Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the road to Hardyville.

For those unfamiliar with the ‘road to Hardyville’ check out Claire Wolfe on Wikipedia.

There are a few quotes that I keep close to me, always with me or nearby, and Claire’s is one of them:

“You want to live in Hardyville? I’ll tell you the secret, then, that Hardyville is as real as it is imaginary…

How do you get there? If you can’t find Lonelyheart Pass, you can start in the direction of Hardyville by thinking about the way you’re living now. Are you racing like a little maze-rat, just to keep yourself in fancy toys? … Are you living vicariously, via television? Do you choose to spend your days in a little gray cube? Is your mind in a little gray cube? … Have you put your kids in day care, soccer and gymnastics, more than in your life? Do you hate your life, but somehow never manage to take real steps to fix it? Are you using people — or being used by them — instead of having honest relationships? When it comes right down to it, do you choose convenience over independence? Do you choose the status quo over the uncertainties of happiness? Do your deeds fail to match your words, your hopes and your ideals?

Then you’re not on the road to Hardyville. If you want to be on the road to Hardyville, then turn around.”

Recently with the nation’s economy, and our own family’s personal financial woes, I have made a mental note to write out two very important questions and post them anywhere I can think of.

The first is in direct relation to our economic woes. When I am tempted to purchase something, I need to ask:

Is this item worth sacrificing my future freedom?

Because buying that “I gotta have it” instead of waiting and evaluating the need is the main reason we are in the situation that we are in personally as a family and also as a nation.

The second question I need to be asking is:

Am I on the road to Hardyville?

The concept of Hardyville is more than just a libertarian, ‘give me freedom or give me death’ rallying cry. It is about creating a life that you can live with, that you can find peace and happiness and satisfaction with. It is not a matter of geography, it is a matter of wellness, inside and out. You’ll know you have reached Hardyville when you have strong, deep relationships with friends and loved ones. When you can look in the mirror and like what you see.

Sometimes life can be overwhelming and you might think that you’ll never find the road to Hardyville. It’s easy to lose hope in the moment when you are stressed out. But Hardyville is waiting for you, accessible and possible. When you are ready, you will begin or resume the journey.