Thursday, June 11, 2009

Need new goals

Despite my lazy tendencies, I am still type-A at heart, and so I'm going crazy living with no goals right now. All of my adult life the idea of going back to school to became a physician was at least in the back of my mind, if not at the center of it. So now that I've taken this detour I admit that I feel very lost. I need some new goals to work on.

One of the things DH and I have been discussing is whether or not to relocate. I was born and raised in New York City and the thought of being far away from it fills me with dread and fear. But fear of what, I can't quite say. It just feels "wrong" to even think of living elsewhere. Well actually over the past few days I think I'm beginning to understand these feelings more. The City represents opportunity to me. Nevermind that I rarely ever take advantage of any of the cultural or intellecual activities offered there. But I like knowing that they're there. It represents that ideal me that I could/should be. But what use is it struggling financially (and in bad weather) to be near something you don't ever see? The few other cities I've visited usually fall short in my eyes, but even the smallest of these have a fair amount of stuff for the kids to do. And since the things I am leaning towards now are family-oriented anyway, then perhaps I can be ok with the idea of moving.

Why do I even want to move? Well now that our focus is more financial I guess I feel the need to "win" at that game. Our townhouse is ok, but not great. I wish the layout were better, I wish we had a deck, and I wish the town was nicer. My friends who have moved have been able to get so much more house in other places. Having this place was certainly a factor in my NOT being able to go to school. If we could move somewhere else where we'd be just as comfortable, if not more so, with less money than that opens up the option for me to return to school someday.

Yes, I said it. School. There is no way that I will not continue to scheme going back for something. MD is still an option but as the years and kids come and go (no, I am not pregnant again . . . yet) I know that it will become less likely. I am considering other health care careers now, because I still feel pretty strongly that that's where I should be. I certainly wouldn't want to retire from this stuff. I'd prefer to be wheeled away from my patients instead.

But anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. School can NOT be one of my new goals. I just walked away from it and I NEED to devote my energies to other things. More pressing things. Things I can do something about now or in the short-term future.

For sure one of my goals is to slowly work ourselves out of the financial mess we're in. It will probably take another two months for us to pay off a lot of little things we owed here and there (including us dipping into overdraft). After that we will start focusing on those pesky credit cards. Let's just hope our old car doesn't clunk out of us before we're ready for a new car payment. Go, go Saturn!

We still need to really think about where we want to live and what's important to us. I guess that's why I keep bringing it up here in my goal post. If being able to subscribe to a concert series at the Philharmonic were critical to me, then maybe we'd have to plan to stay around here or around some other major city. But with major cities come high prices. I just spent a week with my friend who lives in a mansion in NC. At first I was a bit put off by the lack of activity near their home, but after witnessing how happy her 4 children are, playing outside and riding their bikes with no fear of crime, etc., it made me wonder. We're such homebodies now that 99% of the time we would rather stay home than do just about anything else. So if that's the case what does it matter if we're living in a suburb of NYC or Kalamazoo? I kept going on and on in my head about wanting my kids to have a feeling of belonging to something, and that's something that I feel that those outside the cities sometimes lack. To me all the "communities" we visited felt so bland and generic. But then again I have a biased and probably wrong opinion based on my own very limited experience. I guess I am just so scared about making wrong decisions in terms of raising her. I have a track record for making bad decisions, you know. I do feel that in the end none of that is what matters in terms of raising your kids. It's what you do inside the house. Or at least I want to believe that. But a part of me feels very strongly that the outside influences are vast. Many of my friends who grew up with my in the inner-city have gone very far away from that with their own children. But then I fear that I'd not be in touch with my children's experience at all because it would be so radically different. And I also fear my kids turning out like some of the people I met in college who were deathly afraid of anything different from them. UGH.

Ok, wait, I am digressing. Goals. Let's stick to goals. It's not like I can even start to think about a relocation until we're better off financially, which may take 3-4 years. And I'd prefer to have a second baby while we're still near our relatives in NY. Not that they've been anywhere near as helpful as I would have liked (a whole other blog post), but they're all we have for now.

Definitely I need to redefine some music goals. Very short term I just need to start practicing again. Once I can get back into the habit I can figure out how to get back to my lessons and what to play.

Another goal that is slowly coalescing in the recesses of my being, is that of becoming more healthy. And no, I don't just mean working out, though I definitely wish I were more active, but have some inertia issues to deal with. It would be great to do a triathlon with my husband, but that may never happen. I am really only starting to become informed about toxins in our environment, especially our food, and how that affects development. So I suspect I will definitely be boarding the organic bandwagon once I can get all my sh*t together. We are so far removed from that kind of lifestyle with all of our Dominican fried stuff that I get overwhelmed thinking of all the changes at once. But I do want to devote a significant amount of energy and probably money to this end. Just not sure how to start attacking the beast. I think that for now we are going to research getting a reverse osmosis under the sink filter.

I have a feeling this whole organic/more natural thing could turn into something bigger for me. As I may have mentioned I went to a talk at a wholistic health center and that left me wondering if perhaps my future health care career could somehow integrate that. This is yet another way motherhood has changed me, for the better. Before I couldn't even consider healthy options because I was so stuck in my ways of selt-medicating with food. But now I've become a Mama Bear and I want to make the world a safer place for the cubs.

So what does that all mean for me? Too soon to tell. We'll just have to wait and see.


Waterfall said...

Wow. We are living parallel lives, only I keep thinking I want to move to a big city (or at least *a* city, of any size, so long as it has a good symphony) because I feel like I'm dying of cultural starvation here in rural western NC.

I wish we could trade places for a month and see if, relocation-wise, we both *really* want what we say we want! :)

Hey, maybe someone will pay us to do a reality show on that ...

Leslie A. said...

Excellent blog post, and like Waterfall said, someone should definitely PAY you to have your own reality show!

Keep up the great work!

Leslie Alston :-)