Decisions: Family > Career

Tonight I could be sitting in a hotel in a Big Ten college town awaiting an interview in a big-for-the-Midwest school district. It’s exactly the challenge I want at this point in my career, in a city that by all accounts is a great place to live. Over the weekend after the interview was offered to me I had to think on it because the position is 4.5 hours from where I currently live north of Milwaukee.

My initial excitement for this opportunity started to die once I thought about the impact a successful interview would have on my loved ones. Our

Mrs. Mackie, Ben and I when I got to be the picker for all the day's helpers.
Mrs. Mackie, Ben and I when I got to be the picker for all the day’s helpers.

boys LOVE their school that they – go to the same place my wife teaches at. They both have flourished this past year and truly

love their teachers. The culture is such that innovation in the classroom is the norm and our boys are eating it up. There are great teachers and great schools everywhere, but if you have a good one, is it worth messing with?

What hit me just as hard as our son’s fit with their school was our parents. Saturday we had a big grandparent day with my parents stopping by in the morning to watch staking, hockey and sticking around to grill out in the unseasonably warm Wisconsin weather. In the evening we drove up to my mother-in-laws house for dinner. She’s very close, just up the lakeshore in Sheboygan. It was a busy, but wonderful day for our family.

That afternoon as our boys were running around the back yard with my dad kicking a soccer ball around while my mom watched it hit me that if this opportunity out of state would work out, it would be nothing short of selfish on my part. I’d take their grandchildren and move them at least 5.5 hours away for some extra money and my own perceived raise in career status. I always go back to the line from Fargo – “and for what, a little bit of money?”  While my line of work doesn’t put people through a wood chipper, I could see that moving my family could be like putting everyone through an emotional wood chipper.

My Parents Jeanne and Dave with Paul
My Parents Jeanne and Dave with Paul.

It’s a time in our lives to stay put with our family close by. I’ll continue to enjoy mornings seeing the sun come up over Lake Michigan. Our boys will continue at a school they love and that loves them. And finally 3 grandparents will continue to have easy access to their two little boys that are the apples of their eye.

All of that sounds pretty awesome to me!



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