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Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Late-Summer of My Discontent

I've been contemplating just what changes I want to make in my life for some time now, and never seem to come up with anything specific. I've known for years - decades, even - that I want to leave the south, but without a clue as to where I wanted to go, or how to go about getting there. My daughter suggested that I should be a nanny. At that time, a few years ago, I wasn't very hip to the suggestion.

Still, every now and then I would peruse Craigslist and see what was offered. When my daughter moved to NYC last winter I searched Craigslist again and when I saw ads offering $70K a year, I became more interested. Naturally, those listings required second languages and years of nanny experience, and were not options for me. But they got my attention. I looked for positions on Hawaii, in Minneapolis, LA, NYC...and I kept looking for positions in Seattle, wishing my daughter was still there. It's not that I can't separate from my kids. It's that ...well, it's that I don't want to. I realize that I can't live close to all of them, but I want to be close to at least one of them; close-enough to one that I can at least make affordable weekend visits.

In late-winter I exchanged a few emails about a position in Manhattan, fantasizing about living across the street from Central Park and only 20 minutes from my daughter and her family. I wasn't keen on only having a bedroom for my quarters, there was the issue of my dog, and there was the issue of two new infants in my daycare whose parents would have great difficulty finding replacement care since providers are by law limited to two infants under 12 months. I decided that the time just wasn't right for me to make the change. I had too many obligations and too many people counting on me. I was at peace, knowing that I wasn't stuck but staying by choice.

I've lived in my city for a few years now and still have not integrated or assimilated (my area is so cliquey and rigid that I'm not even sure that it would be possible for me to do so). Summer got under-way and I got on my bicycle again. I started getting toned and feeling good. But by August I had circumstances arise that required most of my attention, time, and money...even keeping me off my bicycle. By mid-month I realized that I was sinking into a malaise.

My daughter's family packed their belongings this summer and headed back to Seattle. Could it be a coincidence that my malaise set in at about the time she left? Was I blue because she was gone? No. Could it be that I was blue because I wasn't gone? Oh, hell yes.

And I again started looking at Craigslist for nanny positions in the area. And I found one that read as though it was written for me. I wrote and told the poster that if it were just a year later, I would probably beg them to hire me but that, as it were, I was writing to compliment them on the honest humor with which they wrote their post. They wrote back, thanking me, and wondering why I was waiting a year. I told them about the $8,000 tax credit that I used to buy my house, and which I would have to repay if I sold the house any sooner. But...I could rent it out. The seed is planted.

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