The Simple Life.

As Earl and I prepare for our trip to the Midwest on Friday, I can’t help but notice that I am continuting to try to make life simpler. No, we’re not looking for a Paris and Nicole experience while we’re in the nation’s heartland, but rather, we’re just looking for something a little less frantic than the hyper Northeast pace that we’ve become used to.

Back in April, I had the opportunity to travel to northwest Iowa for software training for work. The company is situated in the village of Emmetsburg, a “two stop light town” that is devoid of Wal*Mart, Target and even McDonalds. They did have fast food – a Pizza Hut and the always welcome classic A&W. Natives of Emmetsburg claim that they had four tourist attractions… soybeans on the left and corn on the right, corn on the left and beans on the right, beans on the left and beans on the right and corn on the left and corn on the right. I only spent three days in Emmetsburg, but every single person I crossed paths with was so friendly. People smiled. There was a “howdy neighbor” atmosphere going on, and they even made this boy from Upstate N.Y. feel welcome.

As I’ve been going on in my blog for the past couple of weeks, I need a little bit simpler approach to life. As of late I’ve accepted Wal*Mart back into my shopping experiences. I’m using MSN 9 for my e-mail and my internet browser. (It’s just easier to use software that is packaged neatly together. I’m sick of fighting with my operating system to browse the internet. I want something that just works. I know, I should get an iMac, but that’s not in the budget right now, so I’m doing the best I can with what I have.) Earl and I shun the “sit-down fast food” (TGIFridays/Applebees/et al) and go for the Mom and Pop diner with the opportunity presents itself.

I’ve given up my fancy gel pens at work and have switched to the tried and true Bic ball-point pens. I don’t take the time for “pretty penmanship”. I write functionally, but not pretty.

I’ve stopped trying to fit everyone and anything into categories of my own design. I let the pieces fall where they may fall. I allow myself to see people as they want to be seen, not as I want to see them.

I’ve disabled my webcams for a while. I’ll still videochat with others on MSN Messenger, but I’ve received one too many ‘requests’ of what I should do under my desk while I’m doing my work, so for now, I’ve decided to shut down the cam streams.

And I’m trying to stop living life as “what it could have been” and start living “as it is.” A stop and smell the roses sort of attitude. It’s not so bad after all.

I’m really looking forward to the Jeep ride to Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska (and back). I want to see flat lands, big farms, small towns, large cities and blue sky. I don’t want a soda, I want a POP.

I’ve been on an internal emotional roller coaster the past couple of weeks. But the turbulent ride has come to an end. And I really like the looks of this stop.