Where the road leads us

February 9, 2010 Uncategorized 10

Do you remember where you thought you’d be living most of your life when you were 18 or even 21 years old?  I know I did, and I thought I’d be staying in St. Louis, the city I spent most of my life or moving back to TX, the state of my birth and extended family.
Life gives us detours and road blocks and changes our direction.  When I graduated from college moving home was odd.  My parents sold my childhood home during my college years and moved 45 minutes west of St. Louis.  I lived with them and did the into the city commute to work.  They were generous to let me stay and all was good, until I moved away…………and when I made that move in September of 1983 I  had no idea where the road would take me.  Chicago, Tampa, and another little town in FL, where I’ve been for over 20 years now.
Many people I know are more nomadic like I am, they’ve lived far away from family and childhood friends and familiar surroundings.  They “get” what it’s like to be away, to be separated from family, to be building your own family and network of support in a new place.
But for some people my life and how I’ve moved and live my life apart from my parents and siblings and relatives for my children to see more often is foreign and to some……..odd.  I accept that it may not be appealing to everyone, but it begs the question………….do you go down the road life and work and love lead you?
Every move I made was for work, and or love.  I stay where I am now because it is where my husband is employed, it is where he grew up and I do love him.
Honestly, sometimes it is hard, it is heartbreaking to not be closer to my aging parents, I know they need help now.  Not the day to day stuff, but they like to go out to dinner,and go shopping and they could call a cab, but they prefer my siblings taking them.  My parents are generous and love to take my sibs out to dinner with them.  When my dad fell, I wished I was there, but a 1000 mile trip is not a whim drive.  The logistics of 3 children don’t go well with dropping all and going,especially when I would mostly be moral support.  While needed……….harder to arrange. 
Let me tell you though, there are advantages.  I do not tire of my family, I do not dread the little things that we all would be doing more of together, because when we see them we enjoy the limited time we have.I love my parents and talk to them almost every day, but being in the same city with them would be difficult, they can get demanding.   I do not have to be irritated that my siblings don’t call me or see me more often,and we live close.  Now when we visit TX they make some time for us, some more than others, but that is ok too. We are all adults, in different places in life, them with grown kids and grandkids, me with teens and a tween.  While I love them, I don’t think I’d appreciate them quite as much if we saw each other too much. 
I accept this place I am with my life and location right now.  Will I always be here? No.  Will my children go off and live where their road leads them?  Absolutely.  We may be apart too, and while I will miss them, I know that distance is just one small obstacle………….and that it’s not a barrier to love and involvement. 

10 Responses to “Where the road leads us”

  1. Terra

    oh Anita, you are so well prepared for whatever roads your children may take (even the road blocks) I imagine it is hard to be far from family that you are close to but I also know if your folks said “we need you” you would be their in a flash (3 kids in tow if you had to). You are a wonderful woman and wife and mom – your blog is testimate to who you are and who you are teaching your family to be!

  2. Pam

    Another great post, Anita. I’ve done both, lived far from family and now I’m back in my hometown. And you are so right. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I think you are right, too, about following the path that life and love lead us. And they we have to take the good and the bad.

  3. Crazy Mom of Three

    I always knew it was important to me to live near my family. It was something I wanted and I gave up some career opportunities to do that and my husband did as well. He always knew that it was a top key thing for me. Sometimes I feel bad that I was not willing to be more mobile for the compromises he made for me in his work. But, this was just not negotiable to me. I have always been so close with my family and I wanted to foster family bonds for my kids. With that does come the demands and requests that you have to give to family as well, as you mention. I want my kids to be happy and choose their own way in life. But, I admit that it has not occurred to me until very recently that they might not always live a short drive away. (A friend of mine’s daughter moved across the country recently and this was an eye opener for me.) If it were me in your situation right now with aging parents, I think I would have to insist that dh allot additional monies in our budget for frequent travel for me/us to visit my parents … even if it were short trips just for me to go by myself. That would not be for everyone or necessarily you of course.

  4. mama-face

    Very thoughtful post. I never thought I’d live where I have lived for my entire married life. (Different cities…but same state.) We are considering moving close to my parents and I honestly don’t know if I can do it. I haven’t lived near them since high school! (although we are only a 4 1/2 hour drive away; so it’s not too far.)

    Yes. Very good post. πŸ™‚

  5. My name is PJ.

    I like to think I go down the road where God leads me, because, each time I’ve gone off the path I’ve paid a price.

    As someone who has aging parents in my home, I can tell you that YOU ARE RIGHT! I can’t even begin to explain to you how right you are.

  6. Anita

    As everyone else has alluded to – there are advantages and disadvantages to being close to family. I’m less than two hours away from my parents, sibling, aunts… – close enough to get there if necessary and far enough to not get involved in all the petty stuff that extended families go through.
    Some times I think I want my kids to go away to college, out of state…see the world. On the other hand, if they go to college in state, there’s a stronger chance that they’ll start careers close by and meet potential spouses here too.
    I can imagine the somewhat (lonely for home) feeling that you must have sometimes. I’ve been there at one point in life too.

  7. Beth

    For some people love and jobs is a motivator but for some it isn’t that big of a motivator.. I think you have to be understanding of all the decisions. I don’t think because when someone questions your (our) motivates doesn’t mean it is an attack…

  8. Stacie

    I hear ya! I was engaged to someone I dated through most of high school and who lived at home, never went to college, lived next door to his mom in a very, very small town. During my 2nd year of college, I realized that was NOT what I wanted and ended the engagement 5 months before the wedding. I have often thought about how different my life would be if I had stayed on the that path, but thankfully God had a different plan for me. I live nearly 2 hrs from my family, live in a different small town with a different man and don’t use my very expensive college degree (not to get paid anyway) and I am LOVING LIFE! πŸ™‚

  9. sheila

    Great post! I go where life leads me. Unfortunately it hasn’t led me far from home yet, lol. But if it did, I’d be packing in a heartbeat!

  10. Miss Healthypants

    I SO know what you mean about your parents. I miss mine a lot and wish I could be there for them, especially since they are getting older…but at the same time I don’t know if I could live that close to them.

    I’m glad I ended up in Chicago, but sometimes I long to try life in southern California (San Diego area)…maybe someday… πŸ™‚

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