Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Great Escape

September 29, 2004. I had a conversation with my very best friend today... 2 actually. We met in Southern California 14 years ago, and bonded on several levels almost at once. We have gone through a lot together, including the fact that when we met, we were both computer geeks. For those of you who don't quite know what that means, it's someone who works in the high-tech area, usually in a very high-stress job. That was us, only my friend had an even higher stress job than mine. Time passed. A couple of years ago, my husband and I started thinking about moving out of the area to somewhere with a slower pace, and so last year we escaped the rat race and relocated in Northern Arizona. My friend and her family made a similar move this summer, only to the far reaches of North Dakota. They REALLY wanted to escape! So, my conversation with her today was mainly about how they are doing in their new home. She is no longer working as a computer geek, and work is a little more difficult to find in the smaller communities of our country. However, they have started raising livestock, growing their own produce, and she is highly motivated to make this work. I think we are both representative of a movement that is growing by the day - a movement to abandon a lifestyle that values posessions over everything else: Expensive cars, houses, designer label clothing, all the latest high-tech exchange for all your time and energy. Women have no time to cook for their families, men have no time to spend with their families, children are over-scheduled in soccer, T-ball, play-dates. There is no unscheduled time to just be. And that is so sad. I am at an age now where I really value unscheduled time, where I can stop to watch a hawk circling overhead, or study the prairie dogs who live in my yard. To stop and watch the snow coming down, or simply sit on the deck and enjoy the panoramic view without feeling compelled to rush off to take care of an endless list of "important" tasks... that is an incredible gift with no price tag. I used to be attached to a pager 24/7/365. If it went off in the middle of the night, I was required to get up, fire up the computer, log on to the computer system at my job, and fix whatever was broken so the bills could go out on time. I can't tell you what a freeing experience it was to hand over that pager when I left my job. I have a cell phone that I carry with me in case my car breaks down, but I rarely use it. No one has the number to call me. Selfish? Maybe, but I deplore the fact that we can't even get into our cars without having a telephone glued to our ears, so I refuse. I'm a little bit of a rebel, I fear. But there are some things I need to do to take care of my inner peace. The great escape was the kindest thing I have ever done for myself... I highly recommend it to anyone who has had it with the life they are currently leading! Later...

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