There’s something to be said for simplicity.

I went and stayed with my friend J last Monday night downtown Chicago. J lives in Roger’s Park, one of the more affordable and vintage areas of the city and, as a single 40-something dude, just may have figured out how to be happy-ish at his particular stage of life.

Just a block and a half from Chicago’s Pratt Beach, J wakes at 6 in the morning, goes to the local Ethiopian coffee shop to get a pastry and heads to the sand. He watches the sun rise and listens to the waves crash into the shore. Then he hops on his bike and rides to work, an approximate half-hour commute of pure wind and exercise, still taking in the beautiful water.

Work is researching human behavior at Northwestern University, a topic and place which both intrigue me, having studied psychology myself, there. After work he rides home, heads back to the beautiful beach, writes, listens to records, reads from quite a collection of books and ponders the world.

All this, and there is a divine chocolate, vanilla, carmel cookie sundae to be had on his street corner, should one get bored.

I tip my metaphorical hat to J. He’s inspired me, this week, to slow down and enjoy my surroundings a bit.


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