Life Over Safety
That’s the view from my deck in Manhattan Beach. I’m sitting here now. You can hear the ocean waves crashing just below. I can see the sand, the beachgoers, and the stream of people cruising the strand. I’m sitting atop the beach; it’s a 180-degree difference from the 4,500 sq ft. suburban Denver home I was in just two and a half weeks ago.
I decided to make a change.
I just decided.
I decided life over safety.
Too often, out of fear, social pressure, and more, we do what’s expected, what’s “right,” what’s safe. We tell ourselves what we can’t do. We spin stories about how we can’t afford it, how it’s not suitable for the kids, it’s not the right time, how there is too much going on, blah, blah, blah. We tell ourselves we can’t do things, without really ever thinking about it and getting real.
There were a million reasons why I shouldn’t have come out here this summer. I could have said, it’s too expensive, or I have too much work, or what about the kids. The excuses were endless.
Instead, I just decided.
Here’s the story.
I’ve been divorced for eight years. I’ve had joint custody of my children for the entire time. However, this year my kids will be attending a full-time ski academy in Vail, Colorado. To accommodate them, I will be moving to Vail full-time and will have my kids 100% of the time, as my ex is unable to make the move as well.
With this as the backdrop, I was sitting on a bench out in front of my house at the beginning of April, right smack dab in the thick of COVID shelter in place, when it hit me. I didn’t want to spend the summer in Vail. Vail is a small ski town. With tourism down, there would very little over the summer, and I didn’t want to be stuck in this small town with little to do, potentially still on lockdown. So, I decided I was going to move to CA.
Within two weeks of deciding, I found this place, sold most of my furniture, got movers to put the rest into storage, worked out a kid schedule with my ex, packed up my Jeep, and drove to the beach.
I didn’t anguish over affordability, timing, appropriateness, risk, optics, work, customers, employees, the business, or anything. I knew I’d figure it out. And I have.
I’m sitting on my deck. It’s 80 degrees, the sun is shining and music is playing in the background.
Was it the safest move?
Was it the most “responsible move?”
Was it what is to be “expected?”
Was it the best move for me?
Was it a good move for my kids?
They just left after being here for a week, and we had a BLAST.
We took surfing lessons. We played in the water. We played hook. We went on jeep rides. We spent killer quality time together. I may see them less this summer, but the time will be far more engaged and special. I’ll be here to the middle of Aug. I’ll then drive back to Vail and settle in for the fall and winter as ski dad. Then come spring, who knows. Maybe I’ll come back. Perhaps I’ll go somewhere else. What I do know is that I will decide on life.
Doing what is expected, safe, responsible, etc. doesn’t always align with living life.
Live life; it’s the best way to live.