I have had a nagging feeling, more and more lately, that we are not living the life I want us to live. Call it a mid-life crisis if you must, but I simply want more for our family. We are currently facing some difficult choices as we try to guide our family in the direction we want to go.
One of the larger choices we are facing is whether we should move across the country, or stay where we are. We are currently living in a part of the country where our health is affected in a negative way (allergies and asthma), and where the climate does not agree with us (extreme heat in the summer). But my husband and I both grew up here in North Texas, and most of our family still lives here. We love our house, our friends, our town, the food, and good ol’ southern hospitality. Our oldest is in the third grade and has lots of friends…moving would mean a new school and making new friends which is always a hard transition.
In addition to the health and climate issues, it seems that the area we live in suffers from a larger than average case of “keeping up with the Joneses”, and it is hard not to fall into that trap when you are surrounded by it. Four years ago, shortly after the birth of our youngest, we discovered Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover. At the time we were living in California, and within a year and a half had improved our financial standing and paid down a considerable amount of debt. The only thing we had left at the time was my husband’s student loans. Since moving back to Texas two and a half years ago we have bought two cars, and added new credit card debt, until we are basically starting over on our debt snowball…not to mention the house that we bought. I know we can’t blame our own financial stupidity on anyone else, I am just admitting that I struggle with trying to “keep up” with my friends and neighbors more here than in other places we have lived.
I have also fallen into the “soccer mom” and “PTA mom” roles frighteningly easily since moving here. I have volunteered my time until I am over-extended, and yet it seems that it is never enough. I long for a much simpler life, filled with meaningful time together as a family while pursuing our dreams and passions.
Then there is the issue of my husband’s job, and my photography business. We are both currently working for the paycheck alone, and though I am thankful for the provision, that is no way to live. We both need to find our way to the work we love, whatever that may be.
Months ago we wrote the following Family Purpose Statement:
We believe that our purpose as a family is to…
Love Unconditionally, Demonstrate a Giving Spirit, Live Simply, and Embrace Life
More on that later! I feel we are at a major crossroad in our life right now, and I honestly have no idea which way is the right way at this point. I have been praying for guidance, and hopefully the right doors will open for us. The last thing I want to do is make a major mistake, and lead our family in the wrong direction.