Last time I shared the story of when my (then) boyfriend and I uprooted our lives in Ontario and moved to Vancouver. It was a huge choice and I shared how I decided to take a chance. For me, it all boiled down to taking a chance on love.
Today I want to talk about the price we pay to get what we want. Moving to Vancouver gave me so many amazingly wonderful things, but they came with a price.
When I moved to Vancouver, I didn't realize that I would be sacrificing so many other things that I wanted. I was young and carefree and just wanted to move with my boyfriend. I said that I’d give BC 5 years…and 12 years later we’re still here (now married) and still living in Vancouver. But I am conscious of what I gave up to live the life I have today.
What I sacrificed
I really miss my family and friends back in Ontario. I miss Sunday dinners with my parents, popping by friends’ houses in my hometown, grocery shopping with my mom, and my kids getting more quality time with their grandparents.
Family is always my biggest value. I remember growing up how jealous I was of my Italian best friend who grew up with her extended family around her. My grandparents lived in England, so we didn’t see them very often. I imagine I felt like my children do now with their grandparents living across the country.
I go back to Ontario about 3-4 times a year and bring my kids with me every time so they can get the quality time with their extended family that I missed out on as a child. The experience of watching my children spend this quality time with family, always makes me shed a few tears.
Are you paying the price for a decision you made?
Are you torn between two things that you really want? What decisions are you facing right now? Is there somewhere else you want or need to be?
Here are some examples of being torn between two things:
How to decide at a cross roads
It’s virtually impossible to have complete opposites. For example, I can’t have my primary residence in both Ontario with my extended family and in BC with my friends and immediate family. You can’t have a 9-5 job, and work on your own business all day. You can’t marry a man who doesn’t want kids, and then have kids.
So what's the solution? It involves doing three things:
.For me, I always dreamed of having a big house with a yard. But I enjoy my city with the support system, so I needed change my perspective of my home. It’s not what I originally dreamed I wanted. I know that I could sell my home for a million dollars today and move into a bigger home somewhere else with a pool, 2-car garage, a cul-de-sac, and the big yard, but I would have to sacrifice Friday night impromptu trips up Cypress Mountain to go skiing.
I remember that I’m grateful to have a home. I’m grateful to not deal with real estate bidding wars trying to buy a home. I’m grateful and at peace with where I live right now because I was open to a new way of doing things.
Going back to my story of my Ontario vs. Vancouver dilemma, I know I want my kids to grow up with their grandparents (something I missed out on), but I also want to live in Vancouver. I want to honour my husband’s (and now my own) passions for the mountains, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. I want the freedom of going to the beach anytime I want.
My solution was to create a bi-coastal business, one where my business pays for me to fly back to Ontario several times year. Now, I know I said you can’t have opposites, but you can if you consider a new way of doing things.
I know I can’t have two primary residences because my husband’s job just doesn’t accommodate for that amount of travel. I know I’m not having dinner with my parents every week, but I’m there for several weeks at a time instead. This lifestyle we created allows me to spend a lot of time with my extended family when I visit.
My non-negotiable is that my kids come with me each time I go back. Yes, it means the kids miss a couple weeks of school every year, but family time is non-negotiable, and we make it work.
You must make peace with what you can have. I recognize that many people don’t have jobs that allow them this freedom to get away for a few weeks every quarter. I recognize that in order to visit our Ontario family as often as we do, we don’t get as many family vacations to other places, which is a bummer, but we’re ok with it. Last time we went to Ontario, Adriel and I took a few days off on our own and visited Montreal, and we even took the kids to Canada’s Wonderland for the day.
Focusing on quality, not quantity
We focus on quality not quantity. It’s ok that we don’t visit our extended family every week for Sunday dinners and it’s ok that we don’t go on more family vacations, because when we do, we focus on making the experiences memorable.
I had to change my perspective on what missing family dinners really meant to me. What I discovered is that it means I value having a family support system. That’s what I was missing! So, I created a family-like support network here in Vancouver. This became my non-negotiable, but I had to be open to a different way of doing things.
I don’t have my mom and dad in town, but my Vancouver family are the moms from my children’s school. They are my neighbours. It’s paying for daycare and house cleaners. It means getting creative and swapping childcare with other parents.
Think about your life right now. Where are you in a tight space that you can't decide on? Are you paying a price for your decisions? I would love to hear where you’re struggling, so I can offer some coaching or advice. Feel free to comment below or send me an email at email@example.com.
Until next time, stay dynamic.
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