Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Being Content

I have often been told that I need to learn to be content with whatever our present situation is.

I thought I had learned that lesson when we lived in Indiana. It didn't start out easy and I complained a lot. Eventually I learned to really like where we lived and was thankful for the opportunities we had instead of being frustrated with the opportunities we didn't have.

It was different in Colorado. We had a huge problem adjusting, mostly because of our preconceived notions. We really expected the small town to be like the one we had just left. We expected to have that community feeling that was just wasn't there. We expected the business owners to be above-board because this was a small community and in small communities you usually need to protect your reputation in order to stay in business. None of that was the case but I was content with our living situation and tried to look at all the positives. I really liked living off the grid, I liked the freedom from being reliant on a faceless company for my power and water. And I liked the freedom from building codes. I never was content where the homeschooling laws were concerned but nobody's perfect!

I'm having a hard time here in California. I never expected we would end up back here and I really truly feel it was a huge mistake to come back to a place we tried so hard to escape from. The homeschooling laws are better than CO but worse than IN, and I guess in that I am pretty much content. It's the rest of it that gets in the way. I don't like where we live. We live in a community, and I use that term very loosely, that is built solely on one of the things I hate the most, materialism. This place only exists because tourist and weekenders come from the LA area to play on the lake. The property values have skyrocketed in the last few years because people in the LA area can't believe how cheap the properties are, it must be perspective. The problem is that the people who live here year-round and provide the labor for all those needed services can no longer afford to live here. We will be giving 41% of our income to a mortgage company for a house that is really too small for our family, even taking into consideration my "less is more" mantra. In many ways I would love to continue renting but our rent payment isn't much less! I love our church and friends but the cost of driving there every week is too much and we need to cut back. I should be content that we can go at all but I'm having a hard time with that.

I'm sure it's a failing in me but I don't know that I can make myself be content any longer. I want to move someplace I want to live and stay there for the rest of my life. We have moved 8 times in the last 12 years and I'm tired. I want to find someplace where we can live simply on one income, I am beginning to doubt such a place exists. Maybe I just need more time to acclimate to this area but I don't think so. It's not like the other places we lived, we are originally from CA and know the drill. I don't have to learn about the culture because it's ingrained in me.

So, is being content truly something we can make ourselves become, regardless of the situation around us, or is there ever a time when it's too much to ask?

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