Monday, July 22, 2013

Life Decisions

Making critical decisions in your life can be hard.  I bring this up because Kelsey is graduating soon, and where she gets a job will have a HUGE impact on what we're doing with our lives 1, 5, or 10 years down the road.  Until now, I've been very adamant about moving from Portland to the Gorge and trying to find a decent house to live in, or some land to develop into a homestead.  That is still my top choice.

More and more frequently though, Kelsey has been telling me how awesome the unit she's doing her Integrative Practicum (IP) with is, and how she's positive they want to hire her as soon as she graduates.  Part of me is thinking "well sure, but I want to move to a smaller town, put roots down with good neighbors in a good area, and settle in."  Another part of me is thinking "ok, cool... that hospital pays more, it'll be nice for you to have a job lined up right away, and the fact that it pays more means we can buy more land more quickly."

It's a hard thing to decide what I want more, and what will be better for the both of us long term.  I'm not as happy with my current job as I'd like to be, and I'm not really a person who enjoys living in a city as big as Portland.  I spent most of my formative years on 5 acres in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, where the closest town was 12 miles away and only 26000 people (at the time, anyway).  The choicest piece of land Kelsey and I have found in the gorge so far is 15 acres, and about 10 miles out from Hood River, which is also around 25K people give or take 10 thousand, depending on whether it's tourist season or not.  That lifestyle appeals to me more than anything in the world, and it's hard to decide on the best way to get it.

Staying in Portland might be a smart sacrifice that leads to getting my land sooner, even if it means moving onto it later.  Is having land soon and only being able to visit it once or twice a month on my days off worth living in Portland and putting up with a job I don't care for all that much?  Would it be better to move to the area I want to be in sooner, and not buy land for a couple of years or more?  I don't really know the answer to these questions, but they plague me.

In the end, I don't get much say.  Where Kelsey lands a job depends on what hospital has job offers she's qualified for, and how well she interviews for them.  Kelsey tells me she's committed to getting a job in the Gorge if she can, and I appreciate that.  An extra $2/hr at a hospital in Portland won't make a world of difference (though it is a difference), so if she can get a job out there I'd likely appreciate it immensely.  My own job prospects in a smaller town might slow the acquisition of land somewhat, but having a slower pace of life in a small town I enjoy might be worth it, especially if I can do some of the domestic things I yearn for and contribute to our household bottom line in a way other than earning a paycheck.  If Kelsey ends up with a job in Portland, I guess I'll just grit my teeth, work my ass off at my current decent paying job, and try to buy land that better suits my dreams as soon as I can.  In the unlikely event the decision is up to me though, I no longer feel as certain about what I'd choose, or what would be the best choice for both of us.

Life is full of touch decisions.  Making the right one for yourself at any given moment might be pretty easy, but making a decision that is right for you now as well as 10, 20, or 50 years into the future is difficult.  I can foresee possibilities that make it such that the right decision for us now puts us into a bad situation some years down the road.  Add to this the fact that I put the additional pressure on myself to make the right decision not only for what is good for me in my lifetime, but also for what the needs of my 7th generation and beyond will be.  When I bring that into account, it's sometimes hard for me to wrap my head around it.  Will they care about some small 15-40 acre piece of land that I bought and tended, or will technology surpass anything permaculture can do and make my efforts seem ridiculous.  OR, will technology totally fail, environmental catastrophe rein, and make my efforts at permaculture nothing but tilting at windmills?  Will my 7th generation even come to pass, or will we degrade the environment so much that insects and microorganisms have a hard time getting by?  This Atlas crushing weight is the burden I put upon myself, because I feel that if I don't do it, I can't expect anyone else to... and we need as many people to bear it as we can.  Environmental degradation is not only far advanced, it's accelerating.  Ecosystems can only bear so much burden, and it's time we all chose to foster an ecosystem rather than burden one.  I just hope that the decisions and the chances Kelsey and I are presented with give us the opportunity to really do something about making a better future.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any advice for me, please chime in in the comment section.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I thought you (and your readers) might be interested in our upcoming event! The second annual NW Homesteading Fair in Lyle, Wa (the Gorge).