Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Post #9: Jumping off the Carousel of Life

In coming to Lyon, I must admit that I've been pleasantly surprised to discover that many of the quaint niceties that you read and hear about France actually exist. Our family has loved the outdoor markets, the bakeries on every corner, and of course, the multiplicity of carousels.

Much to our daughters' delight, there's a carousel in the park, a carousel in the old town, even a carousel in the mall. Admittedly, carousels are fun. There's something truly enchanting about the bright colors, the merry music, and of course, the thrill of spinning around and around and around.

Today, however, I've decided that while the trip has been nice, I'm jumping off the carousel of life. For the last several years, our family has been running on high speed. With Jason and I both in school full-time, holding teaching assistantships, and of course, being full-time parents, our schedules have been dizzying. In many ways, we've intentionally "escaped" to Europe in order to slow down.

Amazingly, the carousels hunted us down. Within weeks of arriving here, I was given the opportunity to take on a second job. At first, the opportunity seemed very enticing. The job was part-time and could be arranged my schedule. The company seemed nice, and the work was relevant to my professional development. Perhaps most significantly, it payed really well. Given the current state of our global economy, a little extra family income seemed like a very wise idea.

Logically speaking, it still seems like a good idea.

And yet, I turned the job down. I'm jumping off the carousel of life. Instead of working two jobs today, I spent the afternoon hiking with my family through the foothills. We savored the crisp autumn air, the golden leaves, the crumbling stone walls covered with moss, and most of all, being with each other.

Carousels are fun, but the view is much better when you take the time to stop and stand still.


Anonymous said...

Kara McCall,
You made a great choice ... Family First. Money may be tight, but childhood doesn't wait. So long as you can fund the bare necessities, finding real family time in your once hectic lives is a wise investment indeed. You are a good example. Keep it up. ... and keep smiling!

Tanja said...

I admire you.

Jennifer said...

Hi Kara! Heather sent me the link to your blog and I finally checked it out tonight. I have to say that I sobbed at the part about taking Brooklyn to preschool and her not being able to talk to the other kids. I understand your fears completely! It's wonderful that they are so much more resiliant than we ever are. Making the choice to be with your family instead of pursuing more money was a very wise decision. The girls will only be young once and you all have been given such a fantastic opportunity. Enjoy it!

Jeannette said...

Ok I am absolutley loving heaving about your life in France! And I totally jealous :-)

Jessica Bybee said...

I want to "stand still". What a great way to put it--- your children will never forget this time! How fun!

Bruce Richards said...

Well that was a good choice. That may have been hard considering that extra money is always good especially with the cost of things now. But it sounds like you got a better investment. I would say that I am jealous, but I don't think I could really live in France for a year. Maybe though! I hope you guys have loads of fun.

Jackie said...

Wow, good decision but if anything it is nice to know that you are wanted to work for people!