Monday, March 11, 2013

Bedtime Story: A Short Guide to A Happy Life

... So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is
pretty simple: get a life. . .

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water
pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes,
a life in which you stop and watch
how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines.
Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby
as she scowls with concentration
when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.
Turn off your cell phone.
Turn off your regular phone, for that matter.
Keep still.
Be present.
Get a life in which you are not alone.
Find people you love, and who love you....
Send an email.
Write a letter.
Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad.

Get a life in which you are generous.
Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring;
look at the full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night.
And realize that life is glorious,
and that you have no business taking it for granted.

... I learned to live many years ago. Something really bad happened to me,
something that changed my life in ways that, if I had had a choice, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, sometimes seems to be the hardest lesson of all.

I learned to love the journey, not the destination.
I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.
I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back,
because I believed in it completely and utterly.
And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned...

By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field.

Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear.

Read in the backyard with the sun on your face.

Learn to be happy.
And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do,
you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

~ Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life ~