Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated
Remember I was talking about serendipity? Well, I suppose serendipity has a funny way of showing up, it can't always be served up on a silver platter, we'd either be suspicious, or miss it all together. As we stood at the threshold of renewing a commitment, an opportunity blew in - at first I almost let it flutter past with the dust being stirred up by the first autumn breezes, but then I recognized it for what it was and grabbed it in the nick of time.
So, what was it? If you've been reading the blog you might have a guess - if you haven't you'll need to know that my husband and I have been wanting a change for our family for a while. We've made efforts to bring the elements we desire into our lives, but with one foot still in, the real change eludes us. Once we tied ourselves down and were missing out on the delightful perks of my husband's career in restaurants - flying to new cities, being put up in lovely hotels and eating amazing food, we had nothing to balance out the downside - long hours (hello my name is Rosemary and I'm a restaurant widow) and in the past couple years, the chilling effects of an unstable economy. Our commitment to stay in one place put us in the position of having the financial tides break waves on our back instead of riding ahead of them as we had in the past.
My kids loved the adventure of the traveling days, they felt stable through any transition because we made the choice that I would be home with them. With our home set up within 24 hours of arriving, the pets in tow and home cooked meals it always felt like home - a vacation and home all wrapped into one. I'm not sure if we chose where we live now as much as it happened to be where we were when we decided we should stop. Many people and places made me love it here, but was it the right fit? For some reason I kept asking. My husband worked more so that we could supplement our children's lives with the things we felt they were missing because of our location, but honestly the biggest thing they were missing was their Dad. The effort to make the situation better fed the need to be tied to the situation -- you know, the old vicious cycle - when you don't have a safety net you can't find a way out.
A few months ago a man who lives in one of the neighboring homes around Washington Square started coming into Big A's restaurant one night a week; he would eat dinner and watched the game. They had snippets of casual conversation and he would scratch notes on a little pad of paper as they talked. After a week or so he asked Big A if he could have any situation for his family, what would it be? He shared that other than knowing he could do his job well, the only thing that he felt a connection to was the food its self - he wanted to be closer to the source - that was the part of it that he loved. He told him about our dream to live in the country again and for our family to have more time together. It turns out the man has a background in financial planning and has married it with a Ph.D. in psychology to become a professional career counselor; right now he gets paid quite nicely to guide individuals through graduate school. During their last conversation he said, "Be careful of becoming a slave to a new situation that only partially solves the problem." and "Don't add additional steps to the path that don't need to be there - what makes you think that if you are both committed to your dream that it can't be your next choice?"
Well, when I heard this we both had a good laugh! I could give a few good reasons without hesitation. Funny thing is, a couple weeks later we were offered 10 acres in the country (goats and pony welcome!) a job in a new career within commuting distance for Big A and a building to convert into a studio for me. Here's the deal - no daisy petal path, just a swift decision, commitment to change, and a whole lot of getyourassingear.