Friday, April 1, 2011

How To Make Life Decisions Without the Fooling (Sort Of)

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, well-wishes, and prayers regarding my last post.  After a week of thinking hard, weighing my options, and both praying and avoiding praying about it for fear of what I might hear, I have come to a decision.

Brace yourself, friends.

The Best Husband Ever and I have decided to move to Switzerland.  We are on our way now, having dropped off the dogs for their border-crossing quarantine.  

Or are we . . . ?

Hah!  April Fool's!  I know, you probably saw through it.  I'm terrible at April Foolery.  I always want to participate, but the only foolings I can come up with that are actually surprising (read: shocking) are really negative and mean, like I have cancer.  Good taste?  Not exactly.

So, to be clear, we are NOT moving to Switzerland.  Yet.  Believe it or not, the Best Husband Ever and I actually have discussed the pros and cons of becoming Swiss ex-pats.

Regarding my equestrian conundrum, I have decided to pass on the internship and stay here in Montana with my husband, family, friends, and, of course, dogs.  Although trading stable labor for lessons in riding and horse training has been among my dreams, I'm not sure that it is a current dream.  Instead, it is a dream of about five or ten years ago.  If I had had this opportunity upon graduating from high school or college, I would have gone for it.  But now horses aren't my priority, although I still enjoy them immensely and find them to be beautiful and calming creatures. 

Right now other things are more important to me, things that I think would suffer if I were to jaunt off to New Hampshire by myself for a year.  My marriage is number one on this list -- adding an eating disorder struggle to the usual mess of a new marriage has been incredibly stressful for the Best Husband Ever and myself, and our relationship has been close to an untimely end in our three and a half short years together.  We are just starting to make positive progress, and if I were to leave we both are afraid that all forward motion would stall and that we would find ourselves facing divorce.

A bundle of chihuahua
I would miss this if I left ("this" being a sleepy chihuahua wrapped in my Snuggie by the Best Husband Ever).

Also, I feel that it is important for me to stay put.  If I hadn't met and married the Best Husband Ever, I'm pretty sure I would have moved to a new city every single year.  And while this may not be a bad thing, I think that it would have been bad for me.  It's taken five years of life in Montana to forge the few solid relationships I have here, and if I had lived a nomadic lifestyle I'm fairly certain that I would have been doing it alone.  I really think that God is teaching me patience by keeping me here, and is showing me the value of community.  This year the amazing women of our church have picked me up more than once and set me on my way, loving me at my worst in a way I had no reason to expect.  If you've been reading the blog for a while, you might remember my angry, insecure posts from this past summer and fall.  The power of community drew me out of that, and I can never thank them enough. 

There are more reasons why I think staying is better -- because I committed to spend the next year writing, revising, and submitting a novel; because I would desperately miss our dogs; because the isolation inherent in a cross-country move would probably mess with my eating disorder recovery; because if I really want to pursue equine work or activities, I will start small here; because Montana is my home now and I would feel lost without the mountains; because I feel called to be here.  

Can you tell that I made pro and con lists while weighing my equestrian conundrum?  Sure, it's a little anal and definitely something straight out of The Gilmore Girls, but it worked for me.  It helped me to see my thoughts and feelings more impartially, which in turn allowed me to make a decision based on logic instead of my ever-changing emotions.  

How do you go about making big decisions?  And what is the best non-mean April Fool's joke you have ever played or witnessed?


  1. I'm glad you settled the equine conundrum, Beth. :) I think you made a wise choice for all the right reasons.When I'm facing a big decision, I pray, journal and talk with trusted friends and family about it, mull it over until I feel at peace, and then go with the decision that gave me that peace. If I don't feel the peace, I don't move on the situation.As for April Fool's jokes, the last one I pulled was over 20 years ago. A friend was dropping me off at my grandmother's for the weekend, and during the half-hour drive she expressed her dislike of April Fool's jokes, telling me I better not pull one on her. Way to wave the red cape in my face, right?So, when we got to Grandma's house, I stepped out of the car and said, "Uh-oh! I think your front tire's going flat on this side." She came around the car grumbling about not being able to afford a tire repair (we were both broke college students at the time), and when she got to my side and saw the tire was fully inflated, I grinned and said April Fools. I know, it's not that big a joke as pranks go, but we both got a laugh out of it. :)

  2. You got me. Really! Anyhow, It does sound like your decision came from a good steady place in your heart.

  3. Angela BreidenbachApril 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    And from one Montanan to another, it's a very good place to be. Come visit my miniature horse for a little fun sometime.Angie

  4. yogiclarebear.comApril 1, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    “HOLY SHIT!” You got me, I yelled it out loud. LOL, nice Beth!I'm glad I didn't comment yesterday on your horse/moving post. You took it right out of this horses mouth... “My marriage is number one on this list.” This inspires me and makes me so proud of you.

  5. Stephanie (dancingwaApril 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    These are clear reasons and incredibly important ones. I am proud of you and am cheering you on! (And you should be able to find something in Montana nearby-ish that could be horsey.)And while you said that the going to NH and being with the horsies is a you of 5-10 years ago, perhaps it could be a you of 5-10 years from now. That right now, there are other things going on, but it could be a place to look toward, if you so desire.Steph

  6. I'm glad you have made your decision. You seem prety confident that it's the right one so whatever works for you. I'm glad you're doing it (well not doing it..). :)There was a prank on a radio station where I lived saying that Obama was going to make a speech at 8:45 this morning. So my grandparents were tuning in and it turned out to be a big April Fools joke. Silly radio station. :PBTW, pros and cons are great. It's actually a DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) skill. And even if the idea came to you from Gilmore Girls (great show!), it was a good one. :)


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King