A long hiatus, but it doesn't feel like it--I've been to Boston twice, to Reno, to Denver, and to San Diego in the last six weeks.  And have spent a lot of time worrying over the Boston offer.  A lot of time.  It is one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make in many years.

On the minus side--my kids are here, Diana's parents are here.  Her kids are in high school and would be ripped away from their friends.  I love my house.  I have wonderful friends like Sam and my mediation group.  I have a support group I'd be leaving.  The opera in Boston is terrible.  The weather in Boston is terrible.

On the plus side--we could get away from ex-spouses and make a new life in a new place, with new friends.  Diana's job sucks--she could retire from it.  We'd have quite a bit more money.  The Mass. schools are better (they spend almost twice the $$ per pupil as CA. schools do).  New York and the Metropolitan opera is only a few hours a way.  New England fall colors are amazing.  The company I have the offer from is very healthy, the offer is generous, and they really want me to come.  There are more opportunities for Diana to do what she wants to do rather than what she has been doing.  We'd have to move anyway, since neither of our houses fit all 4 of us.  I'd be able to keep my house for eventual retirement.

This kind of reductio ad listus for major life decisions has never really worked for me.  What I am finding is that I put a stake, or maybe a toothpick, in the ground, and then wait to see if it sprouts.  In the case of the move, it has flourished.  For example, the person we approached to manage the rental of Diana's house told us she wanted to buy it!  This would make a huge difference in our ability to afford a class house in Boston.  And there have been several other similar experiences.  One by one, the impediments have melted away.  The timing looks good.

It has annealed my relationship with Diana.  We have shared our fears, and made this decision jointly.  We both feel good about it (when we are not quaking).  Her decision-making process is quite different from mine.  With me, making a decision is working myself into a state of chaotic confusion where all the factors chase each other around in my mind, snapping on each others' heels.  Then suddenly it crystallizes into a decision that appears inevitable and self evident, and I have decided--never look back.  Diana's decision is a slow drift from day to day from leaning one way to leaning the other.  There is a lot going on, but it's all below the surface.  Eventually she leans so far in one direction she falls into a decision.  There is nothing sudden about it, and what chaos there is is well concealed.

So to make a joint decision, I need to give her space and time.  Time to let her process unfold.  And emotional space, uncontaminated by my chaos, in which to state and refine her views.  This is what I did.  And it felt good to do it, and good to have the final outcome.

So the next several weeks will be sad--I've already started telling people I'll be gone.  Talked to my daughter tonight.  Told several business people who wanted me to be involved in their companies here.  

Meanwhile, the wedding is 3 weeks and counting.  I think we finally have someone to do the ceremony.  He is concerned (since the spiritual organization he was a 'minister' in is now defunct) that the marriage will not be legal if he does it.  So we have agreed to be married in a civil ceremony first.  It seems very European.  We may even get civil-ly married next week.

There are some good books on planning your own wedding--I got 3 of them, and Diana and I have been speed reading.  It is such an amazing experience to be planning our own ceremony--there are so many beautiful readings, and a lot of ideas about things we can do that will make sense.  But there's not much time to get the ceremony together.  Not to mention, to move two houses.  Gaaaaa!  That way lies madness!  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Allow myself to feel the excitement and fear at carefully scheduled hours of the day (while sitting on the toilet is a good time, although fear is constipating...).  I look around my house and shudder at the task ahead.  And then I think of Diana, and get a smile on my face, and start throwing out the clutter.  Life really is good.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.