24 Feb Celebrating the Small, Happy Life
I recently came across David Brooks’s column in The New York Times asking his readers to define their purpose in life. While many were overachievers with lofty themes about changing the world, others found fulfillment in simply living and creating small, happy lives.
I have always wanted to be kind
One story comes from a man whose most precious possession was a banged-up tin pot that he kept carefully wrapped in cloth as though it were fragile. The message? We do not all have to shine. We don’t all have to be doing something big and important. Another response: “I have always wanted to be effortlessly kind. I wanted to raise children who were kind.”
A response from someone who survived the Nazi death camps notes that a predominant quality of these survivors was generosity. Everywhere there are tiny, inconsequential opportunities to be generous and kind.
Another woman writes: “I used to be one of the solid ones”
“Now my purpose is simply to be the person who can pick up the phone and give you 30 minutes in your time of crisis. I can edit your letter. I can listen to you complain about your co-worker. I can look you in the eye and give you a few dollars in the parking lot. I am not upset if you cry.” Think about it. Just being there for someone. In a time when we have to go to our calendars to simply schedule a telephone call, this is really quite a lot.
One gentleman has always admired the fiercely successfully people who make things happen, but he’s chosen to live his life on a much smaller scale and found happiness. “I have a terrific wife, five kids, friends from grade school and high school, college, army, friends locally, and sometimes, best of all, horses, dogs and cats. Finally, I have a small industrial business that I started and have run for 40 years.”
An 85-year old chronicles his life by the seasons in his garden
“I am thankful to be alive. I have a responsibility to myself and those around me to give meaning to my life from day to day. I enjoy my family (not all of them) and a shrinking number of old friends. If there is one thing that keeps me focused, it’s the garden. Lots of plants died during the harsh winter, but, amazingly, the clematises and the roses are back, and lettuce, spinach and tomatoes are thriving in the greenhouse. The weeping cherry tree in front of the house succumbed to old age. I still have to plant a new tree this year. There is something beautiful, concrete and well-proportioned about tending that garden.”
For this older gentleman, the garden becomes a metaphor for the seasons of his life.
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As we embrace another year, we look forward to assisting our clients with their uncontested legal matters. Whether it’s a Divorce, Living Trust, Probate or Business Formation, we guide our clients through the process. We prepare the legal documents and file them with the courts. For most of our services, we charge one flat fee. We’re helpful, compassionate and affordable. Schedule an appointment today at one of our three Bay Area offices.