What do we really need for contentment? At what point do our goals cloud “life” itself?
How much work is too much work? How much of something is too much anything? How little is too little?
There’s no universal answer. The less one can live with, though, the more likely one’s chances of finding contentment.
I remember a friend once commenting that the wealthy are more scared of not having money than the poor are of never getting it.
I don’t know, I guess it’s true. I know some moneyed folks who don’t understand the class divide, and when they peer over that pay-precipice, whoo-ee — us little peoples with our cheap-ass wine, “good” and not-so-much-so underwear, “I Need a Paycheck” stack of recipes, and tendency to have to ask “how much” ‘cos we know there’s a price we can’t touch and it’s low… well, we’re a different breed.
Some of us are angry about it, and some of us know how good we really have it.
For all I don’t got, what I got’s pretty awesome — ‘cos it comes with a worldview that helps me enjoy it and not want for more (most of the time, for now). Sure, I stay out of stores and pretend we’re not a materialistic society in order to pull that worldview off when my finances dictate it, but whatever.
I got what I got, and I like a lot of it, and what I don’t got, I tend to get by without.
Soon I’ll be chasing the self-employment dragon with school, etc, and I imagine my desires will be increasing and my quiet, simple life will be shaken up as my needs grow and the corresponding scene develops.
There are some things I hope never change, though.
- Like knowing a six-pack of beer and a burger-to-go eaten at the beach with a summer sunset, great friend(s), and million-dollar view rivals any experience had in a many-walled 4-star restaurant with entitled waiting staff and hoity-toity diners.
- Or the delight of ugly boxer shorts, a torn concert t-shirt, and a DVD marathon with blinds drawn on an unapologetically rainy Sunday.
- Or the here-and-now never-seen-THAT joy that is a road trip instead of flying somewhere, including the neuroses of choosing the music and a route before the trip ever happens.
- Or knowing moments are built for milking and it doesn’t take long to do so, whether it means stopping to see the stars at night, taking the long way past a sunset, watching life unfold, or smelling a flower.
- Or loving hanging out with friends who enjoy casual and chill as much as or more than being a part of any scene.
Sure, the media and the fancy folk sell the image of swank-and-busy lives, and how much we should validate our lives by the foods/drinks/things we can afford when with others, and maybe that’s great for you, but, for me, life’s about the simple-and-small moments that fill it all.
Someone once told me it wasn’t the big stars he loved in the sky, but all the little ones in between them.
And I think I look at life like that.
It’s the small things — the moments you pause for, gazes you steal, words you exchange, accidental encounters en route to Your Real Plans, unexpected little incidents that pepper your days.
That’s life, that’s the real deal. It’s the snippets, the moments, that stand out.
There’s a whole breed of world and people that live for the weekend, or the big party, or the next swank thang.
Sometimes I’m guilty of that too, but then I try to remember the moment, the smallness in the bigness. What’s something here, now, that I can notice or experience or remember? A taste, a smell, a sight, a sound — anything.
I want that, for forever — remembering the smallness in the bigness.
I hope my life is never always Big. I hope I always have Moments. I hope there’s forever equal parts of the Small and the Strange while it’s filling up with Big and Beautiful.
These are things I hope on this simple, nothing, every-day-is-like-today kind of Thursday… but a simple, nothing, every-day-is-like-today kind of Thursday on which there’s an amazing marine breeze as sun breaks behind cloudy heat reprieve and my bluesy-funk tunes swell and pound in my living room and my toes are painted pink, and the coffee’s brewing, and the floors are clean and…
Well, for what it is? It’s an amazing day. And I hope I always, always remember that.