This photo was taken this week around 6:30 AM. I was on my way to work and the sun had not even peeked up over the hills in the background. But, when I glanced out the window of my car it gave me reason to pause, stop the car and take a photo. The thought that came to mind was "purple mountain majesty", like the song. How lucky I am to wake up each morning in a place that is so beautiful. I have very few neighbors close by, no traffic noise, no dinky little fenced-in backyard, no street lights blaring in the windows at night, no need to even have curtains or drapes (although we choose to for energy efficiency). And, thinking about the retirement party made me realize how fortunate I am to have the FREEDOM to enjoy all this each day!
My job this summer is almost over. Soon, I will have time to sleep in late if I choose to, to go for long walks every day, to ready the yard for next springs garden, to read and sew and paint, to plan for the new baby that will grace us with "its" presence next year...this is retirement TOO (I just don't have the retirement paycheck to go along with the freedom). But, when you think about it, money isn't everything.
NPR had a segment yesterday regarding how rich is "rich". It seems that no matter how much money you make, you will always spend accordingly. So, maybe the key is to do with less. After all, like that old saying goes "you can't take it with you."
I guess what I am trying to get at is that each of us makes a choice each day to live and do exactly what we want. Some of us have chosen to live in neighborhoods with street lights and dinky little backyards with fences. I am not saying that this is wrong. Just not for me. When we have been looking at new homes to buy in the last few months, these are things that we take into consideration. Do we want close neighbors? Do we want lots of land? Could we stand that street light in the cul-de-sac shining into our bedroom window at night? What are the neighbors like? Ultimately, at least for me, it's going to have to be a house that "speaks" to me when I walk in. And who knows? We just might decide to stay put right here. After all: there are just some things that money cannot buy.
I am thinking that this is probably the most difficult time in our lives, as far as trying to figure out what is really important and what is not. Things that never entered our minds before were "does it have stairs" and if so "are their bedrooms located on the main level?" "How much land comes with it" (Do we want lots of yard work the older we get or could we be happy with just a postage-stamp yard with low-maintenance?) Driving time, hospitals, location in regards to our children and grandchildren, access to cultural events---these are all things that start to enter the mind. I guess the only thing is to meditate on it and let things happen in their own time. Things always have a way of working out the way that they were meant to.