Open Skies, Bright Stars, and Awareness

I was on a vacation with my kids and husband last week and came home with so much gratitude and a different outlook on daily life. We went to visit our cousins who live in a beautiful rural area surrounded by grape vineyards. They recently built a new house on their property as they’re preparing for their retirement. The house is a two bedroom home with two bathrooms and very beautifully crafted by his woodworking and iron-work skills. Our cousins currently live on a temporary home on their property until their new home is completely finished, but allowed us to stay in the new home so we could have our space and not be crammed in their small temporary home. We loved staying in such a beautiful home but were nervous because we didn’t want to have our kids slam the beautiful hand-crafted doors, or sit on their new couch with dirty clothes, or mess up the newly laid out wood flooring, or break something in their new kitchen that’s yet to be completed. In that aspect, it was a bit nerve-wracking for my husband and me.

An unfinished home meant no wi-fi, rural area meant no internet access, which then left us with some frustrated city kids who were missing the comforts of the big city, and home. We didn’t have access to a full kitchen so we had to wait for our cousins to give us the green light to use their full kitchen. I felt so limited, and yet, fortunate to stay in their beautiful home. I wondered what it would be like to trade lives with our cousins and have a newly built home and a slower-paced lifestyle, but quickly snapped out of it when I recognized the age difference, different career paths, and completely different lifestyles.

Among the hours of family time spent together and amazing meals cooked by our very talented cousin, I wanted no other lifestyle than my own. For the first time in my life, I finally looked through a window of someone else’s life without wanting or longing for theirs. On the first night of our stay, I had a moment of heartfelt admiration for what I’ve so far accomplished, and didn’t diminish it because other people have a different lifestyle than mine, not better, different. It felt like awoke to the reality of the many blessings that I have, everyday. The blessings are not tied to a home, money, or other belongings, but to the way I’m able to value myself as worthy of the good life I already have, and a wonderful family that brings me joy and love.

The value of my kids laughter was truly seen and felt that week, the love I have for my husband and kids was bursting out of my chest. I appreciated myself for raising such great kids and working hard on keeping my marriage healthy. I’m not sure if, temporarily living in a dream-home for a week finally gave me a taste of humility, or if the fresh air and bright stars in the night sky finally broke through my ill-viewed limitations, but I was finally able to see that there are no limitations to appreciating what I already have and living in the moment of my own life, and not the life of others. Namaste.



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