Websters defines sacrifice as an offering, or to give something valued for a thing considered more valuable.
That word came to me the other day as I was sorting through my CDs & DVDs. I'd already sold a majority of my collection was trying to fit my favorites into a carrying case. I was trying to decide if I really needed to keep the Bonus Features to the Harry Potter films. It just struck me then that I was going to have to make some sacrifices in order to move to Thailand. Now the matter of the DVDs was trivial in the extreme. I'm confident I could live a long & fulfilling life without seeing an interview with the 11 year old Daniel Radcliff ever again. But the word stuck with me.
I'm sacrificing a lot for this adventure, my very steady & well paying job, my apartment full of familiar, comfortable furniture, a lot of my craft projects, my first car, my life in the city I've grown to love, the ability to understand nearly everyone and everything around me, regular contact with my friends and family, and I knew at that time that I would also have to sacrifice little Sally for this plan.
I'd been agonizing over it for a while now, and although I tried to find her a new home, I knew she would be difficult if not impossible to place. As much as I love her, she's got a lot of health & care issues that I wouldn't wish on another person... especially not when the Humane Society is busting at the seams with healthy little kittens. Sally had a good run of things, as good a life as any cat could expect. She got to play outside and nap in the sun, she caught birds & mice, slept on a big comfy bed and had all her needs attended to, and she got to be the only cat on her turf - which suited her just fine. I knew that having her put to sleep was going to be difficult, but the whole process ended up being more difficult than I had anticipated. It took some work to find a vet who would do a home euthanasia. So she was able to die in her bed, without having to deal with getting carsick or being barked at by dogs in the lobby of the vet's office. She got to hang out in her yard for a while, and was as calm and comfortable as possible until the end.
I know it was the right decision, and I know I gave Sally a good life for the nearly 10 years she lived with me. It's still hard to have to make that kind of decision, and now I miss my Sally - girl. It's strange to be sitting on the couch and not have her curled up next to me. It's odd to be laying in bed and not eventually feel the weight of her jumping up to snuggle down with me. Every time I walk into a different room I half expect to see her there. So this was the biggest sacrifice I've had to make.
I think all these tangible and intangible sacrifices have been part of why I haven't been able to express too much enthusiasm for the move. I'm giving up a lot of very valuable, meaningful, familiar things to have an experience that I can only hope will be worth it. It's a huge risk and right now I'm up to my ears in the sacrifice part and the pay off part is literally half a world away. I know... or at least hope... that once I'm there all of these sacrifices are going to feel small in comparison to what I'm going to gain in life experience, but right now it is not easy.