Why Do You Live Where You Live?
Tom Robbins is one of my all time favorite authors. There is no writer alive who can put down pages and pages of prose concerning beets. No other author can write an interesting story about the oversized thumbs of a teenage girl. No one(atast no writer I’ve read) can come up with a title like, “Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates.” Yet, Robbins does each with a flare of the obscure, the obscene and, above all else, a level of interest that can intrigue even the most uninterested reader.
Having said all that, why am I writing about Robbins? Well, while on my travels the last 10 days, I managed to read Robbins’ “Wild Ducks Flying Backwards.” This is a collection of articles and short pieces Robbins has written since the late 60s until present. One such article was written after seeing The Doors in concert for the first time in the late 60s-that ought to give you an idea how long Robbins has been writing!
One piece from the book was titled, “Why Do You Live Where You Live?” Robbins, who lives in Seattle, went into lengthy detail how he loves Seattle; Pike’s Market, the plethora of coffee bars, the culture, the people but, most of all, the weather. He describes his house as being of such an architecture where his bedroom is separated from the rest of the structure. When he heads off to hit the hay, the raindrops fall onto his skin between buildings; sort of like a goodnight kiss.
This article made me question why I live where I live-a question I’ve been posing to myself since, oh, about 1999. Most Americans live within 50 miles of where they were born. Other than a five year stint in college and six months in Denver, until relocating to Orlando last spring, I’ve fallen in with this contingent of America.
Yet, since I can do my job from anywhere in the world, why do I live here? Welll, “here” being Orlando is simply based on love. Not of Orlando or Florida, but for my wife and stepkids. As the kids are in their final years of high school, I couldn’t possibly ask them to change schools-especially not when I’m so much more mobile. Plus, there’s not once when I’ve had to worry about slipping on ice since moving to Florida! And the fact Orlando is such a big tourist area means flying is easier. But will we stay here forever? Doubtful.
And the question then becomes…where we move next has yet to be determined. When that choice is made, what are the criteria for settling down in the new Chez Engel?
First, a major airport must be within a 30 minute drive. Second, a place where I already know people or can easily make connections-life isn’t measured by money nor homes nor promotions, but by relationships. And third, I want to live in a city with a strong personality. A place where people are proud to live and take an active interest in their community. Where will this be? Who knows!?
So I ask you: why do you live where you do? Connections? The climate? The culture? When you have a solid answer to this query, you’ll begin to see what your priorities are-and knowing your priorities is the fastest way to be sure you’re building a happy and productive life.