Just a little bit longer.
"a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it"
-First Law of Motion
Two weeks ago I outlined some work options my wife and I are considering. We got a fair amount of feedback here, on Facebook, and privately.
As I suspected, reading each thoughtful suggestion revealed a little more of my own feelings and allowed me to get a bit more of the bigger picture.
In truth, all five options are attractive and viable. It would be easy to argue for any of them. And of course it would also to argue against any of them. We're very lucky to have this amount of flexibility in our life (although it's worth pointing out that this is a planned-for and worked-for outcome).
We have decided for now to keep things as they are: the status quo, option number one. This will allow us to continue doing work we enjoy, even though sometimes there is more of it than we would like. It will also allow us to keep saving and investing aggressively.
This latter point was the deciding one. I like to use the image of the legs of a stool to think about income: the more sources of income (legs) you have, the more stable the stool.
Right now we have two sources of income (my job and my wife's school), either of which could support us. We could easily weather losing one of them. This gives us financial stability/security.
Our investments do not yet yield enough in interest and dividends to support us. Giving up one of our sources of income seems risky in this situation, so I would prefer to get our investment income up to the point where it could pay for our life before eliminating my job or the school. Then we would still have two sources of income going forward.
Hopefully we'll get to this point in the next 3-5 years, at which point we'll be faced with another decision ;)
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with advice or comments. I hope this sparked some reflection about your situations too.