National Geographic Adventure's September issue has a wonderfully candid article about the realities of leaving the big city for a small town - in this case, moving from Brooklyn, New York, to Brattleboro, Vermont, a place where you can't get cable TV, cell phone coverage or late-night sushi but you can get to know every single one of your neighbors (and their junk piles), grow a vegetable garden and become a part of a caring, tight-knit community.
(Photo credit: Alex Di Suvero, National Geographic Adventure)
What I love about the article, however, is that it doesn't buy into the fantasy. In fact, it debunks the idea that moving is a panacea. Here's the cautionary paragraph that really resonated with me:
Changing your physical location is the easy part; changing what’s in your head is much tougher. For some reason, I had convinced myself that I’d automatically have more time once I got up here. But I still work too hard, I’m still far too caught up in getting things done. And just as I never took full advantage of New York, I don’t spend enough time biking, hiking—or simply watching the changing world right outside our door.
The author, a freelance writer with a wife and two kids, makes a great point. We all imagine having more free time in a new place, especially if it's smaller and "slower" than our current city. But that's a fallacy. Only we can create (or perhaps more accurately, reserve) more time in our lives. Our environment can't do it for us.
This is a good lesson to ponder, and the very reason I am blogging today. I have the day off - because I decided to take Columbus Day off. It was a personal decision and a business decision. I have been working really hard, and I needed a day to myself to regroup. A day with zero set plans. The pile of work is still there, but I am employing a philosophy that I often struggle with. The idea that it can wait. So today I shall relax. Tomorrow I shall crank again.
For those of you who have today off, enjoy it to the max. For those of you who don't, create your own holiday at the next opportunity.
4 years ago