As you know, I have started a graduate program at St. Louis University. This summer's work is mostly foundational with this second part of the class doing some actual field work. I have been enjoying it and feel like I have really found my calling. Yes, it has taken me many years, an undergraduate and a different graduate degree to get to this point, but we can't all be like my husband and know right out of the gate! (much to his chagrin). I have also been reading an inspirational book - Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. It was just be coincidence that I should happen to be reading this book and realizing how well it fits into my studies. While the book has some organizational and thesis issues, it has made me really want to do a better job of aligning my life and values and putting them into practice.
One of Husband and I's biggest issues is our housing. We live in far North St. Louis County. We are at least 10-15 minutes away from a highway. Husband has a 40 minute commute into the city. School is about a 35 minute drive for me. The kids German dance is also about 35 minutes. Harp is around 30 minutes, our CSA is 30 minutes, etc.... I am sure you can see where this is going. I am tired of driving and it is killing me to waste so much gas and to be so car dependent.
So why do we live here? Family. Husband grew up here and we live across the street from his parents. His aunt and uncle live two houses down. His sister and the kid's cousins live minutes away. The kids go to school where he went to school. There are a lot of connections. The housing is very affordable and the neighborhood/school is well integrated. All things that are pluses. The relationship the kids have with their grandparents is amazing. It is wonderful to have that support. But, it is just so far away from everything else we do. How do you choose? With daughter fast approaching high school age, we will be forced to make decisions in the couple of years. Part of me is excited about the possibility of moving closer in, but the other is sad about the change in relationship with the grandparents.
It has made me realize that sustainability issues are never cut and dry. When you are single, things are much easier to put into practice. Adding family and kids makes every decision exponentially harder.