Today we opened our doors to all our returning students. This was my fourth year opening a residence and by far the smoothest, I would hope I’d have it down after four years. And the whole time I kept thinking, this better be my last opening, and please let this be my last Labor Day worked, at least for a while. I know many people working in higher education are resigned to always have to work Labor Day, but it still sucks. Yet another reason to step out of higher ed for a while.

It really wasn’t a bad day. I only had one semi upset parent and at this point, I’ve figured out how to settled them down. I think the part that stung about working today was when my dad called to see if I was working and then proceeded to tell me he was at our favorite beach and there were only about 12 people there, nothing like the last time we were there together several weeks ago. I can’t complain too much though, we’re heading there on Friday until Tuesday and maybe we’ll get some beach time in.

The more A. and I talk about moving to the Cape where my family is, the more excited I get. It took me a while to really believe this is something she wants. But given that she has signed up for MLS listings, is looking into all kinds of family activities, and has begun to plot out her job search for next spring, I guess she really does want to move there.

We’re still perplexed as to how we’ll afford this move. The housing is a lot more than where we are now. Before this plan, we were looking to buy here next spring, to move there will add a lot more onto the mortgage, and I still want to stay at home…We’re not dealing with the reality part yet. We know we won’t get as much for our money there, but having family near by will more than make up for it. We’ve found some condos in our price range, although they are small and lacking some amenities that we’d really like. For a little more money we can get almost everything we want. The trade off will be exchanging childcare with my SIL. She and I have talked about sharing care so we could both work part time and not have to pay for child care. And we’ll be comforted to have family watching our kids. Win win if you ask me.

I will step out of higher ed. My Dad’s been trying to get me to come to work for him for years. I would set my hours and have total flexibility. Perhaps some day down the road I’d get back into higher ed, but for now, how could we pass up all the support? The chance to mostly be home. A flexible schedule. Having family around. Our child growing up with cousins, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and other extended family and our existing community of friends. It’s what I knew growing up and I’ve always wanted it for my kids but never thought it would happen. The fact that we’re trying to make it happen is overwhelming to me. I can’t wait. And yet I don’t want to rush the time we still have here. For now, we’ll continue the frequent trips there. And, no matter what, I don’t plan on working on Labor Day next year.