Yep, this is another post about the decision to quit our jobs, leave the city and move to small town Ontario. Thank you for the support and space to think while I’ve been making this decision.
On paper this decision is completely illogical. Both Hubby and I have full time, permanent jobs with seniority. This is essential to support our family in today’s economy of job cuts and instability. But we don’t like the commute, the bureaucracy, and the whole region. Honestly, it’s fair to say we don’t like our jobs so much either.
On paper I earn a heck of a lot of money. It’s embarrassing, really. Teaching is a relatively well-paid job in Ontario. Until you deduct taxes and the $2500 a month I pay in childcare. Add on the expense of two vehicles; gas, insurance and purchase price. Plus the cost of living – an entry level home starts at $400,000 here. And we would need something larger and more accessible. There’s a good reason why we don’t own a home here.
On paper I would be starting all over in a new board – no job, no seniority. I’d be supply teaching my way to something permanent. I’m actually looking forward to this – change is good. I want to see new classrooms and how things run in a different board. The experience would only enrich me as a professional, and hopefully lead me down new paths.
On paper it makes no sense to relocate without a clear job in sight. What would I do? Stay home, be with the kids, try new things? You bet your life on it.
On paper there are no jobs listed in this area. But we know we’ll get work, eventually. It takes time, networking and being flexible. We’re happy to drive an hour one-way to work because that’s what we do in the city any way. Only here we’d be in another township. We’re happy to do related work, because that’s how you learn and grow.
On paper moving into an area with no solid job prospects will lead to financial ruin. Housing costs here are a fraction of what the price in the city is. Seriously, we can get a home that meets all our needs for $250,000. A comparable home in the city would be $700,000. In terms of other expenses we would need two vehicles either way, and I have a friend who runs a home day care in the area. Also, my parents and sister would be a 10 minute drive from wherever we end up. Hello, free (occasional) childcare.
On paper we’d move to a cultural dead-zone. Pick-up trucks and Tim Horton’s dot the landscape. So do forests, lakes, rivers, and the artists who paint them. We’d be moving to the Canadian Shield, artistic home of Tom Thompson and other members of the Group of Seven. In the summer there are arts and music festivals nearly every weekend in the nearby communities.
On paper our city is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world. It is home to two universities, several colleges, art galleries, museums, and sports and entertainment galore. Which is fine, but we don’t go to see much anymore because traffic is too heavy. We spend our days on road trips to conservation areas instead. Heck, we can always do a road trip into the city and stay in a hotel.
On paper I’d be taking my family to an unfamiliar area with no social life in sight. Only I’d spent half my life there as a summer cottager. I also spent weeks there while on maternity leave. My sister (one of my best friends) is there. I have a handful of acquaintances already. I’m actually already active in the community – I attend dog obedience classes, the local Ontario Early Years Centre, the YMCA and the town library. And I know where the best used bookstores are.
On paper the city has the best schools. Yeah, right. Our kindergarten experiences lead me to semi-homeschooling.
On paper I’d be taking two kids with serious special needs away from the healthcare network that the city is famous for. For my son, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, healthcare is essential. He will eventually need a wheelchair and ventilator. He will need excellent medical care. The city is only a 90 minutes away by car. There are also several hospitals nearby. We can deal with those things when they come up. There is no point in living the next 18 years of our lives waiting for a ventilator. We need to spend our lives living. With friends and family.
Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count;
Everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.
Dear Readers: I always appreciate your words of advice and support. xo Angela