Yesterday was my first day back from vacation and when I walked into my office, I realized I did not want to be there. It had nothing to do with the job per se but it had more to do with the fact that it is our rotation year and I always get the itch to move during our last year in that location. Why, you ask? Because the gaining location is new and the excitement comes in learning the environment and exploring what’s there. After nearly three years in this area, I’ve learned three things:
- There must be a local body of water. I am a water lover. It calms and soothes me and it is crucial to my mental sanity.
- I must be near places of interest. I really do not like driving three to four hours in either direction just to find places that suit my interests.
- I must have weather that changes. All heat all the time is not the best for a person like me who loves the coolness of the cloudy days, the smell of fresh rain or the powdery feel of snow in the winter.
If anything, spirit-challenging places such as this make me think of home. When I think of home, memories flood my mind with times where I would play outside and watch the clouds, thunder and lightning roll into our area. It makes me think of times where my mom would lay a blanket on the ground and we would have the cool breezes wash over us while we read our books, looked at the rolling hills in the distance or watched hot air balloons land in the luscious green grass behind our neighbors house during a beautiful golden sunset.
It also reminds me of how I longed to leave home for the different places I saw on television. I remember watching TAXI and wanting to go to New York City because it seemed like an awesome place to be. I remember wanting to go to Los Angeles simply because of my beloved Lakers were there. I remember wanting to visit New Zealand for its nature and Australia for the Sydney Opera House. I remember wanting to be anywhere but there because home was curfews and structure. Home was discipline and rigidity. It wasn’t always fun or exciting. We rarely went anywhere on trips and when we did, we never stayed long enough according to my adventurous mind. It was then that I promised myself that I would travel as often as I could when I got older.
Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to those who have lived life before me when they told me that I needed slow down and enjoy life as a kid. I grew up and the reality of life hit me in the face. While I always knew I needed financial means to accomplish the dreams I had, it takes reality to strike you with how much it takes for you to do them at the same time of continuing to take care of your responsibilities. There is the initial sting of disappointment followed by understanding and possibly guilt of shaming others for not being able to accomplish more because of a lack of understanding what it takes to do it.
That’s how I learned the concept of the grass may be greener on the other side. Just because I grew up didn’t mean that things would get easier which contradicted my very thoughts. I, like every other kid, desired to grow up to do the things I wanted to do, when I wanted to do them. I grew up to find out that’s not how the world works. I faulted my parents for not having the money to take a family of five on trips more just to grow up and realize that I lack the funding to take a family of three on an overnight trip somewhere. Even when my husband and I combine our efforts, we still have to plan things months and months in advance, sacrificing along the way just to spend a week away on vacation. In retrospect, I don’t think I really planned out this being an adult thing out very well.
In hindsight, I should have learned to be more of a planner instead of the spontaneous person that I am. I should have taken the time to truly appreciate not having to pay bills or shell out money on things of little use to me or my family. I honestly thought the adult side of life would be truly greener but in retrospect, I was wrong. It’s now as green as I make it and sometimes I’m not able to pay the water bill to keep it green. That is apart of adulthood no one tells us but expects the University of Hard Knock Life to teach us.
Now I desire home. I desire the simplicity that came with home. The ability to sleep in during the summers and on Saturday mornings. The ability to lay out on a blanket and view the clouds, the hills and hot air balloons. The ability to appreciate not being an adult and enjoy the simple things like my mom running her hands through my hair as she fixes it or my dad as tinkering with the car as he does his oil changes. It gets no simpler than that. In the end, I had the green grass. I just didn’t appreciate it.
Until next time, when life offers you an opportunity to see the greener grass on the other side, really evaluate if the grass is greener or if it’s the green colored glasses with which you’re choosing to view it. We only get one life so choose how well you see your side of things before stepping across to the seemingly greener view. You don’t want to wind up with a life of regret because of a lack of appreciation of what you had.