So this past weekend hubby and I spent a 4 day weekend with friends in Salt Lake City and it definitely made some things very clear to us. Firstly, the importance of lifestyle choices. We had the opportunity to move out to SLC through hubbies work almost 12 months ago and we opted to not do it. This decision was based on knowing we had a mortgage here and we'd have to find someone to rent our house or risk losing it. We made the decision based on financial matters. Now, I'm not saying that financial matters aren't important enough that they shouldn't be big factors in decision making, but we definitely ended the weekend away wondering if we'd made the right choice.
I am aware that spending a weekend somewhere is not the same as living there, and that there is a certain element of being on vacation and having a good time without the stress of work etc that exists. Yet, we can't deny that what we did see and experience was a lifestyle that we miss, that we crave. Had we made a trip out to SLC before the big decision had been made last year I'm not entirely sure it would have ended up the same way.
What this weekend drove home is how much we are not living. That we don't have the lifestyle we want. Yes, we were somewhat aware of this - it is why we are moving back to NZ. But, it really hit us in the gut how little we live at the moment. We get up, go to work, study, play rec soccer on a Sunday and that is our life. We don't have the draw of majestic vistas a short drive away calling to us to come and explore, the atmosphere that just screams - come play outdoors. Hell, even watching children walk to school or bus pickups is something you don't see where we are now. Everything just seemed more laid back, while the drivers were nuts, there wasn't that feeling of entitled frantic nature to driving. In one weekend I felt more connected to myself and to mother earth than I have in longer than I can remember.
So we leave the weekend sad because we left behind awesome friends, but also because we spent a weekend reminded of the lifestyle we want and don't have. There is a level of regret, of 'what if?' and it drives home the importance of balancing life, and of making choices that will bring you happiness rather than those one is obligated to do.