It’s the last day of the year, December 31, 2014.

This afternoon, I ate whole blueberries, dipped in dark chocolate, at home in the quiet of my living room, snoozed on the couch with the cat, bought a few song I like on iTunes and wrote several blog posts.

I luxuriated in choices, and in hand-picked inertia.

The greatest wealth, reward, benefit, gift, prize this year offered?

The most meaningful life I lived was the life I did not live in the hospital, in jail or on chemo. The life I did not live in congress, the one I did not live in entertainment magazines and the one I did not live within people’s opinions of me – this was the good life. My best life was the personal life I lived with my friends, with my staff, at work, in my church, with my daughters and wife.

To have time and space and resources to think, to brood, to study, to read, to converse, to write, to travel, to work, to worship, to futz over what I do well, to reflect – this is the good life.

This year I rejoice that I had the time and strength to make my own bed – to even have a bed — to garden, to cook soup, to do the dishes, to play with children, to talk to my loved ones, to fluff the cat, to shop, to fish in Montana with a friend, to write blog posts, to write sermons, to write my precious proverbs and my dear fables, to eat my way through San Francisco with my family, to fix stuff, to refinish stuff, to tend to my investments, to dream, to make new spaces, to refinish wood floors with friends, to lunch and coffee with people I like – this was the best life I lived this year.

We make too much of much. We should make too much of little.

To be able to choose who you are with and when, and where you will go and with whom, to choose who you will admit to your presence and why – this the good stuff, and it is not to be overlooked. Many people can’t do that.

To be safe, private, secure, social when you choose, not publicly abused, not sought after, not traumatized, not exploited, not lionized, not hated, not sick, employed but not too much, vacationed but not too much, this is good, this is more than enough to satisfy — this is to live well.

The freedom to manage ones own self, to manage ones own opinion of ones self, to be more famous to oneself that to anyone else, to live within the sunshine of ones own acceptance, to live within the limits of time and chance and luck and guidance and all this brings to us that we end up with, to affirm oneself in the same way as one is affirmed by the great Creator, the one who made all small, self-governing, self-nurturing things – this is very good.

To be free to choose to live with ones own goals, to live with morals traditional and yet freely chosen, chosen so as to not harm others, and to nurture kindness and to enjoy small treats and moments alone with God and moments together with my wife and daughters and cats and foods and drinks and friends – it does not get better than this.

Tonight, on New Years Eve, I’ll make bean soup for dinner, and drink hot tea and relax at home, and not party and not stay up late and not want more and lounge with my wife and daughter in peace, and sleep well with my cats around me.

I’m good with that — and just and only and merely and completely and amazingly and gorgeously that-this-that which is my very own personal that.

  1. Aaron Belcher says:

    You have helped me have a better perspective on my life through your comments here. Thanks! However, you forgot to include the freedom to eat chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven in the litany. 🙂

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