Essay: Geographic Fix

Mar 22, 2019

When my first marriage was seven years old and my daughter four, I started feeling restless and discontent.  Looking around for something to blame, I decided that our house was too small and the neighborhood too noisy.

So we moved to a bigger house in a quiet subdivision and I was happy—for a while.  But a few months later, I felt just as restless and discontent as before.  And I finally had to acknowledge that it was my marriage, not my house, that needed to change.

That’s how I learned about the “geographic fix” which doesn’t fix anything.  Instead, it distracted me from the real problem and cost a lot of money.  An expensive lesson but one I’ve never forgotten.

There are other kinds of fixes, too—such as the “employment fix” and the “baby fix.”  If something’s wrong with my life, I must need a new job or another child.  Maybe so, but maybe not.  More likely, what’s wrong with my life is me and I need to take responsibility for my own growth.  Clean up issues from childhood, deal with unprocessed grief.

So, nowadays, when I feel restless and discontent, I start with a “personal fix.”  And go from there.