The Good Life

I’ll take this as a Freewrite opportunity, and see where it leads me in fifteen minutes.

“The Good Life” is a slogan for Nebraska which greets you at any state line sign.  (Unfortunately, I have not seen that sign in a while, since the last time that I have approached Nebraska via a road rather than via air or railroad was on Pi Day in 2009 when returning from a tournament in Ames.)

In some sense, this also has to do with a pearl of wisdom that I posted on Facebook about two and a half years ago: “Who you are with.  It’s more important than where you are.”

Having lived in Chicagoland for fifty-one months now, I know that there is a lot to do there, people to see, and things going on.  But, at heart, I am a smaller-town type of person, I feel.  I get this vibe living in Evanston, but still having access to Chicago when I want.

When I lived in Lincoln, the “big city access” was Omaha or Kansas City.  When I was in Fort Dodge, it was Des Moines.  But, living in the “smaller places” means closer-knit community, and more authentic friendships.

Most importantly, is the family.  I have a very close relationship with Mom and Dad (just see my posts about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day), and I have found, especially with the holidays, that the PRESENCE of family makes me happier.  Whether this be in Nebraska, Chicago, Whitefish Bay, or anywhere else, it doesn’t matter.

Today, for instance, I went with Mom on rounhds [OK, remember that this is a freewrite, so I will leave any spelling errors in, much to my chagrin] for delivering Holy Tamole Salsa to the various B&R grocery stores in Lincoln.  Between each store, there was time for conversation.  Some of it was more serious, such as talking about my future, and ideas for becoming more proactive in what comes next.  Some of it was joking about music, based on what was on the radio (Top 490 hits), and others were more nuggest of wisdom.

In particular, when dricving on Cotner toward Havelock, Mom was talking about being fortunate, how regardless of what you are going through, someone always has it worse.  The real gem in this conversation: “In the end, family is everything.”  Emma also rang true with this in talking about Ilana’s wedding weekend, despite the fact that it was during a Nebraska home game weekend.  I fully agree with this, and we talked about the positives of our family dynamic.  I am also blessed with an obliviousness to things wihch would drive others up the wall.

Our mission went well, and it was just so much fun riding with Mom in the car, in her presence, and going from topi to topic, place to place, and in a no-0stress environment.  We both agree that my nature of not needing much to keep me happy will be a big thing for success.  With all the high-strungness in the world, levelheadedness is probably well-appreciated.

And, while I am in Nebraska for the winter break, I plan to see soem old friends and colleagues, teachers, and family.  Of course, that means I have to get started on the plans, becaus e the time will fly and before I know it, it will be from Lincoln back to the Land of Lincoln.  Although it is great to spend time with friends, the most stable relationship that you will have in your life is your family.

But, wherever you go, there will be people that will be meaningful to you.  And life is about the people, I feel.

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