Friday, August 25, 2006

In Which the Universe Pays Us a Visit

You know how it is when life is going along really well and you begin to think "things are fine" and in fact "they're pretty great" and "I really like our life here" until all of a sudden the Universe notices things are going a little too smoothly for you so It decides you need to grow and learn and change and deal with something tough again and It sends an opportunity, a change, a big fat decision to make and it makes you feel like you've been smacked in the stomach because of all the good things you would have to give up that you have already because the consequences of the decision could be good or they could be bad but really it's entirely unknown what will happen until you do it?

Yes??? I'm not the only one, right?

We have a decision to make involving moving three hours away for a better work opportunity. This kind of decision is always hard, because there are good things about going and bad things about going and all those unknown things in between.

It's not just for more money. It's to allow for my husband to be an owner in his company and be a boss, with greater decision making and the ability to hire enough people so he can spend more time with his family. That would be us. It's also great to work toward earlier retirement and have better health care. We could buy more land for less money. We just have to leave our home and community and church and school and friends and our life gain all of that and more. Of course, I can't delineate every single good and bad thing here. I've done that already on paper. I'm kind of tired of doing that.

One of us is more excited about it than the other, and the "discussions" at least until yesterday have been more like "arguments". It hasn't been pretty.

There is the fact that this would be the fourth move in three years for OC and I. She is starting a new school this fall, a school that is unique in its curriculum and there is nothing of its kind where we are moving. It's a different climate, and a place I have never considered living before. You can't have a garden there, the growing season is too short. You could have a greenhouse. A big greenhouse.

The main concern I am having, despite all of the others, is that OC would have to travel farther to continue her visitations to her father. It's three hours (did I mention this?) and over a mountain pass. I am not known to be comfortable driving in bad weather (DRIVE + SNOW = HATE). All I can think is that it's putting her at more risk and of course I can't do that (can I?). What if something happened to her? I couldn't live with myself. Of course something bad can happen at any time, there are no guarantees. But if something happens to her because I am putting her at MORE risk than is necessary, that is different, the thought of which makes me want to cry and hide and run far, far away from having to make this decision.

It doesn't have to be this way. The move is voluntary. We wouldn't lose anything if we don't go. Except, OH would not be happy about losing the opportunity to have the things I mentioned above, at least for right now.

There are benefits in trying something new. I resist it, but I recognize there are good things to experience if we moved, some of which I can't even comprehend as I sit here right now. There are unknowns. What if it's great? Well, I have to admit that it could be. What if it's terrible? Would OH be willing to move back if it were terrible for us? What if it's great for him at work but I'm miserable? What then?

That's why life is so hard, it is not always clear how good things can be until you do it. What has helped a lot for me is to talk to my friends, who listen to me analyze and freak out and go over everything. They've provided feedback and gotten me to the point where I can stop giving the negative "what ifs" more credence than the possible positive "what ifs". I need to give the idea a chance.

The idea that I'm having the most trouble with, and that I could use more input on is about the long distance visitation. I know other people have to deal with this. As soon as I realized that (it only took me a week) I went looking on the internet for help. I found a topical blog at ClubMom, called Blended With Salt, whose author lives in Ohio and has a son who visits his father in New York. She was kind enough to pose this question for me after I left a fairly desperate comment on her blog. If you are divorced, how do you handle long distance visitations with your children? How do you deal with bad weather? Do you make up the time in the summer if they miss weekends due to a snowstorm? How do you deal with them being gone for a long time in the summer?


Thank you.


Jen Robinson said...

Serious stuff! These kinds of decisions are so hard. Because whatever you choose, you'll never know what the other path would have been like. What I personally think is that you have to go by more of a gut feel, about what would make your family happy, and then work out the details accordingly. Mind you, in my house we are notorious for putting things off (yes, we should buy a house, but this leads into other discussions about kids and family and so on, and on any given day, it's easier not to decide anything new). Having a time pressure is actually helpful in your case, I think, because you'll be forced to decide one way or the other, and then to act. Good luck with it!!

Anonymous said...

very hard decision to make, but do make sure, in this formula, you are leaving some room for "if you are happy" as well. It is important to act as a family and to act for the good of the whole, but without the good of YOU coming along as well, the whole will suffer as well. Also, look at the bright side of things as well as the dark side of things, both are present. The garden? There are things that grow in a variety of climates, given enough water, just different.

Anonymous said...

My parents got divorced when I was 9, and then they moved to different states. I spent fourth grad with Mom, fifth-ninth with Dad, and the rest of high school with mom. i'm not going to lie, it was shitty and i felt out of place a lot. I flew for all of my visitations, as an "unaccompanied minor". That sucked too. But, I can say, that I turned out pretty well, and that my parents, for all their flaws, raised me pretty well too.

I hope you can find a solution to your own dillema. good luck. :)