My two-year Floridaversary

posted by Jeff | Sunday, July 12, 2015, 6:25 PM | comments: 0

Two years ago today, I rolled into Orlando, exhausted from two days of driving with a car full of cats. At the one year mark, I was more nostalgic about the journey and all of the changes. This year, it will probably be the last year I'm thinking about the anniversary, and honestly I think more about how little things have changed beyond the fact that we're comfortable.

Some things have become routine, like getting around town, favorite places to eat, going to work. Other things are surprisingly not routine, like seeing rocket launches, going to Walt Disney World, even wearing shorts in January. Regardless, we still feel that moving here was an enormous win.

Maybe the biggest measure of time has been in Simon's development, which of course we obsess over to some degree. Just thinking about his communication ability in particular, or lack thereof, in the last two years has been an enormous leap. I still feel like he's behind compared to some kids, ahead in other ways, but in any case glad we've since had the ASD and sensory diagnoses to help figure out how we best help him.

It has been nice to work a full-time gig with relative stability. While the crazy cash that comes with contracting is nice, I'm not sure if it's worth having to spend so many brain cycles thinking about what's next. It has been excellent to work with so many smart people as well. I've been feeling a little burned out, but I'm learning to use vacation time in vacation land.

Maybe the most remarkable thing to observe has been the development of the area we live in. When we arrived two years ago, the neighborhood where we built our house was a big area that had stalled a few years before. It was mostly orange groves. Now there are hundreds more houses, and a solid mixed-use development is going on a mile down the road. Our neighbor is selling, so it will be interesting to see what kind of gain they've made in a year and a half. Here's hoping I never have the situation I had in Cleveland with the housing crash.

I'm not a beach person, but I do love going to the coasts. Mostly I go to the gulf for work (Tampa) and the Atlantic for cruises and rocket launches. More than anything, I've learned to really enjoy going downtown. Orlando, it turns out, is a great small town of sorts. While we have no office requirement for work, I love going in to the office at least twice a week. Even though I don't exercise it enough, I can go ride a roller coaster almost any time.

In my short list of places that I've lived, I can't see ever moving back to the Midwest unless it's for a dream job. Seattle I still love dearly, but again, it would have to be for the right thing. I dig Central Florida. We chose wisely.


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