or a close friend here in Kyoto, Japan. I want to be in Melbourne to be close to my Saint boys and to connect with great Almanackers.

    The problem is not having a work visa…

    Then the problem here is facing reversed culture shock as having lived in New Zealand for four years, and no footy or socialising with Almanackers unless Yvette comes over here.

    Relax and enjoy the holiday in Melbourne. Merry Christmas!


  6. Thanks Yoshi,
    Hopefully you’ll make it back to Melbourne again – for good next time! Nothing is impossible really, if we put our mind’s to it. Good luck

  7. Thanks for your warm wishes Jan!

    I need to focus on doing the very best to achieve my life goal. Next year I am going back to Melbourne to watch two St Kilda games as well as other two non St Kilda ones.

    No matter which city you and Marshall live, I wish you all the best.


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