“Would you rather live in place where it’s always warm or in a place with seasons?”
When our family is on vacation, we often ask each other “dinner table questions” while we’re eating. Sometimes I bring along a box of questions. Other times we make them up. We spent the past week in Florida for spring break, and this was the question that kept circulating around our family.
I asked my husband. Then, he asked our daughter. She asked her sister. And she asked her brother. Around the family, the question seemed to revolve throughout the week.
Considering we all love warm weather, and we all love to be active outdoors, it seems that the answer to this question would be obvious. Surprisingly, each of us had to think about it before answering.
The warm weather would be nice. Wouldn’t it be great to go out in the evenings in shorts and t-shirts?
Inevitably, the conversation would continue…
But it would get so hot in summer. And wouldn’t we miss drinking hot cocoa on a snowy day? What about wrapping up in a blanket to read a book and drink tea during a spring rain? And the fall colors? Could we really live without those? Would we appreciate summer half as much if it was always summer?
Hmmm…. this question is harder than I thought!
Interestingly, each time my husband or one of my children would start leaning toward the warmer climate, my heart would get heavy. What have we done? Should we have tried harder to move south years ago? Have I RUINED everyone’s LIFE?!? Would we be better people if we didn’t have to deal with cold and snow?
As the week progressed, I started to notice something.
We were really blessed to be staying at a nice resort with easy access to pools and beaches. We could go outside 24/7. And yet, we all had different views on how much time to spend outside. I was the only one to get up early to head to the beach for the morning sunrise. Our youngest daughter and I typically put in a few hours at the pool before the older kids woke up. Our oldest daughter really wanted to take advantage of the sand volleyball court while some of us thought the sand was too hot. The boys enjoyed doing research on their hobbies, and didn’t always want to spend hours floating in the pool. Some of us opted to eat our meals in the A/C, rather than out on the deck.
Just because it was warm and sunny the entire week, it didn’t mean we always wanted to take advantage of it. We often needed a break from swimming or laying in the sun or getting sand all over our feet.
Believe it or not, we were all actually happy to return to our northern climate… not because we love 40 degrees, overcast and rainy. But just because we enjoy pursuing our interests and hanging out with our friends and lounging around our own living room.
Would we be happier in a warmer climate? Maybe. But happiness isn’t about the weather. We spent a week living in a resort with pools and beaches, but that didn’t mean we were automatically happy. We had to choose to take advantage of what was right in front of us. Back here, we have to choose to enjoy the seasons. Choose to make the most of what we have.
Yes, we can choose to do things to make our lives better, maybe even happier. But we also can choose to be happy, no matter what our situation.
So maybe we should have changed the question. Whether you live somewhere that’s always warm or you love the seasons, how about, “What can you do to choose happiness right where you are?”