The last time I posted about the unbearable heat at Christmas in Florida, I never dreamed I’d be living in the north two years later. Even though I wanted to move, I didn’t think it would actually happen.
One of the biggest reasons we remained in Florida for so long, is because my husband didn’t want to leave. He liked it there. He didn’t like winter, not to mention, he doesn’t take to change very easily.
As many of you know, I didn’t like the many, many miles it put between us and our families (some day I’ll post the story about why we moved there in the first place). I also despised the long-lasting heat and humidity. Can you believe we had a fireplace in our home there? I can count on one hand how many times we used it in over two dozen years (the fireplace is in photo).
Despite his high-stress job, my husband used its security as an excuse to stay, so I hung a retirement-move over his head. We’d probably be the first two who left Florida instead of settling there in retirement.
Then, he had that serious accident. What happened from there is maddening and miraculous all at the same time. He was laid up for many months, and he’s a man who likes to feel he’s working on something worthwhile. I thought for sure he’d go mentally stir crazy. He did not. The accident forced him to endure indescribable physical pain, while at the same time, his mind rested in peace and comfort.
Without the continual stress from his job, the relief to his mind was like the air letting out of an overblown balloon. In 29 years of married life, I’d never seen him let go of work so completely. I thought for sure he’d be running his job from the hospital bed in our home, but it never happened. He didn’t call and talk to anyone at work, nor did he even talk about his job. He took care of a lot of paperwork regarding workman’s comp and many other personal papers of our own that he hadn’t gotten to over the years.
Once he built back up to full-time on the job, something was different. He didn’t have that same drive as before the accident, and we both knew why. Struggling with the lasting effects of pain from the injury, and the mental stress of fifty-plus hours each week, wasn’t worth sacrificing his well-being anymore.
From there, you know the rest of the story about our move. But, you don’t know how much happier he is in his new job. He has much less stress, and he doesn’t have to be on his scarred feet all day. He’s not too thrilled about trudging through winters again, but this new job is not like his other one, so he won’t have to work outside in the frozen tundra. After wasting years in stagnation and stress, our lives have switched to contented fulfillment. We find ourselves speaking daily about how grateful we are, and on occasion I’ve been moved to tears with joy.
My question here is, was the accident a good thing? It’s crazy to think so. My husband will deal with lasting problems from the accident. As a result, my advice to all of you out there … don’t wait until the Universe slaps you upside the head into a full-tilt crash to do what makes you happy. Take care of your well-being now.
P.S. Finally, a reason to use a fireplace.