Saturday, May 17, 2014

Your Own Paradise

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."


  1. It takes some of us a while, doesn't it. I was over 50 years old before I fully realized how mightily God had blessed me. I had always taken what I had forgranted, until I started working with people who had NOTHING.

  2. Gorges...It would seem that sometimes I need to be whacked upside the head before I stop and listen. It took a long time to realize that I was making my own self miserable. You are right. When we realize just how well blessed we are, that's when peace takes over and life becomes good, no matter where we are.

  3. Thank you for the kind words.

    Age has brought a desire for simplicity. I'm guessing it's due to the realization you can't bring any of it with you, when you go, and the mess I leave will be easier to dispose of if there's less to clean up. That, and the fact less clutter leaves more time for naps.

  4. Like you, I find that the more simple the lifestyle, the better. Stuff just gives me more that has to be dealt with, and as you say, that can cut into nap time, which is an important part of my day!

  5. Vicki, i never had a sister, but we seem to be cut from the same cloth. We live in a mobile home less then 1000 sq ft. We are happy. Last year we lived in a 3 br town house and it was hell. We could use more storage but hey a small issue. i always wanted a house, but its never been in the cards for us. Most of America still needs to wake up like many of us bloggers have done.

  6. Rob...Yeah, we seem to think alike on a lot of issues. It took me a very long time to discover that no other person or no amount of stuff could make me happy. That had to come from within me. And it seems to be working. Some time back, while talking to my brother on the phone, he remarked that I sounded happier and more content than I ever had before. He is right. I grouse about arthritis pain or some other small thing, but that is just minor. America waking up? I think many need to get their priorities straight before that can happen. Get back to core values.