Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend – mine was lovely. Yesterday, we had our annual alumni ski day at Arapahoe Basin. We reserve a spot on the “beach,” where people tailgate all day, dancing in neon snowsuits and petting dogs that wander by in search of a hot dog forgotten in the snow.
Over the past few months, I’ve been slipping into a familiar pattern: dreaming of escape. Some things were frustrating me at work. My yard is a mess. I miss my family. So I planned a bunch of vacations and fantasized about selling my house and ditching my responsibilities by moving to a lake in Tennessee or loading myself and my dog into a Volkswagen van and driving cross-country.
It’s easy, when you’re frustrated and sad and lonely, to think you can solve all your problems with a fresh start. To tie all your negative emotions to your geographical location; your job; your messy yard.
Each morning, I read a page in A Year of Miracles and the email newsletter from Abraham-Hicks. Both teach that the way to happiness lies not by seeking a new job, relationship, or possessions, but by finding the beauty in your current life. It can feel scary and counter-intuitive to relax into someplace (literally or metaphorically) where you don’t want to stay, but rather than continue resenting everything around me, I decided to try.
I bought a fancy new camera that takes gorgeous pictures; I signed up for banjo lessons, just to do something creative for its own sake; I hiked with a friend. And I began to notice tiny miracles! Those frustrations at work? I had much more agency and ability to make positive changes than I thought. My messy yard? I can pay someone to clean it up.
I remembered how fortunate I am to have a home where I can see the beautiful Colorado sunsets, and to be able pay someone to fix the yard. These are easy problems, the ones I have. How silly it seems to lose sight of this.
So this weekend, I didn’t head to the mountains with a desperate hope that a fun weekend would save me by providing an escape. I drove out to A Basin happy to have a reliable car, grateful for good weather, and excited to see my friends. We played all day in the Rocky Mountains, with the warm sun shining on our faces and burgers cooking on the grill. We sat in a hot tub with fat snowflakes landing on our faces, laughing, laughing. I drank more wine than was good for me, but there was strong coffee in the morning and an easy drive back to town. To my little house, which feels like a haven, where my sweet dog is being teased by the squirrels and there’s chicken chili in the crock pot.
(Oh, and rather than waste any energy feeling spoiled and self-centered after this realization, I donated money to Meals on Wheels.)
This week, I hope your beautiful life filled with sunshine, laughter, and compassion.