Lying poolside in December and basking in 79 degree sunlight is truly a dream come true. After a lifetime of cold, snowy winters, I decided that I wanted to turn in my sherpa lined boots for flip flops.
As a kid, I loved sled-riding, building snow forts, and ice skating. The frigid temperatures never bothered me and snow days off from school were the icing on the cake!
Fast forward 30+ years and things have certainly changed. The only winter sports I engage in now involve clearing snow from my car and successfully traversing icy sidewalks and parking lots with the hope of not falling down.
I didn’t believe it would ever happen, until my son and daughter-in-law moved to Florida two years ago. When my daughter joined them this past summer, what had seemed unlikely suddenly became a possibility.
Aside from wanting milder winters and more sunshine, there were other things pushing me to move:
- I finally earned a college degree and was eager to find employment that would reward that effort both personally and financially. Good jobs in small towns aren’t plentiful, so I would have to consider moving anyway.
- I spent the last three years helping mom care for my dad who had dementia. He passed away last March, but my mom has grown increasingly dependent on others, in addition to suffering several falls. As the child living the closest, I would (once again) be the main caretaker. This would force me to remain in my current job, for the foreseeable future, without any chance of personal growth.
- The relationship with my significant other was comfortable in some ways, but after nine years I needed a commitment for more than a dating relationship. Because he was dealing with issues of his own, I believed our future was limited.
So, I side-stepped all my fears and left. I’m currently job searching and am being somewhat particular about which ads I answer. I want my choice of prospective employers to be the right one. I’m enjoying the time off with blogging and other projects that I never found time to do. Lately, I feel guilty about not applying to more positions.
My mom is living with my brother and his wife, which is a much safer situation for her, since he works from home. Because I came to Florida she had to give up her house and move, which she’s not happy about. More guilt.
Within two days of telling my significant other that I was leaving to seek new opportunities, he began the process of change that I had been hoping for. Always loving and supportive, he encouraged me to “spread my wings,” but is hoping that I will return to share a new and improved life with him. Yep, you guessed it…even more guilt.
Lying under this palm tree I’m thinking about how happy I am on one level, yet feeling guilty for the above mentioned reasons. Then it struck me:
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~ Anatole France
I’ve apparently got some self-reflection and work ahead.