Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to Open a Door

This summer my marriage was on the rocks. I wanted out having thrown up the flag of defeat caused by the stress of our lifestyle. Both my husband and I were tired. Tired of long work commutes; tired of not having time, sweet, priceless time. I was overwhelmed being a full-time worker and full-time single parent (or so it felt) because his job kept him from home for days at a time. He tried finding a different job, one closer to our IN home (he drives 90 miles one way to his job in yet another state and I was driving 40 miles OW to mine in a different county). After receiving a job offer with weekend home time, the offer was canceled (corporate office placed a hiring freeze and they told him he was going to receive first offer once lifted. It's been over six months). Job prospects are looking bleak in this area of the country (um, two words: Michiana area). Homes we bought for fair prices after tons of research (I'm a scientist by training and rarely jump without a whole lotta over-analysis) have depreciated. Quickly. We lost a HUGE amount on one of the houses (and we are still dealing with the after-effects of the loss in the form of taxes). We truly felt we were being bent over the coals in Indiana (as many are feeling all over the world). We realized our generation (the X one) would not have the same opportunities are parents and grandparents knew (long-term jobs, houses that were investments, possibly retirement and one parent being home comfortably). If we continued down the path we have been on, we could find ourselves without incomes (Dh's job depends on gas prices and mine was a term contract job with the black cloud possibility of being eliminated).

I actually received the offer on my new job in 2009; however, another economy hire freeze, had put the offer on temp hold and I had been waiting for the "OK-to-hire" word for over a year. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be decided it needed to be moved further south to Louisville. I had no idea about Louisville and had never given the area or KY a thought. Once I started researching the area, I fell in love! One of the best parts: it is only four hours from where we were living (my husband's hometown). Believe me when I say: it could have been a much further distance. Even better, Hubby's employer has a division in Frankfort-a hop, skip and jump from Louisville! It seemed truly "meant to be". We both feel comfortable and happy in KY. Moving down during the week and returning home on weekends seemed like a reasonable experiment if it meant something better in the long-term.

So, what is the problem (besides selling another home hopefully not at a lose, changing schools, finding a new house...):

My mother-in-law lives nearly 1/8 of a mile from the IN house. She is close to our children (and the reason I was able to make the temporary move to KY). She cares for them, loves them, and is a huge important part of their lives. She was, as anyone could muster, terribly unhappy about Louisville. She even offered me money to move back home. She told me I could not move for 15 years (the time when my children will be done with school). She is in her late 60's and FIL is in mid-70's.

Last night I stopped by her house to pick up the boys on my way home from KY. She and her buddies were sitting around talking and drinking a few beers (a popular neighborhood past time and hang-out. She and my FIl have been in the area for many, many years and everyone knows them. FIL is a local politician.) They often ask me to join them, but after the summer events (me wanting a divorce) I haven't felt as welcome (probably my own imagination). They asked last night and I took them up on the offer. Thank goodness I did!

See, after a couple of beers I began to open up the topic of KY and the fact we would be moving south. At first she was upset. She has been in denial since I moved positions. Her friend, at first, defended my MIL not wanting us to move and said to me I was making this a traumatic event. I told them the job prospects were bleak and, unless things changed, DH would be driving that awful drive for the rest of his life (and he drives for a living too). I told them at 36 he is starting to have health issues (she knows this). He is too young for the problems he is having! I told them that with the right area and opportunities I could earn more than he does in his physically demanding job. I invested in my education to be the bread winner (and he could, in theory, take a less paying, demanding job once I reach the right pay-raise and be home more with the boys). I said we needed to think about our future: retirement, college for the boys, being able to afford a mortgage without selling out our time with our children. KY offers opportunities.

Her friend suddenly changed positions and says, "You know, she's right. The jobs are bleak here and it could be worse. They really are trying to stay as close to you as possible. They could be moving further away." I saw she was considering this and the fact she often tells me hubby looks worn out made it easier for her to consider. I told her we were looking for homes with a guest room area.

So, long story here, but we are one step closer to making this move permanent. I feel so much better having cleared the air between us, telling her my motives in "running away" to KY (she thought is was simply because of the marital issues, but we resolved most of the problems before I switch jobs). Having familial support is really important and a major key in a successful relocation to KY.

No comments: