Sunday, October 05, 2003

FAQ: Apparently there are unanswered questions on people's minds:

FAQ #1: Why are you suddenly selling and leaving your Rancho?

Suddenly? Actually, we have been telling friends and family that expectations and trends are changing in Geoff's field of work since last January. We have been alluding to the possibility that we might have to make some difficult choices since Spring. We have been diligently debating our options and thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons for a long time, and we have taken a lot of factors in to account. We have considered our lifestyle and changing needs, job security and ethical choices; we have also tried to be sensitive to the needs of my grandparents, and thoughtful of other family. And we have openly discussed much of the debate in Chicken Blog, personal emails and in conversations.

FAQ #2 Well, I thought you were happy, so why would you give it all up?

Life is neither all sad nor all happy, at least not for many, and thankfully not for us. We have enjoyed good, and challenging, times here. I suppose it would be easier to understand selling our house, pool, tractor and view if we had been miserable here. Maybe if we suffered and bitched about being profoundly disappointed, then we wouldn't be confounding so many people. What I can't understand is why anyone would believe that loving this place and being happy here somehow entitles me to stay here indefinitely. Of course I love it here, and there are also aspects I will not miss. I hope people can see that this decision was not made lightly, that we are sad about it, but also realize that we are trying to be realistic, to be flexible. Rather than wait for the strain and wear of Geoff's career and his commute dictate our lives, we have chosen to proactively adjust our circumstances. Rather than postponing the pursuit of different options and possibilities for a later "some day", or after retirement, we have chosen to take advantage of our opportunities. Rather than dwell on difficulties and frustrations from life's inconstancy we are choosing to make the most of what is good in our lives. I do not want to change my home, job, hobbies, interests, or even my dreams only after I have been miserable, or forced to by tragedy.

Please consider what we are not giving up: our values, our love, our respect for each other as husband and wife, and as friends, our children's security and well being.

FAQ #3 We don't know whether to be happy for you; who knows what you'll do next. What if you just pack up and move again?

Well, what if we did? What if we moved to, say, Minnesota for example? And what if we found it wasn't what we expected, and though there were enjoyable aspects and experiences we benefitted from, on the whole we decided it was not our best choice? Should we stay there and just lump it? Sure, if we had no choice we could stay put and make the best of it, but we do have choices. Starting over is an option. We haven't asked anyone to be happy or excited for us and our plans, and we didn't realize it might be such a challenge either. I have not always had the luxury of being able to adjust my circumstances to meet changing needs or interests, and as long as I am able I will exercise this option. Whether I choose to sell a tractor or move to an Island is rather trivial compared with the difficult and unpredictable things life can throw at us at any given time and place. It seems safe enough to be happy that we are healthy, still happily married, interested in life, concerned about family, and willing to adjust to changes in our dynamic lives. If we moved to Hawaii, or anywhere, and then packed up and move again, then I would think: "Thank God we had that time there, because it was good and we enjoyed it. And thanks too, that we are able to do what we feel we must to fulfill our needs and desires."

Each of us finds a way to cope with life, and those that do not, suffer a great deal. Perhaps some do not agree with how Geoff and I have decided to deal with our circumstances, and I appreciate that there are many ways of going about living our lives. If you are not excited about our changes or can't figure us out, that's okay. We never expected to be predictable, or to satisfy everyone's expectations, and sometimes we can't figure ourselves out. We have rarely ever acted rashly, we have agonized over most choices we make, we have gone to great lengths to be considerate of loved ones, and most importantly we have been able to honor and support one another, and we are happy about this.

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