Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Life Lesson #73 ~ The Good Life
One of my absolute favorite songs by Michael Buble bellows out, “It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life. And I’m feeling good.” This song simply makes me feel good. It seems like he has no worries and is living the good life right? So what is the good life and how do we find it? Is it something handed out by the spoonful’s or is it something we create with love, develop with patience and fashion with joy? The truth is we don’t just find the good life, we have to make it. Happiness and goodness are not things just dropped into our lap. A good life, a happy life is something we choose in spite of difficulties. Just as we choose kindness, we choose happiness. One Repulic’s lyrics boast of the good life, “This has gotta be the good life.” But how do you suppose they got there? I can tell you, they worked for it, created it, and forged it. That’s exactly how we can too. Happiness it’s not just merriment, happiness is also contentment.
If we spend all our time looking, digging and turning over relationships in our pursuit of happiness or finding "the good life" we’ll never find it. Expectations, assumptions and presumptions maim, cripple, disable, deform and incapacitate if I not kill happiness. True, real happiness isn’t a Hollywood ending. We can’t direct our happiness but we can sure inspire it in our lives and in others. We all go through hell in this world. We sink like stones and get caught up in the undertows. It’s called life. Nothing really comes easy and everything comes with a cost. If we really want happiness, ensuring the good life is ours to own we have to look past material things, past expectations. Money, job, security, fast cars, vacations and popularity don’t construct a good life. Being thin, being trendy or having what appears to be everything doesn’t foster a good life either. These things certainly don’t bring happiness. On the other hand they can certainly add to your happiness, to the good life you have already built, but they can’t provide it.
Life Lesson #73: The Good Life, it’s not a twist of fate. The Good Life is full of purpose, not opportunity. Steve Prefontaine says it like this, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great.” The real pursuit of a good life means letting go of what we think should bring happiness and perfection and actually being happy. One of the best quotes summing up our journey to a good life is this from Hector and the Pursuit of Happiness, “We should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness. But rather with the happiness of the pursuit.” Hum, pretty good advice isn’t it? So what is the good life? How do we get there? For me personally, it’s in my labor of love, in my family, in those I cherish dearly. I could have everything from fame to fortune, but without my loved ones, I would have nothing. Happiness for me is generated inside the unconditional love of my husband and our children. When I look back and take inventory of our life, it’s the memories of family where both our wealth and happiness lies, where the good life is found for Johnny and I.
Through the years’ time and time again when it came to making memories or buying something new for our home, we made the memories. It took Johnny and I 10 years of marriage before buying our casa and why? Well because we chose memories with our boys ahead of a new house, new furniture or anything else along those lines. The truth is we didn’t need a big house to have a home. Our home has and will always be found in our family. The moments we spend with one another are our biggest blessings. Even now with our boys grown our family time is the most important. Daily meals around the table, weekly family nights and yes even our down time, vacations and trips all encompass our boys. Life is in one word for us is family. Our O’hana and the memories captured inside our hearts completely frame our happiness. Big moments, small ones, tough and easy going times and everything else in-between have shaped what we call “The Good Life” in our home. Now that doesn’t mean Johnny and I don’t have date nights or a life we share only with each other, we do. We need that time but we also want to secure our family ties to one another. And I don’t mean just in the high light reels either. I'm talking about in real time. Johnny and I have found for us staying close with our boys, with our parents and each other means more to us than bragging rights or anything material combined. You see the good life is hard work. Happiness doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time, struggle, failures, perseverance, devotion and a commitment to choose kindness, to put others before yourself and to laugh often. Romans 14:19 brings this home for me, “So let’s pursue those things which bring peace and which are good for each other.” For me that’s the definition of "The Good Life".
We all have different definitions of happiness, ideas of what the good life really is. We’re not carbon copies of each other that's for sure and we shouldn't be. Your pursuit is yours and yours alone so make it count, make it yours. “Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.”