Appreciating where I am at any given time has probably been in my top 5 list of "things most prayed for" in the past 6 years since being out of high school. I have an insatiable need for a change of scenery. New experiences are the spice of my life and wanderlust tends to have a deep and uncompromising grip on my soul. While this has lead to many adventures in my young life, it can also lead to dissatisfaction and an inability to actually enjoy where I am, and instead always be looking forward to what's next.
This discontentment was in full swing this past winter as all I longed for was to elope with Colin and to move to a city with ocean access, minimal snow, and a dependable transit system. I realized at some point in February that I was growing bitter towards things entirely out of my control (namely, time) and missing much of the enjoyment that God put in front of my face.
So, once again I picked up the prayer to relish and enjoy exactly where I was. It has been amazing how rewarded I have felt in that pursuit. (and always have been, for that matter. God helped me not hate winter when I prayed this a few years ago, this year I didn't even complain about the cold!) Since we moved to Marda Loop, I have felt a surprising affection and connectedness with Calgary.
Calgary is a small town in a big city. Colin and I both have a little bit of a crush on the mayor, which helps. Agreeing with the passions and mandates of the political leader in my own city is a new thing for me and creates a sense of excitement and ownership in the goings on of Calgary.
As many people have heard, the food scene is flourishing. Trend setting even. Who would have thought, coming from cow+oil capital, that the pace would be set for the trendy, community based food truck scene. Colin and I pretty much base any of our travels around where we want to eat, so having access to new and hip food joints as well as (so far, in my opinion) some of the best coffee in the pacific northwest, is pretty dang awesome. The hype and support built through fresh, creative entrepreneurs and Calgary culture young and old through social networking is current and fun.
Finally, and one of my consistently favorite things about Calgary, is the sheer amount of space dedicated to parks and pathways. Just 10 minute drive in any particular direction takes you to reserved park land where birds and wildlife abound and you barely remember that you're still within the limits of a million people city. Recently we checked out the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and, nestled between the cities busiest road and the city proper, we came across a young deer. Pretty bizarre, and wonderful!
So it takes a little work to find a sense of contentment in the place I live, when there are so many adventures to go on in this lifetime. But when I can so easily go on the adventure and be the tourist every day and within a 30 minute radius, well I think that's worth the effort.