I feel there is a reason for everything. I think I know the reason for having to move to Las Vegas. I have been very indecisive on important things in life for the past few years and this "desert retreat", as I'm calling it, has made those choices very clear.
For instance, I had a cluttered apartment in San Francisco. As much as I loved it, I had a bit of a shopping habit. I bought things I thought would make my apartment even better, but didn't get rid of things as I brought new ones in. Well, having to move and knowing I could only bring a certain number of things forced me to make quick decisions on what to keep or not to keep. Once I was forced to, the choices were easy. I came to Las Vegas with a van full of things I truly love and need. I also have learned the error of my ways, understanding need vs. want for future purchase decisions.
I had been playing with the idea of moving lately. I was sort of missing small-town life in suburbia, wondering if I should move back to Iowa, up to Wine Country or somewhere on the outskirts of San Francisco where I would have a car and be able to live a "normal" life, i.e. the life I grew up with. After being in Las Vegas for less than 2 weeks and knowing that if I want to go anywhere I will need to drive there? Nah, I don't like it at all. I miss being able to walk to the neighborhood stores or cafes. I miss everything being compact: stores, apartments, streets. I don't know when it happened, but I am definitely a City Girl. No doubt about it.
I have also thought about having a child. I'm 42, I'm not afraid to admit it, but time is running out so I need to make up my mind soon: yes no yes no yes? I have been lucky in Las Vegas in that when I first arrived, an old friend who now has a 20 month old son, asked me if I wanted to babysit for extra cash. She is going back to work and wants to transition him to daycare. Perfect! I definitely need the money and I love kids. She said with a wink "Maybe this will help you decide if you want a child or not." She was right, it has helped me decide. The answer is no. Anyone who knows me will be very surprised by that choice. But honestly, I'm too old for a child now. I don't have the energy for full-time parenthood. I love watching him during the day, but I am grateful to go home afterward and enjoy quiet time and the knowledge I am only responsible for myself and my cats. I love the fact that I can do what I want, when I want. I can watch anything on TV, go to the store and meander, go swimming, sleep in on the weekend. Yes, I know I'm missing great things by not being a parent, but I should have done it when I was younger if I was going to do it. I'm not saying that goes for everyone, it is just my personal choice. Another friend once told me she felt selfish, but that she loved her time, sleep and money too much to have a child. I finally understand that completely.
Another thing about living in Las Vegas: I can exercise to my heart's content and it's free! Having been unemployed for some time, I haven't been able to afford a gym membership. We have a gym, a sauna and a pool at the condos where I live. I have been swimming every day and once it gets too cool for the pool, I'll start in the gym. It is great! That and the fact that there is desert hiking makes me feel like this is a true Desert Retreat. I'll go back to San Francisco in tip-top shape.
I'm doing my best to make my way back to San Francisco, my true home. I have been very homesick lately. Sometimes when I say that, I wonder if people think I'm homesick for Iowa. Iowa is not my home, San Francisco is. When I go back, I will appreciate it all the more. I am a California Girl at heart!