Monday, August 26, 2013

Commuter Family - Year 2

Grand Canyon locale ... Good philosophy for a life of "ooh aah points" ...
We are starting our second school year as a Commuter Family. We have managed to survive the past sixteen months since making this lifestyle decision in April 2012. We have made changes or adjusted to make things run as smooth as we can within a model that is defined by managed chaos and tricky logistics.

Commuter Husband no longer regularly flies back and forth on Southwest and Spirit. Southwest prices increased. Spirit has very reasonable prices but using the airport routes between George Bush International and DFW is inconvenient. Arranging and managing the multitude of fights, airline delays and change fees created a stress point. Our Solution was to buy a slightly used Prius. 45-50 mpg gives us scheduling flexibility and cost savings. And Commuter Husband's little red Prius makes him so happy.

Household Management
We hired a yard guy and a handy man to free up weekend time for Commuter Husband and boys. We also got help with the pool this Summer. Household Management is definitely a challenge. We barely keep up but we manage to accomplish the required stuff. I have accepted that the usual state of our house is messy and our general affairs lack organization (trying really hard not to obsess on this one.)

I have made a conscious decision to choose experiences over tidiness. For example, we need to desperately clean our home office but we chose to hang out with the neighbors in our front yard last Saturday night instead: kids ages 5 to 13 running around everywhere eating pop-cycles, neighbors coming and going from 7:30pm through midnight, sharing cold beer and Fizzy-Izzy bottles, telling stories around candlelight and fighting off the bugs together. Commuter Husband hung out into the wee hours of the morning discussing British Comedies with our neighbor who had just ran 9 miles and who stopped in our yard at 11pm!

After two years with our wonderful and essential Afternoon Nanny, we are going solo this school year with no regular childcare help. Oldest Son (8th grade) and Youngest Son (5th grade) are both in Middle School this year. Our child rearing has always been characterized by creating independent toddlers then children and now teenager/tweener. Thank goodness for our Car Pool Buddies!! 

Planning Ahead
I suspect when I ask others about certain events far into the future, they think I am nuts.

This weekend, I sent an email to the boys' advisers explain our Commuter Family situation and trying to schedule the October 23rd conferences so Commuter Husband can attend in person (versus iPhone conference) before he catches a flight to Montana that same day. Let that level of thinking ahead sink in especially considering they do not even start school until tomorrow ... lucky for us both teachers responded over the weekend and we are set.

Happiness Quotient
Commuter Husband is fulfilled professionally and excelling. Huge for him.

Oldest Son and Youngest Son are normal kids with the usual likes, dislikes and stuff. Both are thriving in school and their extra-curricular endeavors and they still like hanging out with their parents. No major problems as of yet.

I am super busy ALL the time (thus grumpy sometimes) but I like the choices we have made and feel fortunate to live this adventure. The cancer experience this year has made a significant impact on my attitude to living the life I have been given. My pendulum swings more to making decisions for the now while remaining somewhat prudent on the future. Always, I want to say if gone today then I have lived this life, this day to the fullest. Relationships and the time spent with people I care about is important. My family, by default, is swept along on this ride the goes up and down and sideways and this way and that way ...

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