I am stressed.
Why am I stressed?
Because, friends and readers, I am in for a season of change, and potentially quite a bit of it.
There is a great chance we will be moving this year. And it will probably be a big move. A combination of two things have brought us to this point: the next obvious step in Wendy's career, and our realization we might be running out of time for big moves with our kids as they are aging faster than we can keep up with.
We want our kids to have some sense of stability and permanence as they get closer to their teenage years (which is thankfully what my parents decided to do when I was a kid) but that means our time is running out if we're not sure we want to stay here for the next decade-plus.
Why move at all? you may wonder.
I moved around a lot growing up. For some people, that seems to cement them in place. If they grew up always on the move, they want to be adults who stay still. Which I fully understand... in theory.
But for others, like me, who grew up that way, something inside us wants to keep moving. Maybe because we saw our parents moving around every few years as adults, and our parents are the closest models we have for how life is supposed to go. Or maybe we just go stir-crazy in more extreme ways than others. I don't know.
What I do know is that Wendy and I both love to explore. For the 9 years we lived in Massachusetts, we went all over the greater New England area, and even further, from New York to Montreal and everywhere inbetween.
So just travel more, you might think, you don't need to move to explore.
That is true and long-distance trips are fun, and we want to do more of them, but figuring out plane tickets and lodging and activities is daunting and expensive, especially with 3 kids. A road trip, by comparison, is easy, and something we already do at least once a month. So moving somewhere new means lots of new places to explore, easily, by car.
What about friends and family?
Yeah, that's the real kicker, isn't it? In the past, when we've left home, we have made new and close friends. We've even been adopted by whole families. People can't be replaced, obviously, but it's not so hard to make a big move when you believe there will be new people and interesting friends waiting on the other side.
BUT all that certainty I used to feel about making new friends went away with this last move.
We have gotten to know a few people in Gainesville, but nothing like the deep ties we have experienced in other places. Partly, that was because of a global pandemic which kicked off in the U.S. the month after we moved. Partly, it's because we were still close enough to our people in Orlando we weren't desperate to make new friends. And partly, it's because at this stage in our lives it's much easier and maybe even more rewarding to spend time with people we already know and love than to start from scratch. Also, did I mention the global pandemic?
Giving up our current relative closeness to Wendy's whole family and a handful of very close friends a couple hours away makes the thought of moving again seem extra tough this time around, I will admit.
What about the economy and interest rates and housing prices?
Yeah, that's another reason to be stressed out about a move right now, isn't it? Housing prices have gone way up in the last few years and have not gone back down, even with rising interest rates. Which is good, on the one hand, because we stand to make quite a bit of money on our house, but bad because in all the places we are likely to move average housing prices are about double what they are here. Good news for you, if you are thinking about moving to inland Florida, but not such great news for us.
So what will you do?
We will continue to take it one step at a time, the only thing any of us really can do in this life. We will be open to great opportunities, and we will try to be wise about the big and small decisions we make that affect our futures and kids' futures. In the end, though, we're just going to have to say to ourselves, 'we can't possibly know every variable or outcome, so, does this opportunity thrill us as much as it terrifies us, because if so, that is probably the right direction to head in.'
As Kevin Kelly says,
Very few regrets in life are about
what you did. Almost all are about
what you didn't do.