A month or so ago came the time where if Dave and I wanted to rent this flat for another year, we would have to resign our lease. We were a bit ambivalent about doing so, because we very much hoped to be living in Paisley again by the end of the year, and even if we decided to stay in Dundee, we felt we'd like somewhere a bit bigger, warmer, easier to heat, less leaky.
We've been looking at flats, and found that everything in our price range is much the same as this flat. We've worked out what we pay on bills for both flats, and how much we make in total, and we came to the (startling) conclusion that even with my not working, we'd be better off if we lived in Paisley. Living here means we have nothing spare. No security. And Dave, the main earner, is frustrated and undervalued and often unhappy work. Paisley is HOME. It's where our own wee flat is. It's where our families are (or at least is drastically closer), and most of our friends. We have a garden there, and space, a functional heating system, lots of light. We want to go back and live there.
Of course Dave works in Dundee. He has to live with 25 miles of the lab. And we need the income at least until he finds something else. But we have both felt unsettled and not at home here for a while, Dave particularly.
We spent an evening working through things. A seed of an idea that requires us living apart sometimes, but that will make Paisley home again. We talked some more. We looked at stuff on the internet. It would require compromise on both parts - Dave working away at a job where he doesn't feel valued, and my leaving a job that I adore with children that I truly love. But we'd be able to try to set ourselves up for the next few years, give ourselves a little lee-way, and a lot less stress. And we've decided to do it. Because in the end, even if it's initially part time for Dave, we get to go home.
As of the 28th of August, we will be living in Paisley again. Dave will stay in Dundee (we are looking for a flatshare/lodgings) Monday through Thursday and come home for the weekend until he finds a job that's commutable from Paisley. I spoke to my boss on Thursday, who could not have been more lovely, and we decided I will finish work the following week.
Part of me feels like it's madness, giving up a secure and enjoyable job, spending half the week without my husband. In fact, If we kept living together in Dundee, and I spent another winter travelling through rain and cold and snow, my pay wouldn't even pay our rent and mortgage. Our outgoings are much smaller there, so we could both work part time and manage if it came to it. This way we'll be able to save a little too, and look after our rather neglected flat. We'll be working toward living here long term, and feeling settled.
So, I am now job hunting. As is Dave. If I haven't found a job by the time wee move, my job will be sorting out the flat. We hope very much that this will be a temporary situation and that Dave will be living there with me full time within 6 months.
I'm going home. :)
(I'm actually home now. HOME!)
And I get to have a cat...