“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
There’s No Place Like Home
We spent this past weekend visiting my family for my boys third birthday celebration. Yes, three celebrations. I want them to see the people who love them.
We had to drive a few hours to our destination, and I was anxious to see my older sister, since I had not yet seen her new home. She recently moved back from another state, after losing her husband to colon cancer two years ago at his age of 52.
She is embarking on a new journey, and having her closer was wonderful. As I drove through her new neighborhood of gilded gates, lush lawns, and shiny streets I noticed something. I admired the beautiful surroundings, but did not yearn for that life.
Finding your sweet spot for how you want to live your life is one of the most important things to a happy life. Will we always want to live small? I don’t know the answer to that, but having a life filled with purpose and connection with our family is more important than square footage.
The visit had me wondering how you decide where and how to live your life. The wonderful news is that nothing is permanent, so if you find yourself where I did not so long ago you can change it.
Money magazine comes out with their Best Places to Live in the US each year. They study cost of living, school rankings, crime rates, etc. The one thing they cannot measure is how each person needs to live to have a full life. That is the one thing that cannot be quantified with a formula.
You can and should do research to find the amenities that are important to you, but I also think you need to have another column in your formula. That category would be joy.
It is like a great weekend trip. We were gone about 30 hours and it was perfect. One great family party. One nice evening and dinner with my sister. One brunch. One baseball game. Lots of joy.
I have a large family and seeing most of them at once and getting caught up on some of their life is joy. Spending time talking with my teenage nieces as my sister put my boys to bed was joy. Telling them stories that can help them see how special they are is joy. Seeing my 80+ year old parents looking great and seeing my children run so fast to hug them was pure joy.
Is it perfect? Probably not, but there are more moments of joy everyday.
At the end of it all, I was happy and ready to go, since there really is no place like home. Does your home leave room for joy?