“Did I see 'Exton, PA' on the caller ID?”
“Yes…” I said to the guy from Colorado Springs who had called in to schedule his exit interview, wondering where he was going with this.
“I used to live out that way. I lived in Morgantown and then Lancaster and I worked in Philadelphia and West Chester and all over. I grew up here in Colorado but my dad lived out there for a while so I moved east after graduating to get chef experience. As a matter of fact, that’s where I’m coming to honeymoon so my wife sees the area for the first time.”
Shocked that anyone would come here for a honeymoon, I asked, “When is your wedding?”
“July! I hope I get to see some lightning bugs. I never saw any till I moved out there. And the grass is so green out there! I couldn't believe it when I moved. Everything is so brown here.”
I was incredulous.
I have lived in Pennsylvania my whole life, and while I can list several positive attributes, I would have imagined it would be so much more beautiful to live in a place like Colorado. And here's someone from there talking about how nice it is here.
Of course, this really isn’t about one state being better than another, but about being happy in whatever state you're in (literally and metaphorically). Sometimes the grass is actually greener where you already are than where you think you want to be.
Just the other day my daughter had a new friend over and she complimented, “Your house is so cool!” Huh? Our house? The one that needs new trim, a bathroom renovation, wallpaper removal, and so on, and so on? But looking at it from a different perspective, I realized, yeah, our house is pretty cool.
Someone else recently told me they wished they lived in a small town like me, and went on to sing its praises. This is someone who lives in a much bigger house in a more affluent area that I would have been jealous of until I really stopped to think about it.
I'm grateful for these reminders that I actually have it pretty good. And you can bet this summer I'm going to savor the green grass and lightning bugs more than I have before.
If you're feeling uninspired or stagnant or ho-hum, think about what you'd miss if you moved on from your job, your home, your town, your state.
Appreciate where you are.
Photo by Zhaoqi Yu on Unsplash