Earlier this week I posted about spending a quiet day, and mentioned that I had a beef stew bubbling on the back burner and that biscuits were about to go in the oven. One of my regular readers and one I consider to be a friend, Jess over at "Scratching to Escape," left the following comment: "A quiet day? With homemade stew and biscuits? Sounds like a small piece of paradise."
By the way, if you aren't already reading Jess' blog, you are missing out. He voices opinions, writes well about a variety of subjects and his stories of fiction that he posts now and then are gems.
Anyway, his comment about my small piece of paradise got me to thinking. For many years I was a restless person. I was never quite satisfied with my life. It wasn't so much about financial matters, for fortunes have never impressed me much. It was more about that time-worn notion that the grass is always greener over there, just beyond that fence. I felt that I just could never quite get to the greener grass.
It took me well over 60 years to discover that it had nothing to do with green grass. It had to do with my own shortcomings.
I have never been one to covet my neighbor's belongings. If the guy down the street drove a nicer car than I did, I didn't care. If the next door neighbor had a big screen TV delivered, I was happy for him, but didn't rush out to buy one bigger and better. If friends belonged to prestigious clubs or organizations, well good for them, but I wasn't interested.
Most folks wouldn't think that living in a three room apartment in a city suburb could be even close to paradise. For a long time, I didn't think so, either. But in the past few years, I have come to realize that a person's personal paradise is what they make it. It is where "Home" is. It is where you can just be yourself. Nobody needs to be impressed with your lifestyle if you are happy with it. In my little apartment, I can do what I like. I can run my pressure canner to help stock my shelves. I can spend time making afghans for grandkids. I can sew a quilt if I choose to. I can read all night if I want.
When I go outside, I am reminded that I live in a town and I would very much like to live in the country again. But I refuse to dwell on that aspect of my life, or to let it spoil a perfectly good day. Oh, there are times when I daydream about a cabin in the woods or on a lake, but now I can see those for what they are - pleasant daydreams. That's not going to happen at this stage of my life, but it is alright to dream just a bit.
Sometimes I can be pretty slow on the uptake. It took me so very long to remember some advice I was given years ago. I wish I had remembered sooner.
"Bloom where you're planted."