FoxyJ decided a few months ago that she's just not that into her PhD program. She enjoys the classes and does very well in them, but she just doesn't care about getting a PhD that much and a PhD program is the kind of thing you have to care about if you're going to commit all the time and effort required. More than anything, I think she's felt that at this point in her life she wants to focus on being a mom more than on being a student. As she worked through her feelings about school, I was resistant to the idea of her dropping out, mostly for stupid reasons, but also because I worried that she was giving up on something that mattered to her out of a sense of Mormony obligation to be a stay-at-home mom. She assured me this was not the case and I promised that I would support her in whatever she chose to do.
The growing certainty of Foxy leaving the PhD program meant we would need another source of income (she has a nice stipend), so a couple months ago I started looking for full-time employment. At a point where I had already been struggling with depression, this process proved enormously stressful. In the first place, the current economic climate is a horrible one to be looking for a job in--I've applied for several jobs, most of which I was more than qualified for, and not gotten a single interview. In the second place, I really enjoy my current job and am hesitant to give it up. It's only part-time but it pays very well, it allows me a lot of time at home with my family, and it requires very little creative energy, which is a big deal to me because writing is very important to me and I like having as much creative energy as possible for the few hours a week I have time to write. In the third place, the thought of moving to a new city for the third time in three years was a sickening thought. I'm tired of starting over from scratch.
Feeling overwhelmed by all of this, a couple weeks ago I asked Foxy if she wouldn't consider staying in school for just one more year so that we could remain in our current comfortable (for me) situation long enough at least to see what comes of the novel I'm currently revising in hopes of publishing and establishing something like a writing career. She didn't like this idea and I realized a couple days later that it's not fair to ask her to do something she doesn't want to for the sake of saving me from doing something I don't want to. And then I found a solution that makes both of us happy: Utah.
Neither Foxy or I am crazy about Utah as a place to live, but we have a lot of family and friends there and, having lived there for about ten years of each of our lives, it's familiar and comfortable. We'd been talking for a while about how we missed being close to family and maybe we'd be willing to live in Utah again to make that happen. Also, it's much cheaper to live in Utah than in California, which means I can keep my current job and either Foxy or I will just need to find something part-time to supplement that income--she's hoping to teach at UVU. There aren't a lot of full-time prospects in Utah right now because everyone has a hiring freeze, but sooner or later something will come up, perhaps at the library I worked at for three years and would love to go back to, and we'll settle into something more permanent. Above all, the thought of moving back to Utah doesn't make me want to curl into a ball and hide. As an added bonus, our daughter, who is tired of being jerked around and would have otherwise hated the idea of moving yet again, is excited about being closer to her cousins.
So to our Utah friends and family: We're excited to see you in June.
To our California friends: Sorry. We love you. We'll visit.