Any time I have an extended stretch of time at home, I start to wonder what it would be like to be a non-working wife. I don't have any kids, so there's no reason for me to stay at home while my husband brings home the bacon. But what would it have been like if I grew up in a time where that is what I would've been expected to do from the day we got married? How would I have learned to fill all the hours? Would I have known all the neighbors? Would I have been willing to ever move to a new place and start again with an empty house and no one to talk to?
As it is, work brings a comfortable sense of belonging and of place. Even if we don't know anybody, K and I can each go to work, meet people, ask around about local services, and most importantly, "belong". I've hypothetically wondered what I would do if we ever had kids. Could I leave them every day to go to work if I didn't financially have to? Could I stand the isolation of being home in a rural location where there are very few other adults during the day? But with the potential move staring me in the face, I have to say that I think staying home (with or without kids) would put a major damper on my willingness to relocate. Once you've fully immersed yourself in a community and in the day-to-day lives of the people around you, I can see where it might be hard to leave.
Okay, maybe I'm just delusional from coughing. Most of four days laying around the house coughing, sleeping, and trying to do some work from home so I'm not hopelessly behind when I go back has probably overloaded my ability to think rationally or express coherent thoughts. But these are the kinds of moments that give me that wide-open feeling, to notice that I have actually made a choice when it comes to how I run my life, and that I could change my mind.