Trying to examine my options can only be accomplished once I pin down what I want to achieve. This is my "thinking out loud and trying to answer my own questions" phase and blogging really helps.
One thing I am now sure of is that my husband must soon retire from our physically arduous stone-carving business. Unless we find someone else to invest in or buy our business; which was our original retirement plan, but is unrealistic in today's market; we will have to call it quits without reaping any substantial return on all those years we put in. We have lived well, no complaints, and I /we have a network of contacts, clients and friends that are a treasure.
I know a lot of people who could help me find my niche in the job world. I am not sure that I can single-handedly pull in enough money to stay in our large, rented home. I am not sure that I want to!
We live in an expensive area and hubby likes his space. Our house is ideal with a bedroom used as an office, a large bonus room for the main Art Studio and the formal dining room as a Water-Color studio.
It is just a house and not even ours. I could leave tomorrow and not miss a piece of furniture or a dish or a painting. I would take my passport and my file containing "people and places of interest", as well as the "quotes and poems" file. I'd need some clothes and my riding boots, my address book, of course. My daughter would become the keeper of photo albums.
I am no more tied to this area than to the house we live in. Once that conclusion is reached then there are almost too many options to consider.
Southern California is appealing. Work is not the only thing in life, having friends and spending time with them creates a good balance. Life is cheaper and sunnier there. Work is a question mark but not impossible.
Daughter is top of my list of important factors, although she and her husband are self-sufficient and we could handle being apart. Being in the same Country is easier.
I miss England, and the English. If I had a life with real vacation time I would spend it there. I have a Sister and Aunts and Cousins and many places to visit and enjoy.
I pragmatically didn't even stay for my Mother's funeral a few years ago. I had sat with her for two weeks as she died, in a sunny nursing-home room with a view of the sparkling summer-sea and peacocks strutting in the garden. I sat and played tapes of Frank Sinatra and my mother's own piano playing and drank more tea than one would think possible, crying as I composed her Eulogy.
I felt that my responsibility was to my living family and, of course, the business.
That is one of the decisions I most regret in my life and someone should have told me to stay and take my time. I am way too convincingly independent. Blame is mine alone.
England would be my first choice for my new beginnings, although the climate would take some getting used to after so many years away. Another draw-back is that Hubby would not live in England, unless he was doing the "Independently Wealthy, Jet-Set Artist Lifestyle", and there we go again with believing his own P.R.
France is a possibility. The French generally annoy me, but I married one so I am used to that. We would be far from our daughter, but she would visit and hubby has other family there. From France it would be easier to visit England, without an eleven hour plane ride.
There are jobs I could do in France. I lived there for five years so I know what I'm getting into. My spoken French is fluent but my written French is unacceptable and never going to improve. I can translate French to English and verbally do the opposite. I wing-it on verb endings. They all sound right as long as I don't have to put it in writing.
The choice that doesn't seem palatable is to keep doing what we are doing and wait for our lives to implode.
Wow! I've come a long way in my self-analysis. I have a notion of some steps to take to move myself forward.
Action List (I have a client who calls it that, instead of a To-Do list)
Put together some kind of resume
Look at house prices and rentals in France and jobs in San Diego.
Don't completely exclude England.
Get input from friends.
See what thoughts tomorrow will bring.