Like so many sermons I've heard from this minister before, I honestly felt like he was talking directly to me.
These days, I'm not sure what is pumping through my veins.
Maybe it's the weather...
Maybe it's the pregnancy...
Maybe it's the insane amounts of peanut butter I've been eating...
Maybe it's life with three 2-year olds...
Or, maybe it's just that time in life when I feel the winds of change starting to
As some quick history: I moved from South Carolina to California in 1991. My *plan* was to spend one semester in California as an exchange student before transferring to the University of Idaho and finishing my degree in geology. During my one semester in California, I met Charlie, fell madly in love, and quickly canceled my plans to move north. It's a long running joke that I was suppose to stay in California for half a year. That was 16 years ago.
At the moment, I feel the overwhelming need for something different. As much as I would like to be ... I am most definitely not decided. Which means, I am not calm and my mind is buzzing like a beehive with what we are going to do. Rather than going to bed at a decent hour and getting 8+ hours of sleep, I am staying up until the wee hours of the morning contemplating every possible angle for our next step in life.
I feel fairly confident that although we could remain in our house for the next couple of years ... I do not want to live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom bungaloo ... with three growing children and one more on the way ... for much longer.
It's not that I can't.
It's that I don't want to.
I want elbow room. I want for our kids to have places where they can retreat and have some privacy ... or at least, a little bit of quiet. I don't want to have our playroom be our family room be our guest room. As they grow older, I don't want for our four children to share a tiny bathroom.
Yes, I know it has been done before.
Infact, I know people have survived with a lot less. Like my mother: the youngest of nine children that grew up in a three bedroom, one bathroom apartment - above a convenience store during the Depression - in Dorchester, Massachusetts. My mother's family didn't have a washing machine ... a dishwasher ... or a microwave. They didn't have a car. Or an ice maker. Or a garbage disposal. Or a vacuum. Or Easy Mac. Or, a bundle of other conveniences that enable me to get out of bed every morning.
But, that's not how it has to be - and that's not how I want it to be. I want to have a house that is not surrounded by thousands of other houses - that looks just like our house. I don't want two hours of traffic, as opposed to 25 minutes, on my way home from the mall - because I chose the WRONG time to head south on the 805. Even though the weather is fantastic in San Diego ... I don't want to spend a million dollars or more, on a larger house that I could buy in any other part of the country for a fraction of the cost.
It's not that I don't want to.
It's that I can't.
Any way you dice it - I absolutely cannot justify Charlie and I throwing ourselves entirely in to our careers so that we can afford an Uber-mortgage (not to mention, Uber-property tax payment) that will inevitably, severly limit the time we spend with our precious children during the day. Maybe we would feel differently if we had the support of our family close by, but we don't. And as such - I'm sorry, beautiful sunny Southern California. You're just not worth the sacrifice.
This week, while I am away at my business meeting, I have spent a large portion of time
Ten minutes later, we have sold off our house, invested the majority of equity in the stock market ... and with a frugal budget, will be taking several months to travel around the world with our three toddlers and unborn (or maybe newborn?) child. We will complete our travels just as my maternity leave is about to end, and we will then decide, where we want to ultimately settle down.
One thing I don't know is what kind of jobs we'll have. I think the fact that at almost 5-months pregnant with 2-year old triplets, I'm openly telling my boss that I'm planning to pack the entire family up and move to Durango, Colorado ... or perhaps Bar Harbor, Maine ... where Charlie and I will sell hemp clothing, chai tea and imported incense, is sending him in to a partial tailspin. I won't be the least bit surprised if he hands me a cup tomorrow morning with instructions on how to fast for drug testing.
One thing I do know is that the next house we buy is a house that I would like to remain in until our children are grown. But, I have absolutely no idea where that house will be - and that is a critically important decision.
Will it be in northern California close to Charlie's family??
Will it be in New England close to my family??
Will it be in the southeast close to my mother??
Will it be in the mountains of Colorado or Montana??
Or - will we decide to replace our nasty carpet with hardwood floors and stay where we are??
Maybe we will remain status quo. Maybe we will move and keep our jobs. Maybe we will sell off everything, move to another part of the country and have a new start. It's exciting. But, it's also nerve wracking to seriously consider giving up the familiar and the security of what we have, in hand.
The most important thing is that we have each other. We have our health. We have an incredible sense of adventure. We have faith that when it happens - it will work out according to plan.
And, now for some things I HAVE decided:
After the wonderful advice I received yesterday, I called Charlie to let him know that I think the best approach to dealing with the kid's uncontrollable crying episode at the Mexican restaurant - is to go back and try, try again. So, while I'm out of town at my business meeting - I've tasked Charlie with the important responsibility of teaching our toddlers etiquette. It's a rainy week here in Southern California, so it's not like he can spend a lot of time outside. Besides, this will save him from having to cook and clean. Am I the only one that thinks it's truly beautiful how I can provide my husband with suggestions and moral support, from afar?
For those of you lovely people that cast your vote(s) and were responsible for me being graced with the distinction of Crazy Hip Blog Mamas "Member of the Week" ... I'm honored. You rock the kasbah!! :)