The Happiness Project

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

Love Where You're At
More Than a Minivan Mom is beginning a journey for 2010 - The Happiness Project. I decided to not order the book or read the website, but I think I will participate as much as I can vicariously through her blog.

This week is an exercise to love where you are living - the city in which you live.

Top 10 Reasons for Loving Where I Live:

10. Location (or Proximity) I am within 3 hours of my parents, 3 hours of the in-laws - this is close enough to visit for a weekend but far enough away that it makes us miss them from time to time. We are also anywhere from 3-5 hours away from the beach (depending on which beach you go to), 1.5 hours away from two other metropolitan "hubs", and less than an hour from the mountains.

9.Mountains I just mentioned we are close to the mountains, so that means we can make day trips to enjoy hiking trails, waterfalls, the beautiful leaves changing in the fall, the new growth in the spring... it's pretty awesome.

8. ShoppingMore than I am used to from where I grew up. We have 4 major department stores in the mall, a really nice strip mall, 4 Lowe's in the country, 2 Home Depots (maybe more?), 3 Wal-Marts, 2 Targets, oh - and did I mention the two grocery stores that are less than 5 minutes from my house? And they share a corner with three drug stores? (yup, count 'em: Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens...kind of crazy).

7. 4 SeasonsIn the south, it can be difficult to find somewhere to live that gives you the four seasons that are moderate. It gets hot here in the summer (over 90 degrees average...heat index easily over 100) and in the winter we have days that don't rise above freezing. Leaves on the tress change color during football season and flowers bloom and the breeze blows in the springtime. It's pretty glorious. Oh, and we typically get ~1 snow/year. Sometimes we get no snow or we may get 1-2 snows... that's just enough for me.

6. The Food> I mentioned that I live in the south, right? So here we have some good food. We have good BBQ (with tomato or mustard sauce), we have really good fried chicken, the local dives... I could go on. I know some places attest to having awesome food and I'm sure they do - but I enjoy the food here in my city.

5. Population I live in a city that has enough people here that when you go out to run errands you will rarely see someone you know but not so many people that you feel suffocated because the restaurant is too crowded or the store has too many people in it or the sidewalk is so crowded that you wish you could just float. It's a pretty awesome balance.

4. CultureThere are so many cultural activities that we could participate in that we could potentially book ourselves solid for almost an entire year! There are local art festivals, farmers markets, ballets, rock concerts, orchestra performances, Broadway musicals, jazz clubs, craft fairs... It's so great to have access to all of these great things right here in town.

3. CommunityOur current neighborhood has a much better and larger sense of community than the one that The Mr. used to live in or any of the apartment complexes I've lived in. People are generally friendly, take care of their homes and yard, and do what they can do look out for their neighbors. It's been a great experience, so far, to live in a neighborhood like ours.

2. ParksBesides the mountains being about an hour away...there is so much to do outdoors here in the city also. There is a gorgeous park and walking trail in downtown plus a few other scattered parks and outdoor spaces around the area. It's been really great having such nice places to spend time outside and just enjoy the weather.

1. It's HomeThis city just feels like home to me. I feel comfortable here and I enjoy living here. And that makes me happy.

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