Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like a personal blog holds an almost irresistable temptation to gripe and moan. In my daily life, I now pay attention to things that bug me, or seem out of whack, since they just might be fodder for an Excellent Blog Post. That’s simply unhealthy. I don’t want to focus on negativity.
But, damnit, there’s a lot of stuff out there that bugs me. I can’t help but notice it. Maybe blogging hasn’t just raised my awareness level, but also lowered my tolerance for all that’s Not Right With The World. I started writing to keep my brain sharp, but with mental acuity comes an unconscious consciousness- your brain, like it or not, begins working. It chews on things while you’re busy with other stuff, the way the old supercomputers of the ’80s did: grinding away in a big, cool room while the operator goes for a coffee. All of a sudden, a tan card pops out the front with your answer printed on it in Courier 10.
Today’s card reads:
The possibility of a lifelong dream actually coming true can be a little bit scary.
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I have always thought it would be ideal to live out West. Oregon, specifically. Or Alaska. (Does Alaska count as Out West?) In any case, whenever I daydreamed about a perfect life, or thought about which one thing would make me oh-so-happy, my mind always saw a figurative wagon-train ride to the end of the Oregon Trail.
Several years ago, when we were still dating, DH and I went to Oregon for vacation. We spent three days driving down the coast from Portland to Medford, where an aunt of mine lives. We stayed with her for another week. We saw Crater Lake, we drove up Mount Ashland, we canoed a wildlife preserve, and we hiked through some volcanic caves. It was incredible. We both breathed the Pacific Northwest air deeply and felt certain we could live there. The problem was finding work.
Look forward seven years, one marriage and two children later, and it just so happens that DH has been offered a job in Portland.
This is a good career opportunity, good enough to be weighed and considered carefully. For me, it should be a no-thinker. After all, it’s been my lifelong dream to set up residence in the rugged Oregonian wilderness. But now, faced with the possibility of actually going there, things are suddenly not so clear.
I used to dream about Oregon when I was young, fancying the kind of life I wanted to have when I grew up. Well, guess what, self? You’re grown up now. You have children, a husband, a Y membership. You’ve joined groups and circles and made adult friends whose kids play with yours. And, (switching out of third person- you’re welcome), my DH has roots, too. His are probably even deeper than mine, with two brothers and a parent in town. We would give up almost all of that if we moved. Oregon is far, far away.
There is also the time factor. DH currently works three days a week at home. He puts in a lot of hours between his main employer and side jobs, but he’s here. We can have breakfast at 9AM on the days he’s home, if we like. He can watch the kids for a bit if I have a dentist appointment. We can sit and talk about things in the afternoon, things like whether or not to move to Oregon. We have time together. This new job will not only want him in the office five days a week, but will also require a lot of travel. It would be interesting to figure out how much money he would need to earn to make up for the extra 24 hours a week he’s currently at home. I bet it’s a lot.
In any case, I know we can make it work if we really want to. The guy who wants to hire DH is a longtime acquaintance, if not a friend, and would likely be sympathetic to our family situation. I know that the kids and I can find creative ways to spend more time with hubby- traveling with him, for example, or making the most of downtime when it comes along.
But maybe this is why dreams are often only dreamed, and rarely recognized. Because, when it comes down to actually making them happen, actually having them happen, sometimes you’re just not willing to give up what you need to in order to achieve them.
Which is okay. Because then, you realize that you’re already living a dream.