Happiness is Waiting … Are You?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start!

A friend in Florida posted this morning that she needed a light jacket and closed-toe shoes to go out. I looked outside at the covering of fresh snow that snuck its way in before we could get away, and my first thought was, “Wah!”  And yes, I know, people north of us have a lot more snow, but they deserve it for living there in the first place. So, what does that say about me???

Yes, we moved here on purpose. Actually, it was my idea. Well, my sister’s. We were living in Fort Lauderdale, and jobs in my career field were hard to find. That was before I learned to write. My sister got the wild idea to move back to Ohio (our childhood home) and I remember thinking, “There’s a lot of industry in Ohio. Surely I can find work there!”

So, I loaded up a U-Haul and hit the road with nothing more than a notion of what I’d be doing next. I found a job, and ended up staying there just shy of ten years. A co-worker asked me why I would move away from Florida, and I distinctly remember saying, “When it’s hot and you’ve stripped off everything the law allows, that’s as good as it gets … you can ALWAYS warm up!”

Okay, so I guess I deserve it. Trust me, it only took a few years for me to regret ever saying such a thing. Yes, you can warm up. Eventually. But two laws of nature never fail idiots like me who think snow is pretty. First, every gas station is a wind-tunnel with a chill factor of 96 below zero. And second, the lower the temperature, the more likely you are to need gas.

And I know some people really love this stuff. There are also a certain percentage of people who were dropped on their head at birth. Coincidence? I think not. I once did a dead-of-winter comedy show in northern Wisconsin. The next morning it was 18 below zero and the parking lot was full of snowmobiles warming up for a run across the lake. Brain damaged!

Yes, I know. The grass is always greener on the other side. No, the grass is greener someplace where the sunlight can actually touch the ground without freezing. But still, I’m reminded of that first winter when we moved from sunshine to snow. I was like a little kid, romping around and eating snow. White snow, thank you. But in my defense, I also drank a lot back then.

Do I miss Florida? Every single day. Yes, it gets hot there and the humidity is horrendous. That’s why God made pools. It beats shoveling snow. And they get hurricanes down south. Okay, we get tornadoes. Hurricanes at least announce their arrival long before they show up. Tornadoes rip the door off and then ring the bell.

So, why am I still here? It’s not like northerners aren’t allowed to move south these days, and my job can be done from pretty much anywhere with reliable internet. But, as much as I hate cold weather, we have roots here. We have family and grandkids. We have a house. And we have friends. Leaving would be easy enough but we may find it a little harder to stay away.

When we bought the RV, we picked a floorplan we can live in long-term. Permanently? I don’t know. There are two sides to everything. Sure, you get a change of scenery any time you want. There’s a lot less to clean, and no grass to mow. But there’s also a lot less room for groceries, and you have to take your entire home in for an oil change.

Life is a series of compromises, and everything comes at a price. The key is figuring out what you absolutely must have and what you’re willing to live without. And that applies whether we’re talking about homes, jobs, relationships, or going out to play in the snow. The grass is greener on the other side. What we have to decide is which shade of green we can accept.

As I’ve grown older, my metabolism has slowed to the point that I’m cold just about all the time. My wife and I have this running battle over the thermostat, because she thinks 68 degrees is hot. The one thing we can agree on is living someplace where it’s warm outside, with a touch of salt in the air.

We may or may not end up in such a place. But as long as we keep that dream alive, our odds of achieving it are that much greater. What are your dreams? Where would you like to be? Life is short, my friends, and every day we spend in an existence we don’t enjoy is a day we’re not living life to the fullest. Dare to dream. Then make it happen.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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