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Mountains of Fun

January 27, 2006

If I could, I’d live in the mountains. If I could, I’d swim in the sea. If I were the queen of the universe, there’d be no alarm for me. Heck, I’d think hard about giving up the mountains and the sea if only I could sleep as long as I wanted to every day. Last night, I was reading one of those articles about how it’s better to exercise in the morning, and a woman described how she motivates herself to do that, saying, “I tell myself I didn’t get up at 6 to do nothing”. If getting up at 6 meant I could workout before work, I’d be stylin’. I have to get up at 6:17 just to make it to the office by 8:30 or 9, by which time the parking lot is nearly full. True, yes, that’s mostly my own damn fault for having a morning routine that involves so many products (though I have cut back a little since I wrote that) and choosing to live so far from the office (though the office did move to a slightly better location for me since I wrote that), but knowing that doesn’t really make it any better when that alarm goes off.

In my ideal life, I don’t have to get up unless I want to. When I do wake up, there are mountains outside my door–to ski on in the winter, to hike on the rest of the year. (And maybe, someday, bike on, if I manage to figure out how to do that without injuring myself.) When the weather isn’t cooperating with any of that, I can stay inside in my cozy home and hang out with Mr. Karen or quilt or knit or read. None of this having to get in the car and drive and then answer phone calls and e-mails and deal with coworkers all day. If somehow there could also be an ocean nearby, where I could swim with the fishes and splash in the waves and study the bubbles in the sand, that really would be my idea of heaven.

I know where the mountains are, so why don’t I just move there? Our friends Sue and Dan did, taking off from Michigan to settle near Vail, so obviously it’s not such a far-fetched idea. But, but … the money … the jobs … the cost of living. I think demand for web application developers is somewhat limited in mountain towns. Would I find the peaks so enchanting if I had to go back to accounting or office temping to pay the bills to live near them? Could I even find that kind of work? I have a pretty sweet life right here, and I’m not willing to give it up voluntarily for one that might end up being much harder despite the inspiring surroundings.

Someday Mr. Karen and I will be done working, and then it will make more sense to move. In a show of faith that it will happen, a few weeks ago we bought two posters to decorate our ski condo–the one that isn’t going to be built until probably 2007, the one that we don’t even know if we’ll be able to afford when it is. Until I have a place to put those posters, I’ll just keep visiting the mountains a few times a year and dipping my toes in the sea when I can get to it and making the best of my life here in the mostly-flatlands in between, always remembering that I am fortunate to have what I do right here, right now.

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