Friday, March 30, 2012

Mayor of Simpleton

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Sometimes I'm convinced that I'm a complete simpleton. I hear people talking about deep thoughts and intellectual pursuits and my eyes have a tendency to glaze over a bit. I'm not shallow or vapid, I just am more inclined to exercise my body these days than I am to stretch my brain. I'm interested in current events and history and the world's wonders, but I'm definitely not staying up late at night to debate these topics. I'm kind of living in the moment, enjoying my boys and imagining a future with love and happiness. I know people who are very concerned with material items and the "right" house in the "right" neighborhood, but I'm just not concerned with stuff like that. I guess I don't need much to be satisfied.  I like nice things, please don't misunderstand me, but I just don't need them. If I can be with the people I love, pay my bills, live a comfortable life, then I'm happy. It's that simple to me.

Running the other day, on a gorgeous day made to celebrate being alive, I was thinking about my home where I've lived longer than anywhere else before. I love my home, my neighborhood, my familiar possessions, but without them I'd still be at peace. As I ran past a field of raised ranches, a style of home I've always looked at with disdain, I knew in that moment that I could live there as long as I was with the people I love. Without a doubt, I knew I could, in fact, reside anywhere and be contented.  In the country, in a city, in a house in an apartment - anywhere. Because I'm truly happy on the inside.  And it really is true that if you're happy internally, fulfilled, then it is possible to live anywhere.  How liberating!  What amazing freedom!

In recent weeks I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by social demands. It seems that each weekend (and often weeknights as well) arrives with obligations and opportunities and looking at my calendar is something that has been inspiring more dread than excitement. I am really looking forward to the upcoming spring break from school to recharge my batteries and I have been consciously leaving that week open, an exercise in saying "no" that I am sincerely working on. It's really difficult, though, to complain about a life that offers so many opportunities for fun and new experiences.

A home that I can take with me, loved ones, physical well being, adventures... Laura Ingalls Wilder was absolutely right: “It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”

* No, not this guy!

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