Find Happiness in Life’s Contrasts

I’m a city girl.  Always have been.  Always will be.

I was born in a big city, raised in a big city, and lived 63 years of my life in that same big city.

But the last couple of years have introduced me to a life that is a total contrast – 360 degrees – from what I’m used to.  Two years ago, everything changed and my life took a turn that lead me to a totally different lifestyle.

It’s interesting how some things can be so different, yet ultimately they are the same.

For instance, when I lived in the big city, traffic had me creeping along at 10 miles an hour until I was ready to scream and abandon my car.

Now, with no traffic, I still find myself creeping along at no more than 10 miles an hour because I’m stuck behind a huge piece of farm equipment and I can’t pass it.  I see all that open road ahead and I can’t get to it.  Again – wanting to scream and abandon my car.

In the big city, I couldn’t sleep at night because of the constant sirens and car horns beeping.  Now, in my quiet community, the frogs, crickets and owls keep me awake.  You may think that the later is more desirable, but if you can’t sleep, no matter what the reason is, it drives you crazy!!!

So what has all this contrast taught me?  One huge lesson – that there is a side of me that I didn’t even know existed.  This different way of life brings me new experiences every day, helps me grow, and become a more interesting, fulfilled person.

What contrast do you have in your life?  If you live in the city, do you take time to venture out into nature and enjoy something different?  If you live in a smaller town, what about stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing the excitement that a city can offer?  Try it, and you will find things about yourself that you didn’t even know existed.

To prove it, here’s a photo of me, the city girl, actually picking strawberries that were grown in my own back yard.  They are delicious!  Yes, this is me, enjoying the contrast in my life.

Categories: Personal Development Professional Development
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Are We Really That Different?

My first week in England has shown me a different way that people live – or do they?

One of the first things I noticed is that they name their houses, and the names make sense.  For instance, End Cottage is at the end of the road, and Ivy Cottage is, you guessed it, covered in ivy.  My favorite is Cotswold Cottage because it shows a picture of a pink rose with the house painted the same color to match it.

Their scones come in only one flavor – berry.  When I ask:

“Do you have any chocolate chip scones?”

I’m met with blank stares.  So, berry it is (which is actually raisin, but I don’t point this out).

Gammon is ham and they love their “pies”, but in England they are meat pies and not the apple or strawberry kind.

But at the base of it all is a heart warming people who respond to a smile and are willing to help you feel comfortable in their home town.  Deep down, where it counts, they are not any different than you or me.  So, no matter where you live, share one of your smiles and make someone feel at home.

In our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to look up from our phones and actually look at someone, smile, and welcome them.  But I can tell you, being in a country where I knew no one, those smiles made it one of the best places I have ever visited.

Categories: Personal Development Professional Development
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