Autumn passed us by, and now it's almost winter. Dark. SoCal cold (I have trouble typing 'cold' without a qualifier. It's 80 degrees out today, after all).
I lost focus over the last couple months, for silly reasons. An opportunity came up that, without going into detail, would have led us to move up to Northern California. It would have meant leaving my job, staying at home with Amaliya for at least a few months while I found a new one. But it ended up not working out, and now we're back to where we were 2 months ago before the whole "what if?" scenario surfaced.
On the one hand, I feel supremely silly for getting so worked up about something that was never a sure thing. I am a planner by nature. When something major is hanging in the balance, I immediately jump in and start strategizing - where would we live? Where could I look for work? Could I work for myself? How are the schools ranked? Are there good running routes? Gluten free restaurants? I research. I make lists. I call. I dream.
On the other hand, 2013 has been a rough year in so many ways. We've struggled as a family, personally, and financially. We've all been sick with various mild but lingering afflictions (thank YOU, daycare) more often than we've been healthy. Our older car that's already paid off has died on me 4 times this year (and had to be towed AGAIN this morning. Oy vey). I've felt stretched to the limit sometimes, balancing 5-6 hours of sleep a night and a non-sleeping baby, 1-2 classes at a time, an increasingly busy and stressful work schedule, working on whatever sad semblance of personal goals I have time for in my spare minutes, and a home life that, yes, is brimming with love and support, but is also the place where we decompress and unleash all our stresses. Every single aspect of life has felt strained this year, and when we were suddenly confronted with the possibility of leaving it all behind, is it any wonder that we got a little overexcited?
It was nice to dream, for a while. To imagine a life where I could actually buckle down and finish my master's degree without spending late nights studying after work. A life where I could spend my days with my daughter, watching her grow and helping her learn... finally execute some of the dozens of creative projects lighting up my brain... not spend every. single. Saturday. pre-packing a dozen breakfasts and lunches for the week, so my family can eat healthily. A life where I could make dinner FROM A RECIPE now and then. A house, and not a dingy 2nd floor apartment, to call our own, with a guest bedroom and a yard where I could install garden boxes and start a compost heap and....
.... and, that is not my life. I will never regret dreaming, or striving to be more, but I do have a pang of regret when I think that November, "the month where we give thanks," was spent being anything but thankful. And yet, I am thankful. We have so much, really. We are surrounded by love and support on all sides, and who knows? The next opportunity that comes up might be the one.
It was nice to shake off the drudgery and get caught up for a while in the fantasy of a different life (the crash back down to reality was jolting, no lie) but this is why I love my little family - we dust off, and keep trekking forward.