Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for Xanadu

Here we are at the third to last day of the A to Z Challenge and it's the first time I've gotten stuck coming up with a subject for a letter! These last three have had me a bit stumped so I turned to my shelf of writing books for inspiration.

Rogert's Thesaurus of Words for Intellectuals defines xanadu as "A place of perfect, idyllic beauty."

(I know it's also a reference from Citizen Kane and a movie from the 80's but I can't tie those into a life lesson!)

When I left home on my adventure, I was not only re-evaluating my relationship with my partner but also my relationship with myself and with the place I live. 

Earlier this month, I wrote about how Montana has changed me. It's an incredible place. "Perfect, idyllic beauty" couldn't sum it up any better. I'm continuously amazed by how much open space and untouched land exists here. But for all the ways that Montana is lovely and majestic, it is also harsh. Winters are long and sub-zero temperatures can make daily life challenging. Your car won't start, the gas pumps don't want to work and staying outside too long can be a health risk. Spring finally creeps in with summer right behind it. Then suddenly there are forest fires and the air is tinged with smoke for weeks at a time. By fall, everyone is praying for snow again to quench the earth. It's an endless cycle.

Any Montanan can tell you, it's not easy to live here. There are reasons we do it and those are a little different for everyone. For me, it's the raw beauty of the place. People travel from all over the world to see what I get to view on a daily basis.

I've lived in many different cities in four different states and I've done a lot of traveling in the U.S. I've learned that no place is going to be a perfect place to live all the time. There are going to be moments of pure joy that make the rest of the time worth it. It's important to find the place that gives you the most number of those moments. For me, right now, that's Montana.

So my life lesson here is: find your own xanadu, the place you long for when you're away. You don't necessarily have to live there, but spend as much time there as you can. It will feed your soul!

Where is your personal xanadu?


  1. Shelly SchitzerpantzApril 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    It's also a song by Olivia Newton John!!!

  2. Shelly SchitzerpantzApril 28, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    I'm trying to catch up on your blogs. This seemed like a good place to start and work my way backwards. ;)
    Montana looks like it would be the poster child for the word "xanadu."
    Cleveland certainly isn't xanadu worthy.
    For me, so far, Caribbean islands have that feeling -- OHH!! and so did the Big Sur/Monterey area of California. I've been told I would LOVE Oregon.
    I'm rambling...
    Great post, friend!! XOXO

  3. I like how you said to find the place you long for when you're away. I'm glad you've found your own personal xanadu in Montana.

  4. Thanks! I didn't know it until I left for a while!

  5. She's in the movie I was talking about!