A few weeks ago I wrote this post about a decision we've been struggling with. After much deliberation and soul-searching, we've come to an answer: we're staying.
We were certain to be leaving. I was looking for a job in Florida, we had a condo lined up, I was searching for child care. But although Florida was the most enticing and interesting for Paul, something about that decision didn't sit well with us. We've worked so hard, and so much fell into place to get us here, it was ultimately too difficult to give up.
The short version is that his department head and dean were so upset at his leaving that they not only got on the phone to get him an acceptance from one of the Universities (relatively) close by, they also offered him a raise and a tenure-track position if he would stay and attend said University. This offer had its issues too. Tenure-track means a clock starts and he has to get 'er done in a certain time frame. It also means publishing annually on top of teaching, graduate school, family, and other obligations. The nearby University is 1 1/2 hours away over mountain roads. The degree is more difficult, the research less exciting, the faculty less interested in his success. And he would have to attend part-time while teaching a full load of courses and trying to keep some sort of family life.
But Florida wasn't great either. We would have to move. I would lose my support system of family. We would have to live on yet another large pay cut, taking us down to 1/3 of our income when we lived in Raleigh (we are currently at a little over 1/2). The degree was more specialized and may not travel as easily when he completed it.
So... we considered all of it. We debated and deliberated and agonized. And ultimately, Paul decided to stay, not take the tenure-track position (to reduce the additional pressure), but go to school locally anyway. He plans to try it for one year, see if he can successfully balance work, school, and family.
Of course, I was in full support of either decision. But I'm happy to stay. And this summer, instead of moving, I'm looking forward to enjoying ourselves, enjoying our family, enjoying our garden, and enjoying our mountains.