For most people the decision to uproot their life with a cross country move or not comes but a few times in a lifetime. Some face that decision regularly; whether they are relocating for work, school, or family. While others may never contemplate making such a decision. They may absolutely love where they live, and the thought of leaving their hometown, their family, their friends, their comfort zone, may be more than they can bear.

When it comes to a hometown, my life has been a little different than most. I was born in Illinois, then my family moved to Texas, then to Indiana, then to Pennsylvania, back down to Texas and then up to Wisconsin by the time I was 11 years old. So growing up, I never really had a hometown. At 18 I moved to Texas for college. After graduation I did a short stint in San Diego, back to Texas, then back to Wisconsin by the time I turned 26. So to put it mildly, I don’t have roots. So the decision to “uproot” is not a hard one for me. However, I understand that it is for most people. Where will you live? What will you do for work? Will you make new friends? Will your spouse and/or children be happy? These are just a few of the questions you’ll face and need to answer.

The reason this topic is so top of mind for me now is because my wife and I live in Wisconsin. A state with an absolutely beautiful spring, summer, and fall. I truly believe that summer in particular in Wisconsin cannot be beat. The weather is fantastic and there are festivals and a world of outdoor activities that people truly embrace. They have to… because it’s short lived. Once November rolls around life generally comes to a brutal halt until the state unthaws in April or May.

My wife and I try to take a trip every February to a warm climate like Florida or the Caribbean. And every year we ask ourselves, “why don’t we find a way to come down here for the whole winter?!”. Then we go back home and don’t ask that question again until the following February when we have our toes in the sand on some beach.

Jay and Mel on the beach in Florida, March 2017

Jay and Mel on the beach in Florida. March 2017.

But this time feels different, maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s time to ask the hard questions, face some hard truths, and see if we are up for the hard decisions. Oh by the way, while I write this post, my wife and I are expecting our first baby. Talk about hard decisions.

Here are a few things that run through my mind, that help me get the courage to explore my options.

1. First, understand and embrace the fact that we only get one shot at this life. Do you really want to survive or just get by, or do you want to live? Make the most out of every second, every day.

2. Secondly, try to understand why you are making such a huge change. Are you chasing happiness? Are you chasing money? Are you doing it for you or for someone else? I know that everyone’s motivations are different but I’m a firm believer in following your heart and trusting that God wants you to be happy. And as long as you are pursuing your happiness and your truth, God will open doors and bridge support at every turn.

3. Do what you love. The majority of your day, week, month, year, and effectively your life, will be at work. What an absolute shame to “waste” that time and your life doing something you hate. Life is too short for that. And just like the old adage says, “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Amen!

So if you feel like you are “wasting” your time and your life in a state, climate, job, relationship, or being unhealthy or overweight, ask yourself the hard questions and see what you’re made of. Trust me, you are capable of being as happy as you desire. Plus, if you live where you want, do what you love, and are finally happy, friends and family will be drawn to you. You can have it all!

Good luck, be brave, and get happy.

~ Jogger’s Journey