Loving, Living and Leaving Lansing: Week 1

Dearest Lansing Collective readers,

I’m equally sad and excited to announce my impending departure. I have been loving and living in Lansing since August 2010 and in this brief time, I have been blessed to be in a city beaming with genuine and committed residents.

I’ve accepted a job offer and am relocating to Austin, Texas. That’s right, I’m heading down South, where everything is bigger, but not necessarily better than Lansing.

From the time I accepted this new opportunity, every moment has been one of gratitude and reflection. I wish that during all points in my life I could say I have felt truly grateful, but self-imposed busyness can get in the way, and I’ll be the first to admit that I allow myself to forget all the amazing people and things I experience in life.

With that said, I want to take the next 6 weeks to reflect on the people, places and moments in Lansing that have warmed my heart.

This week is dedicated to: walks to the City Market with my colleague and dear friend, Jane Z.

The power of relationships continues to astound me. In my line of work, I’m often reminded that ‘relationships are everything’. When I feel like I’ve heard this more times than I can count, I continue to realize that I can never be reminded too many times of the simplest things.

My office is located on the River Trail, and a 20 minute walk from the City Market. It is all too easy to sit at my desk, eat at my desk, and only get up to use the restroom between 9 and 5. This drives me crazy about myself. I’m a huge proponent of self-care and balance and I continue to struggle with this when I’m at work. Not because I have to, I have the most amazing and flexible work environment one could ask for–but this is one area I could use some help.

Jane does just that. She pops her head in my office and says, “Anika, it is SO beautiful outside. Want to go for a walk? We could go to the City Market and Roma Bakery!?” Before you know it, these walks have become routine and a special time between me and my friend Jane. I’ve learned so much about her during these walks. I’ve learned so much about myself on these walks. I’ve learned so much about what cheeses I do like and what cheeses I don’t like on these walks.

Taking time out for sun. Taking time out to breath mindfully. Taking time out to be more than just a co-worker. Taking time out to relish in your surroundings. Taking time out to to feel the wind on your skin. Taking time out to listen.

I didn’t even need to go to the grocery store after work anymore. I saw that everything I needed was in walking distance and could be done with a partner in crime. I love grocery shopping. It is one of my most favorite things to do, and it’s even better when you have someone to do it with. By shopping at the City Market, you get to know the vendors, look forward to seeing their faces, try the new cheeses and cater your meals to what produce is in season. It changes your shopping experience to one of mindless consumerism and consumption to one of active engagement and relationship building.

As I take time to reflect on loving, living and leaving Lansing, this is definitely one of the things I will miss most. Not just the City Market, but walking to the City Market with my dear friend, Jane Z.