One moment you’re minding your own business at work, and suddenly, Mr. Right offers to fix your car and you’re married within the year….
Or you’re all set to start the New Year with a diet and exercise routine, prepping for your son’s wedding, when you get a cancer diagnosis…..
Or you’re talking with your daughter, listening to her dreams about moving out of state, when you realize it’s the same location you and your husband were talking about moving to last year.
In ways both big and small, life is a series of changes.
I’m a planner by nature. My husband teases me about it, but I don’t care. He benefits from it and he knows it (smiling). Personal and professional “planning” is in my DNA – everything from what food to buy for meals all week to corporate parties for over 700 people. Planning stuff is like a having a road map. Without it, we end up ‘anywhere’. With it, we tend to get to where we want to go. In my world, anyway.
Back in February of ’15, I knew I had 18 months of treatments to undergo and “planning” my life pretty much took a hike. I didn’t know who or how I’d be when I finished with those treatments. I didn’t know what I would look like, how I would feel, or what I could or could not do, and it sucked. BIG time.
I also didn’t know that my girl, 28 and a single mom, would be laid off twice in a year – the second time in March, just a week after I was “laid off”. Since the day we found out she was pregnant, I knew one of my biggest “purposes” in life was to partner with her in raising my grandson. A big piece of that has been additional financial support.
Like many others in the Middle Class, particularly in SoCal where housing takes 50% of income and incomes have been flat, or moving backward, for almost a decade, being a single income family is nearly impossible. So it’s been a draining 18 months where money is concerned, as we’ve helped to support them as well as ourselves through these challenging times.
That being said, the funds we’ve needed have been there, and we haven’t had to tap our credit cards. We all have a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, and so much more to be grateful for.
Anyway, she landed a fabulous new job within her local school district a month ago, replete with all kinds of amazing benefits and opportunities for a life long career, should she choose. The only “down side”, it included a significant cut in pay that made the already difficult task of living on her own impossible. So, a week ago when she asked about moving in with us once her lease is up come September, we agreed.
Not only will having them live here significantly stop the financial bleeding, it will help all of us in different ways. Having my 7 year old grandson around is like having a partner in crime….we make serious magic together.
It wasn’t an easy decision. Big, life altering ones usually aren’t. We’re all adults and all of us would like our own space – especially my girl. She has her way of doing “house” and I have mine. But, like many MANY other families across America, we’re doing what we need to do to keep life and limb together and, I believe, actually get ahead.
And I’m good with that. Because now….we got ourselves a plan.
Oregon! Last year, when I came back from my road trip up to Seattle, it was all I could talk about. First, it’s gorgeous up there. Rolling green hills, spectacular vistas, water filled rivers…..And we would be so much closer to my son and daughter-in-law, who begged me to move up that way so I would be closer to them when they start their own family in a year or so. A 3 hour drive is MUCH better than an 18 hour one. (I don’t fly….)
And, as it turns out, my husband’s company has offices in Portland! For years we’ve dreamed of owning our own home again, on a small piece of land in a place where there is space, natural beauty, safety, and a reasonable cost of living. We don’t need posh. We’re simple people who enjoy simple comforts and could give a rat’s ass about impressing anyone with our “lifestyle”.
So when my daughter told me her own dream to move to Oregon, where she could afford a little house of her own and could put down roots for she and her son, BOOM! There it was!
Just like that, for the first time in a long time, I have a vision for the ‘future’. I have something to point my prayers and intentions towards. Something to work for. I have…
Sure, it’s all in the hands of the Divine. Things might change as we go along. And it will definitely take an Act of God to pull this all together. A handful of Miracles, even. But in THIS moment, I feel hope. I feel more determined, more energized – more ALIVE – than I have in a long long LONG time.
Where the state motto is: Alis Volat Propriis, “She Flies With Her Own Wings”.
Sounds like my kinda place.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”. – Proverbs 29:18