The grass is always greener…

I was on holiday a couple of weeks ago, in Hawaii.

Yes, Hawaii, a paradise of Pacific islands with palm fringed beaches, spectacular volcanic scenery and rugged coastlines. A beautiful location with more sun than you could ever need.

Hawaiian beach

I would imagine most people reading this post sitting in Europe right now are thinking the same as me – that Hawaii would be a lovely place to spend an extended period of time, with its scenery and its weather. I’m sighing just thinking about it, as I contemplate the grey clouds lurking outside the window.

But I was chatting to a taxi driver who was driving us somewhere during our stay. And he said he’d lived in Hawaii for 40 years, and he’d love to go to England and experience winter. He said that Hawaii has the same weather all year round (still not feeling sorry for him!), and that he was bored with it – he wanted to live somewhere that had seasons and changes in the weather.

And that conversation stuck in my head. How our view of a paradise is someone else’s idea of boring. And our strange weather with its random seasons and weird quirks might actually be attractive to others. If you think about it, that’s similar to other things in life.

We get used to our own situation, our own location and way of life – and sometimes we get bored with it. We fantasise about living on the other side of the world where the weather is sunnier, we envy those who work in a different way from us, or we wish we could achieve what someone else has achieved.

But perhaps we should remember that while it’s great to have dreams and a list of fabulous places we want to visit, our life is where we are right now, with the people surrounding us, doing what we’re doing – and we should appreciate that for the good things it offers, however large or small. Even if we want to make a few changes every now and then.

2 thoughts on “The grass is always greener…

  1. I once attended a Rushmoor Rotary event at Farnborough Abbey, where we attended evensong with the monks and then one of the Rotarians ‘interviewed’ (Parkinson-style) the Abbott. He hails from the North East, from a non-religious family, and he’s in his early 40s. He came to the Abbey at 18 – the summer of his A-levels – and knew it was where he should be. After much persuasion (‘you’re too young, you can’t know your own mind’) they let him join the community – he went to university during this time – and took life vows at 26. At 29 his community elected him Abbott. The Church took issue because an Abbott has to be over 30 years old and have been in life vows for more than 5 years. In the end the Church relented, and he became Abbott at 30. This means he will always live at Farnborough Abbey, in that community, and will never live anywhere else, for the rest of his life. So whatever frustrations he has, or difficulties with colleagues, he needs to resolve them and get on with what he has. I often wonder how living that life must shape your approach to how you live – making the most of what you have and appreciating it all the more perhaps. I am a little jealous of that stability.

    • Thanks for commenting Gillian, I remember you telling me about him actually, it’s fascinating. It must be such a different life to being bombarded with images of places you can go, things you could do.

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