Have you ever stepped into someone else’s home, just shared a chat, or otherwise caught yourself thinking how much you’d like to be living ‘that’ life? I’ve spent a lot of my life working for and with others in capacities that have afforded me very personal encounters with others. Whether you fancy luxury and material things that typically come with that, a particular location, the stimulation of a big family with many siblings, royalty in stately places, acres of land with horses and/or wild animals, an observatory, a boat in the middle of oceans… I could go on with dense tangents, as there are just so many variations on the theme of what a good life another may have to the comparison of our own.
I lead a pretty darn good life. I’ve been afforded an education. I have no debt. I work my tushy off to operate without regret and do the things that bring me the most joy whenever able, even in my roughest moments. I practice being frugal and being extravagant for myself. I’ve nurtured myself and a diverse host of others. I’m aware each new day is essentially a gift and taking it for any less is purely wasteful. I’ve experienced interesting and ornate things that many people I know never will. I’ve never had fear of traveling to unknown locations, which has made the world my proverbial oyster.
I’ll easily confess the outside and the inside of my sophistication don’t always match. Meaning, what may appear to be notoriously pompous, might be a facade. Equally, a guise of mundane might, in fact, be lush with beauty and depth. Such is the richness of life intricacies.
Each moment I’ve stepped into another person’s world the ‘what if this were me reverie’ begins playing like a mini-movie in my mind. Whether I’m aboard a yacht or private plane, barefoot on a manicured lawn, cuddled on a couch between two of the softest and most giant teddy bears I’ve ever seen, dining at a fanciful home-cooked culinary feast, leafing my fingers through near every page of a comprehensive personal library, diving beneath the surface of secluded island waters, wistfully watching talented kids run around, or practicing matching the names of the artists to the artworks they created … I soak in the feeling to see what such a possibility may be for me.
Through decades watching over other’s careers, personal lives, homes, and pets on both a professional and personal level, I think I’ve mastered caretaking and it has molded a masterful me. I think the imperative significance of life comes from our understanding of what is good. So, when I’ve seen and heard and felt things I think I appreciate about another’s life, I’ve tried them on mentally, and sometimes physically, for me. All this sensible sorting has allowed the truly good to bubble to the surface.
The gem is differentiating a good life you see from your ability to cultivate ‘the good life’ for yourself as much as humanly possible, making your waking to a good day a daily routine as often as you’re able! Which is how I found myself on this Good Friday (which sadly isn’t about a good historical moment) sunbathing in the good life on a good day.
I rounded the cliffside hiking path corner and caught up to one of my best friends and her daughter, my God daughter, who had stopped. And, WOAH, I immediately took a deep breath in noticing exactly why they were halted. Below us was an expanse of earth so lucent that even one of the seals was flipping around with zest. It was that instant twinkle when this point of goodness came to me. I was so quickly astounded with gratitude in the moment that every cranny of what ‘the good life’ is filled my day and thoughts with everything good.
It’s all about our choices. A few days ago another opportunity for good opened to me. Feeling out of sorts I embraced the bit of good’s balance, knowing it would connect me to more good. In this case, a loving family I knew needed a house and pet sitter a few days in one of my pristinely prized locations. An oceanside residence so close to the shore. A chance to delight in the warmth of the family’s environment fully — meet the neighbors, shop for them in the town with merchants who know them as if I were them, visit the kids’ schools, sleep in their bed, snuggle with their pets, read their books, smile endlessly at their photos hanging on the walls, use their surfboards or bikes or anything else if I liked. Add the coincidence that a best friends family just happened to be on their Spring Break near this same location the exact same dates.
Some good days are most definitely better than others. But, each day isn’t a fluke. A new day holds itself to your attention and asks what kind of life you wish to lead. Here’s to every single one of us knowing ‘the good life’ and making every day a good day, especially all the Friday’s — TGIF!