Girl on sailboat

Finding the Good Life

I walked by the copy of Veranda on my desk and saw the cover. “The Good Life,” it said in bold letters. It really got me thinking.

I used to work for the Good Life. I worked my you-know-what off, and so did my husband. We chased it together, trading off 20-hour days. There were many days I saw my children only when they slept.

I took on projects that were less than ideal. I worked with people that I didn’t resonate with. I moved too fast and thought too little about the journey I was experiencing every moment of every day. I thought only about what it would look like once I got there – wherever “there” was.

To me, The Good Life meant finally having that moment in the sun with my kids when I could be at peace. In my imagination there was a beautiful house, not too big, but not too small. There were rolling hills of grass with a pond nearby, sparkling in the sun. Gorgeous summers, cozy winters. But above all, there was an abundance of time. Time to spend with my kids, time to read, time to paint. Time to write, time to think. What a luxury time is!

It took me until I was in my 40’s (with a fair amount of therapy, some major life changes and a journal I filled with really bad poetry) to figure out that the “good life” I was chasing would never come. And if I actually succeeded in working hard enough for long enough to get that beautiful house in those rolling hills with a pond nearby, sparkling in the sun, I would probably be too old, or too worn out to enjoy it.

At that pivotal moment, I realized two important things:

  1. I want the good life now.
  2. My definition of the good life needed to change.

I decided that I want to savor the days I have right now. I want to dance, sip champagne, take the moments I have NOW with my family to enjoy them. I want that peace and easy-going lifestyle today. I want to feel the knot in my chest relaxing as I lean into the precious moment at hand. I want to realize that everything is going to be OK.

But that meant that my definition of “The Good Life” had to change. Instead of a picture-perfect house on rolling hills, what about the house I have? The same sun still shines on it. There is indeed a pond nearby, sparkling in the sun. Who cares if I share it with my neighbors? It is still blindingly beautiful, reflecting the moonlight.

But most importantly, I started to take the time. I gave myself permission. I take the time to spend in my sanctuary. Time to spend with the people I love, time to read, time to paint. Time to write, time to think. Yes, time, that most exquisite luxury.

This is The Good Life. I have it already. You have it already. We all do.

To be honest, I still have to remind myself of this fact some days. I am, as always, a work in progress. But I will tell you for sure that I have never experienced the kind of lasting peace and contentment that I have found with this shift of perspective.

So what about you? What is YOUR definition of the Good Life? How do you live it? I would truly love to hear about it – leave me a comment below.

With gratitude,

Lisa

LK

6 Comments

  1. Well done Lisa. Life goes by in a blur and from my stage, I wish it would slow down! But, as you say, each of holds that power to let it be a blur or not.
    Thank you, I needed this during my transition time.
    Xo Mitzi

    1. Thank you, Mitzi. I hear you! It’s a challenge to really be where we are and just appreciate that.

      I appreciate your reading, and will miss you at Market! xo

  2. Oh Goodness, How did I miss this one,,, from March
    tonight, here I am lying in bed getting ready to close down all things for the night, and I just took that last quick look on FB,, and BAM here is this lovely blog, it jumped out at me, I had to put down my phone and yes ,run downstairs to reply directly on my ipad, and clearly re- read this blog.

    This one resonates once again to me, but even more as I am find myself in a state of finding inner peace, happiness ,contentment with ones self.
    I want the good life,, and often I have to remind myself on days when I am racing around, writing lists, and my mind going in tale spins, I HAVE A GOOD LIFE, I know this, I have a blessed life. Food in my belly, roof over my head, clothes on my back and surround with family and friends.

    But I feel like I am always chasing the “better life” What is it? Who has it? Work hard, make more $, take more vacations, THEN just like you express , I can have the house with all the items , gardens, flowers , hammocks I wish to have, but how old will I be when I get “there”? What will I look like ? And really,,
    I have a lovely garden, flowers I planted, lovely orchids I get to see bloom, I am blessed to live in west coast of Florida to see gorgeous sunsets, I get to enjoy my lanai , candles, and morning journals in my small sanctuary.
    I find this poses a great question for me to look at, ponder, pray about,,WHAT IS ” MY ” GOOD LIFE…
    and I will say thankfully, I have a husband whom makes me stop often to take in lifes small moments.
    I take in lifes moments more and more but I have noticed M-F I am not stopping enough to make MY GOOD LIFE 24/7 ,rather then just on weekends.
    Always love reading your blogs, Lisa,
    Much Love,
    Michelle

    1. I love that, Michelle, and thank you. I think you’re right on – our lives are passing us by every moment. It’s time that we enjoy them for what they are rather than wishing they were something different. Love you, sweetie. Thank you for reading. xo