Week 24 ~ August 20, 2002
~ A New Light
This past week was very full and eventful. We made our 6 hour trip early in the week to see if my husband's job offer was worth taking. We left our children with my in-laws, drove a bit further, and spent all of Tuesday back in the city we lived in 8 years ago. (We were happy to leave then -- it never felt like home to us in the 2 years we were there, although we did have some good times and blessings there). I was surprised that I was so open to the idea of going there again, but the sick feeling I initially had in my stomach when I heard about the offer eventually left and turned to curiosity and optimism for what the future could hold for us there. We drove around to look at houses and areas before the meeting time at the business. We'd hear about an area or a place and would think "maybe that will be a great place to live" but would be disappointed over and over. We went to the business -- I looked around the building, used the bathroom a few times (as I'm known to frequently do throughout pregnancy), but really wanted to spend more time looking at housing. So I left for a few hours while my husband explored the job opportunity. I continued to get my hopes up only to feel them crash over and over.
I think the biggest problem was that this other city is flat and very ugly compared to where we currently live. Anything of beauty there has to be planted and cultivated. There is no natural beauty to the area, except for maybe the river that runs through it (which is where we lived last time), but apparently there's a flood risk to live near the levy right now, so we were advised not to live on the river side of town. Right now, we live in the midst of the coastal redwoods. Our yard and surrounding area is just gorgeous all year long, as is anywhere else we go in the vicinity. So that was something to think about. The other problem was that housing there had just sky-rocketed after years of stagnation and we would have to either live in a smaller, less quality-made house or in a similar house on a tiny lot (and we have a gorgeous custom-built house on an acre surrounded by redwood forests right now). The thought of raising 6 children in a smaller house or a tiny lot just didn't appeal to us. So I just kept gaining appreciation for everything that we have here the more I'd look there. By the time I got back to the company, I felt defeated and discouraged (and was starving -- hadn't stopped to eat much at all -- but I had lots of water to drink in their 107 degree heat, so the water -- and the air conditioning -- kept me going). I didn't want to put a damper on the excitement that might be happening between my husband and the employers, so I came back trying to fake some optimism and wanted to be open for making it work if things looked wonderful on the job-end. (My husband told me later on that he could see in my face immediately that I was worn out and discouraged. So much for my acting ability).
In talking with the employers, the only thing that really seemed like a major hurdle to me with the job is that they wanted us to be there within two weeks. I knew that with my children's hopes and expectations for school starting right away and with my mothering capacity to deal with their emotions and moods, that I could not move them that fast. I'd want at least 6 weeks, to let them start school with their friends and teachers that they'd looked forward to having, then could wean them from their comfort zone and transfer them after a month. That would still be tough, but I know my kids and knew that this would be an easier break for them (and none of them are old enough or challenged enough academically that a mid-semester change would be a problem). The employer's wife said "absolutely not" and I could feel the tears trying to burst through my eyes. I'd tried to be open to everything from the beginning -- moving to a place that I didn't particularly like from the beginning, moving in the middle of a pregnancy -- not just the physical aspects of doing that, but dealing with the emotions of having to switch doctors and my friends' support midstream. I played little tricks in my mind to keep myself from crying in front of them, but I'd hit the wall and knew that I just couldn't budge on this one. I sat through the rest of the meeting, still trying to find ways that it could work, then we left to head home and talk it through.
We went out to eat (finally!) and we got to talk about all the happenings of the day and feelings we had throughout. One by one, we found reasons for not taking the offer (he had several concerns about the job and company in addition to mine about the area). We talked about all the wonderful things that we have right now where we are. Before we left town, I showed him two of the houses that I'd thought could be possibilities earlier (and we actually got to walk through them), but again, we confirmed that what we have right now far surpasses what we'd have there. It was an emotionally and physically draining day, but we felt like it was an extremely valuable day. We got to see the blessings of our lives in a completely new light. We got to explore an opportunity and feel complete confidence and confirmation that we were making the best decision for our family. I wondered a bit the next day why I'd suddenly gone from being sick at the thought of going there to being completely open to it. And I think I needed to make that switch to let myself and my husband get to explore the option, then know for sure that it wasn't for us. We'd never have to wonder again.
Other than that, what was left of the week was spent cutting up and canning the peaches and apples that I bought last week. My back started to wear out from so much standing in the kitchen. When I went to Dr. P on Thursday I told him about my lower back pain (which I've gotten in the past 3 pregnancies) and he showed me how to correct my posture with a pelvic tilt throughout the day. I'd read about how to stand the night before, but couldn't quite figure out the proper position. He told me to stand against a wall and to tuck my pelvis under so that there is no longer any space between my back and the wall (like I've done on the floor for abdominal work when I exercise). It felt unnatural the first few days, like it's going to hurt or strain my back even more. But it actually makes the abdominal muscles work more and takes the extra weight off of the back. I noticed a difference after about three days of practicing this new posture. It's sure nice to know that I'm not doomed to 3 1/2 more months of back pain!