Please excuse how all over the place I'm sure this post will be. I've had a lot to think about and I'm pretty sure it won't make it out looking all pretty. ;)
As our lease comes to an end here in Dallas in June, we've had lots to discuss in the O'Neal house.
We are not 'city' people. We weren't raised 'city' and we have come to be completely ok with that. We'd like to have it noted that we did give it a go though.
We love spending our extra time outside. The type of outside where you don't have to see tall buildings and traffic. Where you can build things, help with gardens, let your dog run wild and have 'neighbors' that you can't even see. Maybe that's why we feel more at home when we are in Athens visiting Daniel's family and my mom or in Newton visiting my Dad. It just feels right. There's no house in Dallas that could make us feel 'at home'.
When we visit our families we always feel much more appreciative of the people and things around us. We enjoy life a little slower and we like it that way.
I think the idea of a city seems great. Having everything at your fingertips. And I understand that for a lot of people it does feel like home to them. And I think that's great too! But it's just not us.
When we moved to Dallas we thought it would be awesome to be so close to everything. You could easily go out for nice dinners at great restaurants each week. We have gone to some great places but the truth is we enjoy cooking at home on a Friday night much more. Going out to a nice restaurant should be a treat not something you do all the time and we would gladly move further away and have it be just that.
I thought about all the great shopping in Dallas. There is every store you could ever imagine. I remember when I was in junior high and high school my mom and I would drive to Dallas early on a Saturday morning once every month or two and spend the whole day shopping at fun places we didn't have back home. I've decided I liked it much better like that. It was seen as something special and those trips will always be great memories of my mom and I getting to spend the day doing nothing but having mother-daughter time. Since I'm someone who feels like spending lots of money on clothes is kind of silly unless its a staple piece, Dallas shopping doesn't do much for me. Honestly, my favorite place to shop in Dallas are the fun thrift stores, especially Genesis Benefit Thrift Store. I love knowing that the money I spend is going to help others who need it. That's something I hope never changes. I hope I always see that while style might be important, price is not.
People. We have met some great people here and are very thankful for that. But all in all we aren't too happy with how Dallas seems to be a town of how big your house is, what kind of car you drive or what you are wearing. Please let me say that this is in EVERY town in America! It just seems like it's multiplied by a million in this town. All of these things are so extremely unimportant in my eyes. For the obvious reason, these are just things. Living in a city where people seem to work all the time just to keep up seems like more trouble than it's worth. I don't want to ever forget how those are wants and not needs. I may want a lot of things, but I don't need them. I hope I always find myself needing more time with the ones I love and never needing more money for things I want.
With the above said, I want to make it known that we don't think everyone in Dallas is like this and that we've had the opportunity of getting to know really great people. :)
Traffic. How could traffic not make the list of our reasons to move. I'm blessed enough to not have to deal with traffic throughout the week since my husband made the unselfish decision to put us close to my job and not to his. I have to say though, I don't like him driving in it either. Who does? I know that you do what you have to for your family and that is why most people travel more than a few miles to their job. We both just see it as our time together that's being taken away to sit in a car. Honestly, I'd give up a substantial amount of money for us to know we'd be home by 5 everyday. Since Daniel is in traffic everyday during the week, it leaves him not wanting to get out much on the weekend because there's always traffic on the weekends too. I can't blame him, who wants to be in traffic on their days off?
Unfortunately, for job and school reasons we need to stay in the area we
are in for a few more years. Even though we feel like we might go crazy
staying here for that long. To make it a little better we've been searching for places north of Dallas where there are still school options and good jobs but you can drive a few miles and feel like you're in the country. Also, places where we don't feel so crowded where there is a little more open space. Our search has been narrowed down quite a bit in the past week or so and I think we feel like we're getting closer to making a decision. Please say a little prayer for us that we find a place that feels like a home and not just a place to stay.
As I was typing this for some reason I kept singing this Alabama song in my head. I loved listening to it as a kid and love it even more today when I think of how it makes me think about the simplicity of where we came from. ;)
Well, that's all I've got for today... updates to come.