A couple of years ago Rebecca Ryan spoke at the annual chamber meeting in Hutchinson. While here she posed a question I'm still pondering - "What do you long to come home to?"
It seems like it should be an incredibly simple question to answer - what do you want "home" to be like. "Home" could mean a dwelling, a town, or a state of mind I suppose. What do you want to come home to?
I think what I want to come home to is "ease." I realize that compared to most of the world I have an incredibly easy life. I'm aware of this. I also know that to some people I have a life they would never want to live - full of difficulties they can't imagine, because they have always lived a life of ease. The trite, "it's all perspective," always rings true.
When I say "ease" I'm thinking about being at ease, not being focused on what has to happen next, not thinking about cleaning the house or planning the meeting or whatever else is on the agenda for me. I was trying to think of a time when I've been totally at ease. I'm not sure that's a state I've ever experienced. There has always been something that required my attention or time. There has always been a project I needed to work on. There has always been a worry looming - about time or money or relationship.
What would I do with "ease?" I guess that is a bigger question. It means, for me, an opportunity to choose the things that require my attention, and not have them thrust upon me. Of course, we can't choose everything in life, but it would be lovely to choose the projects I give time to, to read and write and paint, and to have time to actually relax.
When I hear people talk about relaxing I can barely relate. It's not something I do much of. That's by choice a large part of the time, because I want to be creating, but I would like to have the option to relax.
People often harken back to childhood as a time of ease. My childhood wasn't like that. It was certainly wonderful in many ways, but it was not carefree. Not at all. It was filled with worry about various things going on around me, over which I had no control.
I remember thinking from the time I was very young that it would be good to be an adult and be able to make my own choices and decisions. Goodness knows I've made some bad ones, but I've also made some that, through the kindness of others, turned out quite well. And I'm thankful.
To be able to think about questions like what you long to come home to is a luxury afforded few in the world. I'm still thinking about it.
What is it you long to come home to?
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