It has been intense (insane). My brain felt like it wanted to blow up with all the thinking and running around we've done.
We spent last week out west. D had interviews while I continued to rule in/out existing options. Looked at more real estate and neighbourhoods. Surprisingly the one we liked the most wasn't downtown. We rented a top floor condo and neither of us enjoyed high rise living and underground parking. Did our best to enjoy ourselves but it was a serious work trip, no getting around that.
Short answer is I didn't get the overwhelming desire to say "yes" to this move. D is still enthusiastic but understands why it isn't a clear "win" for me. Truth is, my current work-life balance is hard to replicate, much less beat. And he knows that.
What I imagined being able to do didn't match what I wanted to do nor reality. Don't a lot of ideas look and feel so great in the mind? Sure I could get into an educational program -- Signed up to sit in on 3 classes and a lab as a taster. Sure I could work hard under different sets of rules, contribute lots and be a great team player. I can do all that but did I really want to or have to?
No I don't. I am employed. Have a lot of control. Net pretty much the same as D but work half the hours a week to do so. I would make less and have to work harder there. And if I embark on a new career/role, I'd have minimal holidays for years. The eventuality of being "given" a few weeks off a year won't sit well with me, no matter how interesting the position may be. Plus I'm not used to full time hours anymore (When it came right down to it, the part time opportunities weren't really pt). The mental excitement of a new challenge isn't going to override those facts.
Seems easy now as I type it but the process was gut wrenching because I struggled with feeling like I wanted to be less complacent and here was an opportunity to really shake things up and feeling bad because I don't want to take it. And feeling guilty for not wanting to really support D's work ambitions by moving. D thought I was being ridiculous.
In the end I couldn't help feeling I would be trading something great (I see the design of my life as a work of art) for something potentially much less beautiful. There's something about actually seeing some work environments to realize how different things can be as well as the real time financial constraints some places have.
The loss of personal time is a biggie. I've dedicated many years to chipping away at my work schedule to free it up and this step would for certain mean a significant step backwards. An increase emphasis on work again for years but more money by virtue of the sheer number of hours I'd be putting in. I haven't been all about work and money in a long while.
Would likely have to give up my hobbies until I could free up time again. Conquering a new field is exciting but to admit I really am not ambitious enough to give up what I already had was hard. That it is OK to not wanting to start again. Reproducing what I already have is possible but would require an amount of effort I am unwilling to put in. I still have work energy left in me but not enough for a "start up", if you know what I mean.
Whereas any position D has interviewed for will mean he'll be busier but he is excited about potentially having a new role with more control, responsibility and being a key part of a smaller company. And there are lots of those around there to chose from. He wants to be able to actually make something happen, rather than push paper and fight people. I get that.
So I had to say "No". It isn't a win for me even with a better climate. It could be if I gave it 7+ years. However those years will look very different from my current life. At the risk of sounding like a complete wimp here, I think I'd feel horrible/sick from the loss of free time. I've paid my dues and peaked years ago. There isn't a strong enough "why" to justify why I'd voluntarily do it again.
I told D it would have been much easier if he was married to a stay at home wife or one who had a more corporate type of profession ie. accountant, pharmacist etc because they could perhaps make this move easier than I.