Monday, November 18, 2013

Back in Petoskey and a Baby is Born

June 2005 found my family back in Petoksey.  The move was challenging as a baby girl joined our family 10 days before we left Utah.  Petoskey seemed to be the ideal place to start our family and for my professional development.  This area was in need of a neurologist for years so I was readily accepted.  My father and brother were both practicing medicine in town so my last name was well recognized.  My practice was completely full in about three months and the work brought lots of meaning to my life.
Family life was challenging at first.  Our baby girl was colicky and my wife experienced postpartum depression.  As a father I found those first six months of the life of my girl challenging.  I did not have the tools to bond and interact in a fulfilling way, but did my best.  The family mood did improve with every passing month and we definitely found our niche in this resort town.
My wife and I became consumed with finding a family home.  This search started innocently enough, but as we looked our criteria became more and more elevated.  We ultimately found a dream piece of land three minutes from work with a 45 mile panorama of Lake Michigan in a very private natural setting.  To save money I participated in the design, planning and contracting of the home.  This became a second full time job and the rewards seemed to be high.  Now I realize that despite the fact my wife and I agreed on this project, our marriage started to suffer even more.  To further complicate this period of time we were graced with the birth of a baby boy.  His presence is and was cherished, but you can imagine the added strain of a second child while contracting a home and working full time as a neurologist.
In January of 2008 we had moved in to our dream home.  It was mammoth by my standards... over 5000 square feet large, an acre of land and cost nearly three quarters of a million dollars.  I had anticipated a joyous experience after completely such a huge accomplishment... yet something was missing.  I felt more burdened than happy.  My mind was trained to be running at high speed.  I could not relax.  The mortgage was possessing me and stole away much freedom in life.  I would have to generate quite a bit of income for the next 30 years!  There was very little room to breath.
In March of 2008 I had the opportunity to join some friends on a ski trip in Colorado.  This was just what I needed.  The forced down time allowed me to decompress and I longed for more of that experience.  My wife had also felt the need to improve our lives and suggested eating vegetarian.  I agreed and also looked into doing the Master Cleanse... a lemonade based fast.  This started a period of self exploration to be covered in the next blog.

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