Living in a Vacation Spot

Blog-9985

This is not an uncommon occurrence in my life right now…

This morning, I was driving downtown for a hair appointment.  Sidenote:  I absolutely LOVE hair day, don’t you?  It’s one of my very favorite days.  Someone washes your hair while giving you a scalp massage. (Melt!)  Then, they style it and as you leave, you just feel far more put together than you did when you went in.  As a mom of little ones, I appreciate this ritual even more than I did before I had kids, because it is a precious few hours where I get to fully focus on myself and I come out looking halfway decent.  In the midst of a life usually spent with hair in a ponytail (that may or may not have dried avocado/oatmeal/spit up in it) this is a serious treat.  Okay, now back to my point…

So, I’m driving down to Union Square, which is both a fashion mecca and a tourist hotspot for anyone unfamiliar with San Francisco, and as I’m cruising down California Street in the middle of Nob Hill, a couple walks out into the street in front of my car.  They were clearly not from around here.  One way I knew this is that they were both wearing shorts and sandals.  In June. While this is completely normal behavior in many other parts of the country, it is not the norm in San Francisco, where it is a high of 57 today.  Shorts, flip flops and/or tank tops usually denote a visitor who didn’t feel the need to check the weather before their trip because they were heading to California.  In the Summertime.  I get it, it’s confusing.  TV shows like 90210 confused most people for life about the state of things in California.  Another key indicator was that the woman most likely didn’t see me driving on said (very busy) road because her face was buried in her camera’s viewfinder.  I get that, too.  The vistas that SF offers are a bit of a siren’s call to anyone with a camera.  They are admittedly stunning and are begging to be captured on film.  To be honest, the couple stepping out into the street for the perfect little snapshot photo didn’t surprise me much and I easily avoided them.  But, it got me to thinking…

I live in a spot that is a vacation destination for most people.  It’s kind of funny when you really stop and think about it.  People save up their money and vacation days to come to this city that we call home.  They walk into the middle of the street (and oncoming traffic) to take photos of views that I drive past in a hurry every single day.  This reminded me how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful and dynamic city.  For all the hard parts (and there are many) San Francisco is still one of the greatest cities in America, in my opinion.  Its history is rich, its culture deep and its people are unlike any other.  This is not only a city filled with stunning views and incredible arts, it is a birthplace of so many new ideas and so much ingenuity in the tech space and beyond.  The city has an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep love of all things unique, local and handcrafted (especially coffee!)  And then, I began to think about how blessed we are in a thousand other ways.  And how often we blare through life, forgetting to focus on those blessings, too busy to take a moment to express the proper gratitude.  The problem then becomes that we miss out on the completion of the circle.  Gratitude is an important part of life.  Somehow, I don’t think that the blessings are fully appreciated until thanks is given and the blessing is acknowledged.  There is great joy that comes in stopping to think about all of the rich blessings that we’ve been afforded.  I don’t mean money, though most of us are blessed in that regard as well if we are certain of our next meal.  I mean things that we take for granted – freedom, safety, health, family, friends.  Tiny moments that are fleeting, but filled with peace.  Random acts of kindness and deep acts of love.  Things that we forget to stop and savor in our desperate quest for more and in our acceptance of busyness and the ever elusive efficiency as the norm.  So today, I’m stopping to savor the little moments.  I’m taking a little more time to play trains with my son and compulsively checking email on my phone a little less.  (Sorry if I owe you an email!)

I remember when we first moved here, over four years ago, someone saying that they’d been living here in SF for 10 years and still, every time they crested the hills in Pac Heights and caught a glimpse of the Bay, they thought to themselves, “I can’t believe that I live here.”

I crest that hill almost every day and I feel the exact same way.

What are YOU grateful for today?