with the birth of our 1st child due in 3 months, my wife and i have come to realize that our days of living in a small one-bedroom condo in a downtown highrise are soon coming to an end. we chose downtown because she works at a school down on the southside of chicago and i work up in north suburban evanston, so downtown was right smack dab in the middle, a perfect compromise, and downtown living is loads of fun anyway. with the new baby on the way, we're thinking that she may not work for an extended period of time, so that means we're no longer tied to downtown. we're also gonna need more space, which we can't realistically afford downtown if we drop down to just my salary.
so we're thinking of moving to a more affordable hood on the northside of the city that will be closer to my office in evanston and give us more space for less money. additionally, this potential move could RADICALLY reduce my one-way commute distance from 14.5 miles down to ~5 miles (depending on exactly where we end up, it would be in the range of like 4-6 miles). my current commute usually takes me about 1 hour, which is close to a 15mph average, so for a 5 mile distance, that would bring my one-way commute time down to roughly 20 minutes, giving me an extra 80 minutes everyday to spend with my wife and child, which would be HUGE!
but a part of me selfishly worries that a 5 mile commute is just gonna feel too short. i've been doing my 29 miles/day of downtown to evanston and back bike commuting for going on 7 years now, and i worry if such a big change in my daily exercise routine will cause me to balloon up. i suppose i could just watch what i eat more carefully, but that's no fun at all. also, my current commute route takes me along chicago's lakefront path for a good 7.5 miles, and moving would entirely cut that whole beautiful section out of the equation. i would definitely miss the spiritual rejuvenation of my daily ritual of watching the sun rise over the sparkling waters of lake michigan every morning.
but still, the potential to put well over an hour of time back into each and every workday to spend with my young family is probably gonna outweigh all the other considerations. all of my elders are advising me to really soak up and enjoy the early years of my child's life because they go by incredibly fast, so that extra time will likely prove more valuable than gold to me. so long selfishly long bike commutes and morning sunrise spectacles, it's been loads of fun, but i guess you could say my life is about to be blessed with much more important things. change is good.