To Leap or Not to Leap?

Today is Leap Day and so it’s fitting that I tell you about the events of the last five days.

Do you do well with making important decisions? I mean really big ones — beyond how many times to nuke that cup of coffee before giving up and realizing it’s a symbol for how your day will unfold.

Big, important decisions are hard. I am fortunate that I haven’t had to make too many of them in my life. You know who hates decision-making a lot? My husband. Not everyday decisions or business decisions – those are easy for him. But the ones with huge ranges of gray? Yes. He is a man of science who embraces the pragmatics of a solid pro/con list. When a decision transcends these logical parameters, he would really rather take the wait-it-out approach. I would offer you an example, but you probably don’t want to hear about the infamous dating-for-five-years-but-still-not-engaged period of our lives right now.

And so, when he was extended an offer for a new job this past Wednesday, our regular old week  got interesting very quickly. Wow, a new job for him. One that he would love. Wow, it’s all the way in Colorado. That’s sort of far. WOW, he was given five days to make a decision. Whaaaat?

Then he was asked if we wanted to get on a plane and check it out over the weekend.

Uh, yes.

I’ve been to Colorado before, but only for skiing and not in a very long time. If I was going to move my family, we needed to go and spend some time there to make an informed decision.

And so, I assembled a true patchwork of child care from various family members (all of whom are owed huge gestures of thanks spun in gold), rearranged all of our weekend commitments and got on a plane Friday afternoon. This happened to be our wedding anniversary, and so what appeared on Facebook to be a photo of a last-minute romantic getaway was actually us taxiing to a pressure cooker situation and whirlwind tour of our potential future home base.


All weekend long, I felt a lot like I was on a reality show but one where the cameras must have been hidden. The premise of the show was “Hey, spend a weekend only with your spouse, in a city you’ve never visited. Now, find your way around a new area, locate the housing and school possibilities and discuss the entire future of your family before coming home with a decision in 48 hours. Go!” It was somewhere between House Hunters and The Amazing Race. It needs a more concise title and I have a few draft ideas I’m working through before I pitch the whole concept to the cable networks.

And so, my husband and I drove around like it was our job. We met with realtors and with friends of friends who live in the area to give us some perspective and advice. We stared at stunning mountains and bike trails and soaked in 70 degree weather in February. We thought about what it would be like to move our family from its Northeast roots to an area where we have not a single family member.



And we wavered. We took turns saying whether the right thing was to stay or to go.

  • Do we want a new adventure?
  • Could we take the kids so far from their grandparents? 
  • How often would we be able to fly home to visit?
  • Are we happy where we live now?

{In short: yes, ouch, unclear and mostly but not entirely.}

I happen to love the Northeast but I’m also acutely aware of the fact that it’s the only part of the country I’ve ever lived in. I’ve traveled all over the world but my home base and center of gravity have always been in this area. The town where we live now is quaint and lovely and has so much of what I could ever ask for. Sure, I get fed up with some of the social dynamics and of course there are women in my mom orbit who make me crazy, but that would happen anywhere. But, sometimes, there is some appeal to just picking up and starting over somewhere else.

Plenty of people are lifelong movers, maybe for job purposes or perhaps just as wanderers of the world. Lots of folks live far from their extended families. And many stick close to their roots and to those in their tightest circle. Neither way is wrong – but what was right for us? It was truly the first time it had ever come up in a real-life, concrete scenario.

And that scenario drove the course of our weekend. In between getting lost and figuring out maps and school districts and counting how many Whole Foods one can actually put in a ten-mile radius, we sat down to great meals and cocktails and, funnily enough, had a fabulously unexpected getaway weekend. It wasn’t vacation by any stretch, but it was uninterrupted time on a mutual mission. And the question that loomed over us forced us to have some very real conversations about expectations and hopes and challenges for our family.

I was left wondering about leaps of faith and how they differ for people.

Many would go. The adventure, the newness, the sheer opportunity and of course the job.

Many would stay. The proximity to family, eliminating the uncertainty, the comfort what is already known.

Of course, there’s a lot more to all of this, and I won’t bore you with the 6.3 million dynamics and nuances at play. And my intention is not really to have the decision made by committee anyway, but more to bring my cortisol levels down to human levels by writing about it now that we’re back home.

After dissecting and re-dissecting all of the back-and-forth all weekend, I realized that the question was broader than I thought: Was the leap of faith to go or to stay? To face a new place or to pass it up and see what the future brings here at home?

Some people are excellent decision-makers under duress. And some feel like they just survived a reality show as they cross the finish line and hope they did everything they could to make the right choice.

Stay tuned for the outcome.



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  1. Suzanne Sherman says:

    Don’t leap!

    If you do leap how do you feel about 5 visitors at once?

    Good luck with the decision making!

    Glad you had a nice weekend!

  2. Leah says:

    Your post is timely. My husband applied for a position in the midwest and we’ve been lifelong Californians. I’m like you – intrigued by a new prospect, but not sure about taking that leap either. Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead for you.

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