Anyone who sees us on a regular basis knows that Greg and I are hoarders of data and will investigate any problem from 872 angles. Some good friends of ours recently bought a new car without even mentioning to us that this was in the works. That is unfathomable in the Muthler household. When we buy a car, we test drive and test drive again. Greg makes Excel spreadsheets with car dimensions (really) and mpg ratings, and about 11 months and 124 conversations later, we buy a car.
When we moved to Austin, the decision was simple. Greg had a job offer, and we knew that we would be able to afford a house here. We figured we would try out Texas for a year or two and possibly move after that. Given that we stayed in Austin for 12 years, and now have two kids and a house full of stuff, the decision to move is heavier. We’re trying to decide between graduate programs in three cities, and by the time we leave, our friends will be so sick of hearing about it that they will load the moving truck for us.
Our priorities are:
1. Finding a place that will be better in terms of asthma and allergies because Eleanor has been on multiple medications for most of her life. Our whole family should be on allergy shots at this point because we all take daily medication.
2. Finding a program that is a good fit for me and also puts me in a good position career-wise.
3. Potentially choosing the place where we would settle long-term.
Hey, guess what? None of the cities is a perfect fit! One program that I think is a good fit and in a city we might like long-term is also probably going to be really bad for allergies. Another great program is in a city where we probably won’t stay long-term. And the program that doesn’t fit as well is in a city where we think we would like to stay.
Some of the programs are two years and some are only one. The two-year program would be better for work-life balance, but the one-year program allows us to get all of the long nights and weekends of studying out of the way. Some will require longer commutes. Some have scholarships attached. One is close to an office for Greg, which would allow him to see co-workers rather than working from home. I know some people enjoy working in their pajamas, but I really need human connectivity.
I know this isn’t a true problem, that we’re incredibly fortunate to have options and that the choice we make doesn’t have to be permanent. We can move again (if we don’t all kill each other in the process of this move). Greg and I tend to be super practical, to a problematic degree. Maybe we just choose the school I prefer and figure out the rest later. Have you had the privilege of choosing where you went? How did you decide?