Call me Chris.

Audio link for the World According to Chris: Episode 37

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write for today’s post. I’ve been marinating on the good vibes from our move to the new condo. I’ve been writing for a few websites. I’ve been contemplating how I wanted to proceed with my next novel. Of course, I have a day job that pays for all of the spare time writing I carry out.

I settled on the concept of chapters in our lives. My wife had a chapter close today while another opened. She received a farewell party from her coworkers at her old job and then set up her office for her first official day at her new job tomorrow.

When I say new job, it is new—sort of. It’s a position my wife held previously for a very kindhearted man who still owns the company. She worked for him for five years. She left his company in 2015 to pursue another opportunity in another city. I followed her and experienced a torturous commute for the final six months of my position at the job I would also be leaving.

It was our first time around living in Denver. At that time, we had lived in the metro for almost eight years before her new position took us to Colorado Springs. For those of you who don’t know, this is about an hour’s drive from the edge of one metro to the other. Add in the commute time from where you live in one city to your job in the other, and my drive was around ninety minutes each way.

I was happy to do it for her career. She followed me to Denver. I told her it was her turn to decide where we would go next as I followed her. She worked for that company in The Springs (the term for locals) for about eighteen months and fell seriously ill.

As a family, we decided to move back to Kansas to tend to my wife’s health concern. It was an unusual condition referred to as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, or IIH, for short. It’s a fancy way of saying a patient has unexplained swelling on the brain. The suspected cause was weight gain, medication complications from the management prescriptions for a long-ago scoliosis surgery called Harrington Rod implants, and smaller-than-usual ventricles in her brain to drain the CSF.

For the record, she received her scoliosis correction surgery at the age of eleven. It was either that or a life confined to a wheelchair. As far as I’m concerned, it was a courageous act for a preteen to consent to such a dangerous procedure.

So, I said all of that to say this; we moved back to Kansas to be close to family. We weren’t sure at the time the specific cause of her IIH or how it might interact with her already-limited mobility because of the fused vertebrae and steel rods lining her spinal column.

God blessed our family. He gave us the strength to meet the uncertainty head-on. My wife went into remission for her brain condition in 2018. We chose to move back to Denver in 2019.

We’ve always loved the mountains. It probably stems from growing up in the flatlands. Colorado is our home, even if we are Kansas-transplants with Kansas values. I took a job back in the Denver area, and my wife found work shortly after our arrival.

The industry she excels in is notoriously cutthroat. People come and go quickly. A person either has the skill to do the work, or they don’t—those who can’t quickly fall by the wayside.

After working for one such company in this industry for about nine months, my wife was offered a better position with a different company. It meant we would be moving again to follow her career path. I still work at the same job I took in 2019. This particular move was in address only as my wife would need to be closer to work for the position she would be taking.

Revisiting the beginning of this story, my wife was approached about two or three weeks ago for a professional lunch with her former employer. We thought it was merely a time for them to trade notes and catch up on the industry’s latest goings-on. Unbeknownst to my wife, she was being interviewed for a more significant, better opportunity than the one she left all those years prior in 2015. The company owner that I mentioned above has grand plans to expand and dynamically reformat their particular business model. Given their professional relationship, my wife was his first choice to oversee just such a transformation.

It’s been a whirlwind the last few weeks. My wife accepted the position at her new (old) employer. It comes with more responsibility and more compensation (yay for us). We decided that given the abrupt change she would be making in her career—again in such a short amount of time after having worked for her two previous employers for less than a year each—we wanted to move out of Denver-proper (we were living about five miles south of downtown) and back to the suburbs where we have always felt most comfortable.

We found a condo and beat out almost two dozen other applicants. We moved in five days ago and live in a brand-new condo project that will likely be under construction for the remaining buildings over the next year or two.

Even though we are simple folk from Kansas, we enjoy condo living the best. It’s simplified. We don’t have to worry about the upkeep or maintenance of the property. We have keycards on our exterior doors and internal hallway entry doors for each unit. It’s an excellent added level of safety, offering peace of mind.

I am not trying to humble-brag about our circumstances. We know we are blessed. We’ve been through adversity, just like most families across the country. Our faith and spirituality guided us through the chapters of our lives. We believe God provides answers to prayers, though not always in the way we think those prayers should be answered according to our grand plans. Embracing the ideas of change, God’s answers through new and unforeseen opportunities, and accepting that each of our lives will undergo a series of chapters that never truly repeat have been cornerstones for our family.

No doubt, the moves have provided challenges. One of the burdens it places on our daughter is to uproot her life every few years to experience the next chapter. Part of me wishes our daughter could have lived the typical childhood experience of living in only one or two homes throughout her upbringing, attending the same set of schools with the same group of peers and teachers. Still, I try to help our teenager see that she has a richness of experiences few others her age can appreciate. She’s lived in three metro areas across two states. She’s lived through the good and not-so-great experiences we’ve encountered. I’d like to think this gives her an advantage over her peers to be prepared for the uncertainty adulthood will throw at her.

The person I admire most through all of this is my wife. She has a quiet and stubborn strength. She persists. She perseveres. It is her superpower. It likely stems from the childhood adversity she overcame. It has been honed through the adulthood adversity she faces down.

I’m quite excited about her new opportunity. I’m happy to follow her to the ends of the earth. She followed me for years. It’s my turn to return the favor and sit back while she basks in the glory of the remarkable career she’s made for herself. She is the love of my life and my best friend. I can’t think of a better life than supporting her in her journey to build on the success she has already earned.

As always, this has been the World According to Chris. Please hit the like button or leave a reply.

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