My family lives in the Northern Virginia area. We are roughly about 20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. It sounds SO glamorous and powerful but in actuality it's such a stressed out, fast paced environment that the simple pleasures of life can be lost (and often are).
Prince William and I struggle constantly with this area. The pros: this is our home; we both grew up here; we have roots here; the school system is one of the best in the country; and you can't beat the culture and economy. But oh the cons: life is such a whirlwind; everyone is hustling and bustling around; and no one stops to smell the roses. You come in contact most days with people who are only out for themselves. People who are constantly trying to "top" the next person. The children are pushed to the limit to be "extraordinary" (and most are labelled that way by their parents). And don't get me on the topic of TRAFFIC!!!!
A couple times a year we go back to the small town Willy's parents grew up and we sit in awe over the kindness and generosity of people who basically have nothing. These people know what's important in life. It's not who has the biggest television set, the flashiest car or the most intelligent 4 year old. It's about loving God and enjoying family and friends. They are all hard working people who at the end of the day just want to sip ice tea on the back porch and enjoy their families.
Both Willy and I have fantasized about moving to a small town where our sweet home would have a white picket fence and where our children could ride their bikes in the fresh air. A place where people say "how are you?" and they actually wait and want to hear your response.
I wish sometimes that Willy and I were risk-takers/adventurers. If we were we would move the family tonight to Smalltown, USA. I see a place where we would work hard, make a difference, be surrounded by our loved ones AND above all else enjoy this great gift of LIFE that keeps passing by so quickly.
Remember to count your blessings!!