Sunday, September 8, 2013

Short Answer is "No"

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.


  1. Congratulations to you. You listened to your heart and maybe saved yourself so much future pain. At this age, life is short. You heart is calling that you need something different than the world wants to serve up.

    Good for you to know yourself and what is good for you right now.

    1. Thanks Kelly! This process has definitely tested my resolve and foundations. It has shown me that what I've built up to now was done with deep thought and congruence of core values. For that I'm relieved to see it proved true.

  2. It's obvious that you gave this move serious and detailed thought. Whatever the outcome, I think you benefited from the whole process. I feel a good analysis of one's life can only lead to some sort of improvement - either you correct things, or you are grateful for what you have or you change whatever you can change etc etc Good job, you two!

    1. Hi Corina! Too much thought! I'm still untangling my brain... At this stage of our lives, it did require a lot of seriousness, even without kids to consider. As uncomfortable as it was, we did come out feeling even more grateful for our lives. It took us 2 visits, 11 days and about 3K to come to this conclusion. Reasonable for the magnitude of what could have been a cross country move and a complete change in identity for me. We aren't ruling out the idea of moving out there when I'm ready to retire as it will likely be before D.

  3. Don't feel like a wimp! I commend you on your honesty and realism in this decision. It's easy to get swept up in someone else's excitement, and then later resent them when you're not happy. It's a hard call. I've had to say no to some of my husband's ideas for career advancement, because it would have meant completely giving up the career that I trained for 12 years to practice and 6 years of work experience (so far) to hone my reputation and be successful. It has all worked out, as he has started his own business now and is becoming quite successful himself. (This wouldn't be possible if he hadn't supported me to get my degrees and career success, which allowed me to support him as he started up with no income). D will hopefully respect the valid reasons for your decision and find another way to follow his dreams. Partnerships are about what will work for both of you.

    1. Thanks psychsarah! I am grateful to read of your similar experience. In our modern world where women are working hard to build legitimate careers, this sort of discussion has to be more commonplace than I thought. Most of our friends' wives don't work so there aren't many people I can have this talk with. It was really hard to not feel like I was being the killjoy even though I value my career immensely. Guess I am imprinted with more social programming than I thought. D is cool with where we've come out. He was hoping it would be win - win for both of us and has done a great job explaining to prospective employers my situation and how that would impact his decision. Congratulations for standing strong and seeing what has come out the other side is very rosy!