The Bravery of Ardent Logic

As I’ve alluded in a couple of posts, our situation here is… unique. Frankly, I’ve tried to write this post for two years, and can’t quite seem to find the words. The more I’ve tried, the more I think it’s best to be as blunt as possible.

My wife and I had corporate jobs that required a lot of hours and most of our mental head-space even in our off time. A couple of circumstances aligned to where we needed to pick a path – left or right – with long-term and irreversible consequences. And, well, that kind of decision makes you think. A lot.

So we chose neither. We quit the game, and moved to rural Maine where I grew up. Some called it a brave choice. Some called it a cop-out. I don’t think either of those things are true. It was unorthodox, but in our circumstance, the only play possible. Certainly there can’t be courage or cowardice when you’re forced… like that first penguin pushed off the iceberg when killer whales might be around.

What happened? Well: we were weren’t making any money despite working all the time. And, no, we weren’t living beyond our means; quite the opposite. I remember some poor fool a few years back put out a spreadsheet about his/her budget on two six-figure incomes and how hard it was for them to make ends meet, and it was absurd from the jump. Full of nonsense like maxed-out 401k contributions and multiple elaborate vacations and a bunch of other frosting that most people don’t ever see, let alone consider “base necessities.”

No, for us it was an old house in a borderline neighborhood, a lot of student loans, and two cars that would start.

So, we started running the numbers, and it turned out we could move to rural Maine, drop one income, and still make more money at the end of the year through cost of living reductions alone. Add to that the immeasurable quality of life improvement (in our eyes), and this lifestyle became the only choice that made any sense moving forward. The catch: one of us would need to run the house full-time. I happily volunteered.

And this is the result. I don’t know anything about what I’m doing, but I’m learning, and trying to keep that cost of living down while making sure we’re comfortable and (hopefully) having some fun. I can attest that at least once a day, Mrs. 10Chickens or I will see deer on the mountain, or snow in the yard, or a display of fireflies from the bedroom window, and shake our heads in disbelief that we live here. And it’s worth it for that alone.

So, was this choice courageous? Was this choice a surrender? Honestly, it wasn’t a choice.

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