From Corn Plants to Fire Ants—Costs and benefits of a mobile lifestyle
I wrote the first version of this post a number of years ago, when my husband and I moved from a small town in Nebraska to Austin Texas. Literally a move from corn plants to fire ants. We’ve moved again since then, but the costs and the benefits of a mobile lifestyle remain the same, so I offer this post again, dedicated to those who move and to those who stay.
The adventure of moving on
Home is where the heart is, so they say. But eleven days ago, I accepted a new job in the busy, crazy city of Austin, Texas. My husband and I have until July 1 to vacate our present home in a small town in the midwestern United States, find a house in Austin, and move in. Fifty-nine days to go. We gain much by being willing to move from place to place. Exposure to new places and people, greater financial stability, career advancement, adventure–these are all benefits of our mobile society.
Today, unexpectedly, I was reminded of what we lose.
I sat in my office at the college, working my way through checking a large stack of final exams, when a former student walked in. With him was a lovely child, his three-year-old daughter. What a treat! He was in one of the first classes I taught here, probably eight years ago.
And it suddenly struck me that should any former students drop by after July 1, I will not be here to enjoy seeing them.
A benefit of staying
I have a colleague who has been at our university for thirty years now. He teaches the children of his former students. Given another five years, he could possibly teach the grandchildren of his former students. How cool is that?
And when they come to visit, they know he will be here, in the same building, in the same office, giving the same excellent education to their offspring that he provided for them so many years ago. It is a legacy and, these days, a rare and valuable gift.
Home is, indeed, where the heart rests
I value this colleague greatly. His choices have been different than my own, but his dedication to his students and his discipline is as strong as mine, if not stronger.
When we talk of my impending move, his eyes are a bit wistful, but we both know he would never want to leave this place. His roots are sunk deep into the soil of this Nebraska town. He knows the birds, the animals, the trees and grasses. His life is intertwined with the lives of the townspeople. His heart is here.
The nine years I have been here cannot compare. And that’s okay.
I admire my friend, and respect him, but I have no desire to live his life. You see, I have roots, too. Not in a place, but in a person.
Not in my husband, much as I love him, but in my God. Wherever I go, with my life’s companion or alone, my roots are deep in God, and in his love. So you see, for me also, what they say is true. Home is where the heart is.
Which do you think is best–to move or to stay? Or some combination of the two?
Weigh in with your opinion in the comment box below! And whether you go or stay, God bless your journey.