The adjustment from Milwaukee, WI to Kemmerer, WY was a challenge for me. As many of you know, Adam and I lived in France for a while, and I frequently tell people that moving here was a bigger culture shock than moving to Cannes. True story.
Whenever I travel back to a metropolitan area, I find myself with a tendency to overindulge in the things I think I miss. As an example, this past trip to Chicago, I probably made two-to-three visits to Starbucks DAILY. That's a lot of latte (or iced chai tea, depending on the day.) I also went to a lot of movies and visited Target about three more times than I needed to.
The result? I over-caffeinated, over-stimluated and over-purchased, consuming not because I had a need, but simply because I COULD. What is that about???
I have come to the conclusion that it stems from a misperception about what adds to the quality of my life. My life does not have higher value because of over-priced, over-branded coffee.
In fact, compare my coffee-drinking in Kemmerer with my coffee-drinking anywhere else: In Kemmerer, I come to work and make a pot of coffee. I often drink a leisurely mug with my favorite creamer as I look ahead to what exciting things are coming up at the Event Center. About once a week I get to share my coffee time with a Board member, as we discuss issues that face Kemmerer and the EC and strategize about life, work and community. Contrastly, when I travel, I sit in line in the drive-thru of Starbucks and then suck down a latte in a paper cup, burning my mouth as I rush to whatever class, activity or event is going on, frequently all by myself in a car as I try to figure out where I am going. Hmmm... in my cozy office with good company, in a car by myself while driving -- tough choice, huh?
The point is, I am starting to redefine what experiences are most important to me, based on my values and the things I truly love: people... communication... sharing ideas... being inspired... my work... family.... faith.... and when I look at Kemmerer through those filters, I start to realize that I have a lot more here than I sometimes realize.
This is a great community with great people.... and there are lots of activities offered here that enhance or involve the things I listed above. It is my goal in 2013 to learn to seek out, participate in and enjoy those activities that truly speak to my quality of life and those around me.
Just some food for thought -- have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by the blog.