At the start of COVID, I was miserable. I drank way too much wine, ate way too many chips, and binge-watched a heck of a lot of TV.
I also searched for houses. Bigger houses with actual yards in small towns such as the one I grew up in and where we were staying so my parents could help out with our kids. Houses with a bigger kitchen and living area. Houses with a pool. Houses with a white picket fence. Yup, it's true.
By selling our house in the city, we could get something pretty lovely while saving money. I even looked out in the country, so my boys could have space to run around and see more wildlife.
The idea of moving to my small town was exciting. It was a change.
My parents got excited and even looked at a couple of places from the outside.
My eldest was thrilled at the idea as he’d made new friends in my hometown, loved being close to his grandparents and had more freedom there than he does in the city.
My youngest dislikes winter, so he suggested we all move to the Cayman Islands.
It was fun to discuss, plan and research.
It was also unrealistic.
You see, my husband works in the city and doesn’t want to work from home. He likes having an office to go into. Plus, finding a job like his would be very tough outside of the city.
I wouldn’t be able to live in the country. I get freaked out too easily. I need people around me to feel safe. I need to see 50 people while jogging in the mornings.
But most importantly, we have an incredible community where we live. Friends who are like family, excellent resources for my kids, and I’m living in a neighbourhood I used to only dream of living in.
Yes, being closer to my parents would be incredible, but my husband and I are city people at the end of the day. We like hopping in our car and being at the zoo in 30 minutes or heading downtown to a new restaurant we haven’t tried or walking down the street to our friends.
When we moved back last summer after 4 months with my parents, something incredible happened. We started enjoying our neighbourhood more. We started seeing wildlife all around us, even in the city. We relished that we were mere steps from the beach and a pond with muskrats, herons, coyotes, turtles and frogs - well, I could do without the coyotes. We skated on the frozen pond in the winter and walked just 3 minutes to the nearby tobogganing hill.
Dreaming of a change during a tough time can help us get through it. It can also highlight what is missing and steer us in the path of what we want more of in our lives.
But, we have to do our research. We have to weigh all our options. Because if we choose that dream to escape our current reality without thinking it through, we’ll find ourselves right back where we were once the honeymoon period wears off.