Anyway, this makes us think about what kind of city we want to call home, what kind of city we want to raise a family in. I think I mentioned at the end of this post some of what we want in our ideal future-- a city that is pedestrian friendly and where we can live in a neighborhood with places to walk and/or bike to, a city with less extreme summers and not too dramatic winters, and a city with a character that is more in line with our interests and values than Dallas is. It turns out that we are WILDLY UNCREATIVE because the cities we think we would like to live in turn out to be cities that EVERYONE wants to live in and thus there are not a lot of jobs to be had-- you know, Portland, Austin (although the weather there would be no improvement, obviously), Seattle, and the like. Rob has started asking around just a little and it seems like the market for allergy/immunology jobs is pretty saturated everywhere we think we would like to live. So we don't know what will happen, or where it will happen for us. This is all made more uncertain because Rob still isn't sure what he wants to be when he grows up. His uncertainty is admittedly not conducive to making grand 5-year plans but it is one that I am very sympathetic to, seeing as how I haven't ever quite figured that out either. This next year or two of his fellowship should help him gain more perspective on what he wants to spend his career doing, or at least knock another thing or two off the list of possibilities.
I've been spending probably more time than I should pondering where we might move away, which I suspect is directly linked to the horrific weather we've been having. Last summer I joked that I had some sort of reverse culture shock upon moving back to Texas after living in the Northeast and this summer, my joke is that I have a case of reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is so, so hot; even the overnight low temperatures are warmer than where I am comfortable. The sun blazes white in a sky that is grim and oppressive with no clouds, a sky so pale that it seems to be burning white-hot as well. It burns down on the flat, prairie landscape that has been paved over with concrete and strip malls and highways that shimmer in the stifling heat. In the midst of this heat, we've passed the one-year mark of being back in Texas and I will admit to feeling gloomy and downcast about it all-- the culture here, the climate, and so forth.
However, I am endeavoring to do better. Wallowing in discontentment is not consistent with what I believe about God and who I am and all that, and there is so much in my life to be joyful about. I certainly don't want to waste any moment of Violet's babyhood or Grace's toddlerhood in being unhappy about something I can't change. This is the only time Grace will ever be 3 and 1/2, the only 6-month-old moments I'll ever get with Violet, and I don't want to squander them because of where we happen to live. And it's the middle of July already, which means we're about halfway through. We've already made it through May and June, with just August and September ahead of us. It is usually comfortable by the time we get to October (although I notice that I waxed complain-y last year in the middle of November). Anyway, I still believe that being content is more about the choices I make that my circumstances, so I am going to
- reflect on how much I have to be thankful for,
- be more mindful in my daily life about the small things that bring me joy,
- not do things that involve being outside,
- try harder to build a happy social life for myself (although that may sometimes conflict with that last one because PEOPLE KEEP TRYING TO DO THINGS OUTSIDE-- sheesh, crazy people...),
- make time for the activities that cheer me up like sewing and reading and whatnot.