Firstly, it is HOT. So hot, it made the news on CNN, hot. I have wisely spent my time indoors due to the hot, sitting next to the air conditioner in my apartment. So I've spent a lot of time watching Star Trek: TNG and in general doing my best to spend as little as possible...
I have started work on selling the houses we still own in Denver, because they have been nothing but trouble the last few years...and if we are going to relocate out here or anywhere else we can't have those mortgages counting against us as far as house is concerned. I still miss my husband and little girl, but I've managed to make peace with myself enough to function instead of longing constantly to go home.
I realize that due to the way life works...home probably will be changing sooner than I hope. As long as whereever home is contains my husband and daughter (and hopefully our roommate, who is an all-round awesome person)...I'm happy. As long as I am away from them, all I can do is soldier on, make the best money I am able, and work to lay the foundation for them to come join me as soon as we are able to manage it.
Relocating out here though, has made me take a long, hard look at what I want in life...and more importantly, what I DON'T want. Out here has a lot of advantages work-wise, with the tradeoff being lifestyle...if I want the lifestyle and schools that are my goal for my family, I'd have to live 2 hours away from work in order to be able to afford it. If lifestyle becomes the higher priority, then work has to be someplace we can afford to have a lifestyle, where work doesn't cause as big an impact...and potentially offers more benefits.
Finding daycare out here has proven to be a nightmare and a half...all the good daycares/preschools have waiting lists a year or longer...and even the average ones cost double what we're paying now, at a minimum. It's impossible to justify moving little girl from a daycare she loves that is cheap (relatively for an infant) to one out here that's subpar in comparison to her needs...if there were one even available.
Keep in mind when I say lifestyle, I'm not talking going clubbing. I'm talking about a safe, kept-up neighborhood with good schools, within decent driving distance of things to do on the weekends, and where the housing doesn't make us house-poor. Ideally my dream area would also be safe enough for us to go walking at night. The area I am currently renting an apartment in is absolutely NOT that place.
So we'll see what happens...due to the cost of living (primarily) and the commute to work versus lifestyle ratio, I'm strongly considering looking elsewhere to relocate. Where ever we go has to be an area stable enough to support us job-wise for at least the next 14 years...so little girl won't have to swap schools all the time.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with my job, the clearance, or the pay. But I find that D.C. is just too fast-paced for me.