how to stick to a decision

What would you do if you were faced with almost total freedom of choice? If most of the barriers to your decision-making process were suddenly and abruptly removed?  I found myself in this position a few months ago.  With no employment, a location-independent side income, a stay-at-home spouse and two children not yet attending school, I was handed the final piece to the puzzle – an offer to buy our home.

I don’t think most people can easily comprehend how disorienting it feels to suddenly have no obligations or commitments to one’s current lifestyle. My wife and I woke up one day to realize that our house was sold, I had no job, she had no job, our kids were still young enough to relocate without any trouble and soon we won’t even have a place to live.  We are as free as we can be (excepting, of course, that we have two children to care for).

I have dreamed for years of living in a semi-tropical climate. I am a fair skinned person, but I feel most comfortable in the heat and sun.  I am not a cold weather person – probably due to growing up in the Deep South –  and despite 13 years of living in Moscow and New York I have never fully adjusted to the cold climate.  Bubelah is a product of a Central Asian climate – again, not nearly as cold as New York.  Since we were married we have flirted with the idea of moving to a warm climate, and again and again the topic turned to Florida (as opposed to a more distant location like Arizona or California or South America).

It is easy, once you have the chance, to get scared of freedom. I wake up in the early hours many mornings wondering what will happen – are we doing the right thing, is it a mistake, should I be more cautious.  But almost every day I think that we’ll never have this chance again.  If I take a new contract in New York, or we buy a place in New York, or do almost anything other than taking our chance to move where we want to move that we’ll always wonder what if.  We will never know what would have happened if we took hold of the opportunity we had to do what we wanted.  Five years from now Little Buddy and Pumpkin will be in school, we’d be more settled and moving would be a nightmare.

Right now we can take a chance, and right or wrong we can make a decision and see how it affects our lives. If you believe in something for years and years and when the time comes to act on that belief you don’t seize it, I think you would regret it.  I don’t want to regret the things I didn’t do, more than I fear the regret I might feel if I do them.


13 comments

  • Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet

    I wish you the best of luck!

  • Sometimes you just have to go for it. I was that way, lost my job in NY and decided to just get a job in DC and try something else out for a bit. Just plan it out and go for it.

  • I am really identifying with your last few posts–so much of what you are going through is exactly the same as the transition into retirement. So many choices. It really is overwhelming. Everyone lusts after freedom, but no one realizes how overwhelming freedom can be.

    If I were in your shoes, I would be thinking about this: After a long day of writing (or going to work at a more traditional venue), you get home, pack up the kids and take the family for a beautiful walk on the beach each night. Maybe you bring a picnic dinner. No TV, no distractions, just the sheer joy of hanging out with the family, listening to the waves, enjoying the longer days.

    If I were in your shoes it would make me very happy just to be thinking of taking them off and waling in the sand.

    • RS, wow! I love the way you think ;o) You described what we dream our life would be. Thank you for support. It's a tough decision since my whole family is staying in NY.

    • That does make it tougher, for sure.

      I have some friends that moved to Singapore and lived a life exactly as I described above (only it was one kid and one big dog). I used to look at the pictures they posted with such longing. They loved the slower pace of life. Eventually they moved back, but they really are glad they did it.

  • What an amazing opportunity!

    Hey, Arizona's not so distant…and IMHO the weather's better than Florida's! 😉

    But speaking of distant, have you thought of throwing over the traces and sojourning overseas for a while? Say…the south of France? Costa Rica? Australia or New Zealand? Carpe diem!

  • Steve,

    More than ever I hope you take this opportunity to go where you want to go, and more importantly need to go.

    In my short life span and business career, the one thing I've learned most is the importance of freedom. Never let go of that. Never feel bogged down.

    I wish you the best of luck, and of success, somehow I know you will never need to hear that though my friend. You have built your skills and so now, you are truly independent. For an economy may slash companies and take away peoples identities(Their jobs) it can never do it to you. Because you took the time to get the skills such as writing, auditing and what have you, that are truly mobile in nature. Wherever you go, the skill goes with you.

    Again, wish you the best my friend. And we will have to hang. I am planning on making 50g in my multi-level marketing company this year. Made 600 in last two days, so that was pretty sweet. Going buy a motorhome and go traveling again, this time in style!

    All the best to you!

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  • Hi Steve,

    I'd say that if your wife is 100% with you than you should go for it. I am considering a similar move. Good luck whatever you decide!

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

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  • This is a lovely post. Thank you. I often find myself afraid of my own freedom too.

  • This is a lovely post. Thank you. I often find myself afraid of my own freedom too.

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