What’s a Good Life?

January 28, 2008 | 16 Comments »

mtns.jpgMarty was (apparently) wrongly imprisoned at age 17 for killing his parents.  Twenty years later his pro-bono lawyer managed to have his conviction overturned and Marty was released.

In a recent interview Marty was asked what he liked best about being out of prison.

He immediately answered, “Making my own cup of coffee and watching the sun rise.”

Making coffee and watching the sun rise?  For real

That made me pause for thought.  I mean, how many of us do Marty’s favorite thing every day without even thinking about it?  Or how many of us do Marty’s favorite thing and resent it?  (“Why can’t I sleep in for once?”  “Why can’t someone else make the *&$#@ coffee for a change?”)

Marty’s response gave me a glimpse into how much we take for granted.  And also gave me insight into the fact that many of life’s greatest pleasures are right under our nose.

In describing their dream life my clients usually talk about an abundance of wealth, stunning professional success, healthy families, loving spouses, vacation homes, dream cars, bikini bodies …

.. and yet, right under our nose, is probably our favorite thing that we aren’t acknowledging.

Because what we really want isn’t any of those things or people or experiences – it’s how we think those things or people or experiences will make us FEEL.

Even President Bush, when asked what the highlight of his presidency has been, said it was catching a 7.5 pound perch in his hand-stocked lake (from Lee Iacocca’s “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?“).

Are you kidding me??

Maybe our president was being funny (I don’t pretend to know), but even when I find myself listing my good news for the day, it includes little things like wearing my favorite pjs, sleeping in with the dogs, finishing a great book, laughing with my sweetie …

… simple stuff.

Feel good stuff.

Right under our noses.

Like making coffee and watching sunrises.

Which means there is no excuse for not feeling good right now.  We’ve got material in our lives – TODAY – to take us to the same feelings we think all that “big stuff” will do for us.

I challenge you to put together your big 5 list of life loves.  And enjoy them.  Regularly.  On purpose.

Mine includes:

  • scratching the dog’s head
  • sleeping in my bed
  • watching the birds at the feeder
  • sitting in the sun
  • watching the fire at night

Thank you, Marty, for giving us the chance to reconnect with what we love about life, which we may have otherwise taken for granted.  

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16 Responses to “ What’s a Good Life? ”

  1. Wow, Jeannette,
    You hit the nail on the head. Yes it is the little things that we just take for granted all the time.
    Ok. My 5 things are:

    Waking up to my dog’s kisses
    Watching the sunrise
    Sitting by the ocean watching the waves
    Listening to odie’s music
    Having a cup of hot soup on a winter’s day.

    Here’s to life’s wonderful pleasures!
    And thank you Jeannette for reminding me
    that life is good right now.
    Barbara

  2. Ooh, Barbara, what a fun list!! I especially like the oldies music! As I posted on your Fun Group the other day (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FeelGoodFun/), dancing to Rick Springfield is one of my favorite quick & easy lifts!

    ha!

    (I have gotten over that my prime time music is now played on the “oldies” station. It also helps that my 46 yr old boyfriend downloads Finger Eleven, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, etc. to help me stay connected to the new stuff.)

    Thanks for posting, Barbara!

  3. JA says:

    Hey Jeannette,

    I remember when I was in college just after spending 3 years in the U.S. Army Infantry. I was about to eat dinner one night and I just keep looking at my fork and thinking… “I love this fork. It’s so beautiful. It’s made of medal. This fork is awesome. I’m living like a king. I missed you fork. You’re my friend.” Seriously. I though I had died and went to heavan because I was eating with a real fork.

    God Bless the Soldier.

    Blue Skies,
    8^)

  4. Kirsten says:

    Gratitude work is always good!

