Sitting in the summer house this morning, reading the local morning paper, I came across a short column asking the question “why do we choose to live in the big cities when most of us confess to wanting to live in the country side, taking it easy not working as hard as we do?” An adequate question when millions of Europeans escape the drudge of fast city life, changing the suit and tie for worn jeans and leisure shirts or a relaxed piqué. Hours will be spent by beaches, strolls in forests and hikes across mountains. People will escape to summer houses all over the world. So why do we restrict this leisurely time to just a few weeks per year? Can’t we do more of it? Would that really kill us, you know, to take a few hours off every week and spend some down time in the country side doing nothing and spend quality time with family and friends. I don’t think so. It would change us, yes, but more in the positive sense of the word.
Looking out over the slow, gently rolling sea I can’t imagine not being here every summer. But how wonderful it would be to be able to see this every morning. To be able to take a quick dip in the big, salty blue in November would be a dream. Being able to sit here writing, looking out over the granite rocks formed millions of years ago and finally shaped more than ten-thousand years ago when the ice covering Europe withdrew after its grip on our continent. But have I given up my time and said no to my jobs in London, Amsterdam or wherever I happen to be asked to go? No. I need the money. Or so I tell myself. I also love my job, and the life I have chosen to lead, but perhaps I should re-think it all. Not just tell everyone else to do so. Living close to the sea, or in the country side with a flat in the city would be my dream existence.
But it’s not the easiest for a careerist, a focused late-twenties ambitious someone. We all have goals in life, but do we have to reach them so fast? We seem to be forced to think we are not good at what we are doing if we haven’t achieved the dream with a comet like career, a fast life style, thousands of air-miles and a posh city flat before we hit the big three-o. Why is that? Can’t we give it some more time, try enjoying it more while we’re at it?
It is so easy to loose focus and loose our passion for what we initially wanted to achieve with our lives. The speed of the 21st century society rocketing past our ears is so deafening at times there’s no surprise we might wake up one day and wonder “eh…what happened?” When that happens, it a sure sign to have a serious think. Go out in the nature, sit on the cliffs looking out over the sea, find a calm, peaceful place in the country side and try listening to yourself. In the big cities, that’s virtually impossible.