Life in Idaho and how there's no such thing as having it all

It’s November 5th and I’m sitting outside on my deck, in my pajamas…and I’m not cold.  I’m completely baffled by this reality.  After nearly a decade and a half in the Colorado Rockies I came to know November as the second month of an eight month long winter.  The ski resorts that surrounded me would open for skiing in November.  Fall would be long behind us and summer would be a distant memory. Snow would be piling up in my driveway.  But now, I’m in Idaho.  I’m looking at mountains all around me but am no longer in them.  My grass is still green, yellow leaves are still holding on, I’ve not put snow tires on my car or even worn my snow boots yet.  It’s the most wonderful and strange turn of events.  My head thinks it’s September.  Yet the calendar says it’s November.  Is this what November is like for those that don’t live at 8,000’?

I’ve struggled with missing Colorado in the two months we’ve been in Idaho now.  One of the things I long for most are the scenic, winding mountain highways I had to take to get anywhere.  Every single time I got in my car, no matter what direction I went, the scenery unfolded like that from a movie scene.  Now, in Idaho, the driving is much more mundane, much less unique (at least in my immediate local area).  At first it bummed me out, then I was reminded of a simple fact of life.  There is no such thing as perfect.  The perfect place, the perfect job, the perfect life…does not exist.  There will always and forever be trade-offs. 

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS HAVING IT ALL.

Two years ago I said to Mark, in the dead of winter, “I can’t do another winter in Colorado”.  All those winters had worn me down and left me with a kind of seasonal fatigue that I no longer wanted to handle.  I’d forgotten what it was like to be hot.  I’d gotten sick of expecting snow on Memorial Day.  So as I sit here in the sun, in November, in my pajamas, I feel as though Idaho is welcoming me with a warm hug.  I may long for those car commercial-like drives through the mountains but I don’t miss the weather, not even for a second.  I traded down with the driving and traded up with the weather.

THE KEY NOW IS TO FOCUS ON WHAT I GOT INSTEAD OF WHAT I GAVE UP.  TO FOCUS ON WHAT I HAVE RATHER THAN WHAT I DON’T.  THAT’S THE KEY TO HAPPINESS. 

At any moment of any day, our attention is focused on something and that is what shapes our reality.  When we focus on what we lack, we experience longing and restlessness.  But when we focus on what we have, we experience fulfillment.  And when we surrender to the fact that perfect is an illusion, we free ourselves of desire for a life that does not exist and are finally able to experience the joy of contentment.

Hello, I'm Michele

Hello, I'm Michele

While taking pictures is what I do for a living, this website is not about photography or making money.  It’s about my perpetual pursuit of a life well-lived and my desire for people to live with less stress and more joy.  This website is not about HOW TO achieve XYX, it’s about HOW I achieve XYZ (along with the myriad of thought processes that get me there).  If it motivates you too to be better, than I’m really glad you’re here.  I believe the world would be a better place if we all spent more time bettering ourselves rather than judging others.

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