    My list of life loves:

    1.) a good book
    2.) access to all kinds of music online
    3.) that first cup of coffee in the morning
    4.) going on trips with my husband
    5.) taking long walks (especially after it’s rained and the air is fresh)

  5. Lesli says:

    How my cat, Chloe’s, tongue feels like sandpaper
    Hugs from my Pug, Noodles
    Warm, fragrant bubble baths
    Snuggling up in bed to watch the first season of “Ugly Betty” uninterrupted on DVD
    Of course, that first cup of coffee

    And a few more

    Sitting by the fireplace reading a good book
    Top down on my car on a nice spring evening
    The sound of rain against the windows
    The sound of the ocean
    A perfect fall day

  6. Tarielle says:

    You are so right Jeannette,
    Lately I’ve been very aware of the little things.
    I’ve been attracting shooting stars (my favorite things in the whole world), butterflies, dragonflies and pretty coloured parrots into my garden. I even got the chance to watch a very unnusual spider build it’s intricate web the other night.
    I love my 2 dogs (gorgeous Jack Russells) and I love being outside with them, just playing or cuddling up on the garden bench.
    For anyone who wants an instant pick me up, can I suggest logging onto U Tube and watching the Jeep Liberty commercial. Just type in – Rock Me Gently.
    It’s a hoot! You’ll be singing that song all day.

    Blessed be everyone!

  7. “I’m living like a king!” JA, that thought inspired by a metal fork is really lighting me up tonight! Wow.

    That’s cool!!

    Heaven … forks .. who’d have thought? I intend to feel some reverence for my spoon tomorrow morning at breakfast.

    The things we take for granted – indeed!! Thanks for taking that to a whole new level, JA. Much appreciated. 🙂

  8. Oh, Kirsten, your number 5 … oh!! What a treat!! That’s a fabulous list. I’m only recently learning the joys of online music (I still prefer to buy them in the store than off itunes, for some reason) – but I get a sense for your appreciation. Thanks for sharing it here! Nice to hear from you again. : )

    And Lesli!! ha! I LOVE that you didn’t limit it to five! You rock! I didn’t get my cats in on my top five, but the smell of their wet fur as they give themselves a tongue sandpaper bath .. that’s one of my favorites.

    Nice lists you two! Thanks for posting!

  9. Tarielle, it sounds to me like you’re up to something really cool where you’re attracting (not to mention consciously appreciating) shooting stars, butterflies, and dragonflies! Nice energy you’re flowing!

    K, I didn’t know Jack Russells settled down long enough to cuddle. Maybe that has something to do with your energy, too!!

    Thanks for posting, girlfriend. I like your perspective.

  10. Susie Beifuss says:

    …WOW…POWERFUL POSTS…EACH AND EVERY ONE….I’M SOOOO GRATEFUL FOR JEANNETTE AND MY CONNECTIONS THROUGH HER TO SO MUCH UPBEAT INPUT…..THANKS SOOO MUCH…..

    ..and…my 3 kitties loving me
    my 2 grown kids loving me
    cooking a meal on a rainy/snowy day
    waking up feeling happy and healthy
    colors, textures and shapes

    Susie

  11. That’s who I want to live with … someone who loves cooking meals! You’ve got a lot of love flowing in your list, Susie, and I thank you for sharing it here!

    Your #4 is one I’m going to add to my list, too. That is not to be taken for granted. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Crys says:

    a full heart
    a clear mind
    a healthy body
    great jeans !!

    Jeanette,
    I AM happy, and it just keeps coming.
    You and your wisdom have made an incredible difference in my life.
    Thank you.
    Crys

  13. Flavia says:

    Having fun, uplifting friends and family,
    Fresh fruit in the morning,
    Being delightfully surprised by something unique everyday,(thank you dear universe)
    Having a wealth of information and music at my fingertips,
    My hubby and his humor,
    Having guidance to look for more life loves.

  14. zannie rose says:

    I have recently begun to volunteer as a receptionist at an animal home. Last week I saw a young dog go home with its new family, all wrapped up in love, and I got to scratch his ears too..bliss.
    zannie rose

  15. Kim says:

    Oh Jeannette!

    I love this…and look how many of your readers put their ‘familiars’ (their companion animals), first! Me too…

    1. Petting the cats brothers until they purr
    2. The first mango of the season (and every one there after!)
    3. feeding the ravens
    4. swimming under waves
    5. the smell of frangipani blossoms after it rains

    Thank you so much for these reminders—and the chance to see everyone’s ‘little bliss’! When you feel it, it’s the same as winning a million dollars—in that instance, there is nothing greater!

    X Kim

  16. Thank you, Crys, Flavia, Zannie and Kim!! I love how much we all have in common! By sharing your lists here, you not only inspire others to know better theirs, but you also add that much delicious enjoyment to your own!

    Thank you also for the kind words. MUCH appreciated, everyone.

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