Friday, November 21, 2008

Is the Grass Greener?

Along with my way-too-early self-professed midlife crisis comes a huge question I can’t seem to answer to any degree of satisfaction. When you know you want something in your life, but to get it would take a tremendous amount of upheaval, turmoil, and possible failure, do you still go for it?

In my case, both Greg and I know that we want to live near the ocean. Having grown up in one desert in Texas and then moved to another in Nevada, this is something that I know from the very core of me that I want. I’m so over the sounds of rattle snakes and coyotes. I want crashing waves, and my little ocean sound machine ain’t cuttin’ it.

So here’s the question. I have a beautiful house, a wonderful family, phenomenal friends, and am surrounded by extended family in the area. Greg has a successful job where his input is valued. Life, for all intents and purposes, is great! But there’s that gnawing feeling that we only have one shot at this life. Do we wait until retirement to go where we feel that pull to be? Or do we take a shot at obtaining it earlier, knowing that failure is always a possibility? I don’t want to be one of those people that feels like the grass is always greener somewhere else, but when is not going for it settling? How does one conclude that now is not the time? What are we teaching our children by not going for it? What are we teaching them if we do?

These are just thoughts running around in my head. Even if we WANTED to make a big change, now is certainly not the time for it. I doubt we could even sell our house right now or get good jobs in a brand new city. A neighbor a couple of doors down is being transferred to another city, and they are going to simply walk away from their home. To them, I’d like to give them a certain middle finger, but they probably don’t feel like they have much choice in this economy. I don’t think TRYING could hurt them.

Certainly for now change is not in the foreseeable future. Having a dialog about it is healthy though. After all, without dreams, without aspirations, I’d be nowhere near where I am today. The desert I’m in now isn’t as hot and dry as the one I grew up in. That’s a step in the right direction.


  1. I'm just envious that you know what you want. My midlife crisis is without a core value...

    Ryan and I look at it this way, we live in a landlocked place with a low cost of living so that when we go to the ocean we can enjoy it. If we lived in a place with the ocean all year long we would have to work too hard to support ourselves to enjoy it...

  2. Whew, after that first sentence in the third paragraph, I thought I was going to find out my wife was leaving me.....

  3. You know our take on this! Life is short...sometimes you just have to take the plunge and jump headfirst into those experiences that are scary. Nothing is to be gained from staying in one place (physically/emotionally/etc.) when your mind and heart are somewhere else. When we moved back to Oregon, we didn't have everything lined up, but we knew this is where we wanted to be. Once we directed all of our energy to getting back to our desired location, everything else fell into place in a relatively short period of time. It was a huge risk, but one worth taking. We are grateful every day that we made the move. Even if this exact moment isn't right, you could always consider making a 1 year/3 year/5 year plan for making it happen. We initially had a three year plan for moving back, and then decided to accelerate it. There's never a good time to do many things in life, so sometimes you just have to go for it!

    As a side note, I've been listening to the "Four Hour Work Week" on audio book on my way to/from work lately (check it out!) One of the stories I found inspiring was about a family with three young children that sold everything, bought a boat, and spent a year sailing around the world. It made me think of you!

    PS I was perusing Oregon coastal properties earlier this week for my aunt and was pleasantly surprised to see that many of them have come down in value. You can browse a map of properties at

  4. I don't know, but I think you find yourself where you need to be. When it's time to be by the ocean, circumstances will make it clearer that the time has come.