Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I've made a decision

I'm done with California. I'm not upset about anything. It's a beautiful place. I'm just done.

Nothing in particular prompted this. Maybe a confluence of things. I had a really weird conversation with my mom over the weekend. I hate not being more accessible to my parents, and this year we're going to be visiting them less than at any time since we moved to California.

Then we went to a tourist trap just north of here. It has a tram ride through the forest to the top of a peak. We've been there a dozen or so times, but it was always foggy so we never went to the top. Sunday was just gorgeous, so we went up. As we were driving away afterwards, the Husband says, "Now what haven't we seen?" And it occurred to me, "Nothing that I really care about seeing."

On the drive I was thinking about my job here and other jobs that I could apply for in the area. There's nothing wrong with any of the possibilities, just nothing exciting either. I want to move back to a metropolitan area. But not the Bay Area. Or L.A. And definitely not Sacramento.

Last night we watched TV. First it was "Oprah," with Drew Barrymore giving a million bucks to starving kids in Africa. Then it was Barbara Walters' special on the British Royal Family. I started thinking, maybe I should look at joining the foreign service again. There's going to be a new administration in January.

So, we're here until at least the end of the year. My boss wants me to stay 'til July of '09. We'll see. I'm going to talk to some headhunters starting this fall. I have no destination in mind yet, just not here. It's time. The last big "taking stock of my life" event was when I turned 29. That's what led us to California in the first place. Next year I turn 39. If I make it 'til July of next year, I'll have a guaranteed retirement of 18% at age 50. It's not the 40% I'd have if I stayed until 50, but it's something to show for my time here.

Bottom line... if you want to visit while we still have access to beaches and redwoods, you've got T-minus 16 months and counting.


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