There Is A Reason People Come To The Country To Relax.

Have you ever heard someone say “I gotta get away to the city this weekend, I need to relax!”? Didn’t think so. I lived in Los Angeles for almost 14 years, and now that I live in a small mountain town I see first hand why so many people want to go to the country for the weekend. Los Angeles never stopped – the traffic, the noise, the stores, the street work, the people – it never actually stopped, 24 hours a day. I lived in one of the better parts of Los Angeles (Santa Monica, to be exact) and even I heard parties late at night, loud rap music from cars, and the incessant drone of wheels on pavement. When sleeping, I highly doubt it was ever actually quiet for more than a few minutes at a time. We had a great view during the day of the ocean, for sure – but come nightfall, we could not see any stars. I loved my time in Los Angeles, as it was where I needed to be for that portion of my life. My jobs were there, my friends were there, my life was there. But whenever we took a vacation, it was rarely to a big city but instead to some far away rural place where we could get some peace and quiet. And once I started my own company, I realized that I could spend time in this type of place full time and not just on vacation. My wife is a teacher, so there would always be work for her. We packed up, left the big city, and arrived in a small town in Northern New Mexico.

At first, this move was a big adjustment. I had to learn to really slow down quite a bit more than I was used to, as there isn’t a lot to “do”. But by “do” I mean there are not a lot of places to hang out and spend money. Looking back, I saw that most everything we “did” in our area involved spending cash; here you kind of have to make your own fun. We do a lot of sitting outside and watching the storms roll in, we go hiking, I spend more time reading, doing woodworking, or just laying on the couch watching the world go by. This took a while to get used to, and still sometimes I would love to go walk around the Promenade back in California! But all in all, I would not trade this in – the dark skies, the brilliant Milky Way, the silent nights, and the nice people all add up to a great “country living” experience.

The reason I am writing about this is that this is the simple life that so many talk about, but never experience. Sure, I miss some conveniences sometimes (like 24 hour grocery stores), but if I make my plans in advance and take my time to do what I need to do each day, I don’t get caught without food at 11pm. Because of the pace of life here, this is very easy to accomplish. Life here, while it can be hard in a different way than it was in Los Angeles, encourages one to live a more purposeful, focused life. It’s much easier to see the forest for the trees here.

If you can ever do it, I highly recommend retreating to the country. It can do wonders for your life, your health, your state of mind and your mindfulness of what is important in this life.

  1. February 18, 2009
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  6. February 20, 2009
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