Thursday, April 12, 2018

Admirable (Part Two)

What would it take you to go from this ... (photo credit)

... to this? (photo credit)
 Here's another story of a friend who I find admirable. I find her admirable in many ways, but especially this one, the way she's making a sacrifice in service to a greater good. (Lots of details changed here to protect the innocent.)

"M" moved to Key West more than 10 years ago. She likes its quirky laid-back lifestyle, bright colors, and warm sunny climate. She met her husband there, and now they have a house and two kids together. They've got a good circle of friends there, and both have good jobs with fishing charters for tourists. Life was really pretty cool.

Then one of their kids started having problems. Not life-threatening problems, but significant, the kind of problems that might not launch this child to their most successful life. M is a very dedicated parent and pretty smart, so she looked around for solutions. And it turned out that, after research, the only two possible places in the country that could help M's kid were Cheyenne, and Chicago. Both of which are as culturally different from Key West as I could imagine. Cities, with none of that laid-back quirky vibe. And both have snow. M hasn't seen ice outside of a drink glass in many years. Both M and her husband would have to quit their jobs and sell their house, and they'd have to stay in the northland pretty much until the kids were out of high school. It's not like Cheyenne has much of a fishing fleet, either, so it wouldn't just be quitting these particular jobs, they'd be losing any opportunities to continue working in the whole industry.

Tough decision, but M is pragmatic. Last time I talked to her, she was sorting and packing. They'd already given notice at their jobs and were planning to move during the summer; at least they'd have some time to explore their new surroundings before before the school year -- and snow! -- began. Unlike my previous "Admirable" post, this one doesn't end in rainbows and happy hikers and zesty "I love my life" photos. At least not yet, and maybe not until the younger kid turns 18 and graduates. M's payoff is a little farther away. And that's exactly why I find her being willing to make this major uprooting and change so admirable.

(Note: In a weird coincidence, another blog I follow posted encouraging you to think about the heroes in your life, on exactly the same day that I first drafted the previous post about Kristine, the first of three planned posts about people I consider admirable.)

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