La La Land

We spent this past weekend celebrating momentous occasions with our friends, strolling around beach towns with Coffee Bean cups in hand, and watching the ocean just because we could. Needless to say, that’s not what it’s like when we’re home.

After a whirlwind weekend in Long Beach and LA, my life back home starts to look and feel a little small. We have our daily routines, our simple pleasures and our typical chores. We make our paychecks and cook our dinners and go to bootcamp and it all seems really nice and calm and drama free. Unfortunately, sometimes calm and drama free can be perceived as boring.

“Settled” is not a word that I ever thought would describe my life. It actually sort of gives me minor panic. My fear is that we’ll grow complacent in our daily grind and never achieve the creativity, the freedom, or the adventure that we want. Our little life seems totally fine until compared side by side with successful writing careers, new fashion businesses and international vacations. I hate to say it, but I get a little jealous. My inner reality TV star comes out and I start to wonder how I can glam up my life. And then I get all crazy and guilty and think I’ve forced Mr. Rathroy into a life of small town boredom. And let me tell you, if you want to irritate Russ, project your feelings of self-pity onto him.

I’m a pretty cautious and calculated person, but the noticeable glamor and successes of this last trip down south have really shaken my restlessness gene loose from it’s “I’m an adult” cage.

The thought of, “What if we started our own business?” quickly spirals into, “What if we hadn’t bought this house and could move and travel and become a famous National Geographic photographer-writer team?” The brain of an anxious person moves fast…

After torturing myself with panicked “what ifs,” the rational thought that eventually arises from my life path panic is pretty simple and (I think) common – I don’t want to regret the way I’ve spent my life. I know that retirement plans are important. I know that building equity in our home is important. I know that health benefits are important. But the idea of “you can’t take it with you” sticks so firmly in my head as I lament all of the time I’ve wasted with boredom.

I was pretty grumpy with the city of Sacramento when we landed and headed back to the inevitable responsibilities of our adulthood – grocery shopping, laundry, painting our bedroom for the 7th time. And I stayed grumpy through the night wondering if we had chosen the right path or if our life at home would ever seem as exciting as it did over the weekend. Thankfully, Mr. Patient Pants (just another way to refer to my almost husband) can talk me through just about anything. So, as I whined about all of the bills and health insurance and chores, he listened and I eventually talked myself in a circle and came to my optimistic conclusion.

While I know that our credit scores and property values are important, I also know how very important it is to live a life that’s true to yourself. I have been blessed with incredible opportunities and experiences so far and I know that no matter which direction my life takes, just being aware of my choices will reduce the amount of potential regret. I don’t need to become the “yes woman” and insatiably agree to every opportunity that arises, but noticing that they have arisen is a great first step. Every spark of creativity, every moment of spontaneous motivation builds the foundation for the pursuit of my ideal life. And each moment that I stay aware of my life’s potential rather than stewing in regret prepares me for the opportunities that will be the right ones to take.

We’ll still daydream about renting out our house and becoming independently wealthy and bouncing from city to city to be with our friends, but what we have going on now is pretty spectacular. And I think I’ll enjoy it for as long as I can. Plus, you can’t stay grumpy with your life when you come home to this  attempt to replace the dog bed…

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