i’ve had a sea change
there is a quiet little blog.
its title drew me in. monk that i am.
it’s called . . . calm things.
it’s writer is published. she writes well.
and she is a superb photographer.
she combines both on her blog.
sometimes her thoughts. sometimes thoughts of others
yesterday i read something on her blog that i particularly liked.
it’s by a monk whose works i’ve read before.
but i’d never come across this.
” joy is being willing for things to be as they are. “
~ charlotte joko beck
i talk a lot about happiness here on the peanut.
and i consider myself a happy person.
because i’ve always believed what president lincoln once said . . .
” people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be “
i do believe it’s a choice we make.
but . . .
i’ve never given much thought to joy really. have you?
is joy different?
apparently it is old bean.
i’m thinking joy might be an inner sense of total peace.
peace with one’s life just as it is. peace with one’s self just as one is.
not to say there’s not ever room for growth! LOL.
but you know what i mean.
for years i’ve had a problem with living what i call
an ‘authentic’ life.
i wasn’t a total minimalist at one time.
oh. i’ve always pretty much been one. but when you have a family it’s different.
most people are NOT minimalist in any way! you find yourself conforming to the norm.
we had always lived rather simply. my own family and then with bob.
but then one day . . . it was just
and yet . . .
i still bought groceries long after bob died as if i were feeding a family!
and i kept different kinds of dishware . . . as if i were still entertaining groups of people!
because . . .
i dreamed of still having little dinner parties and brunches . . . and . . . and . . .
you get it.
i was living one life and inside a dream world somehow living another.
which one was me? which one was authentic?
i can be a social person when its called for.
i went with the marine last weekend to a surprise birthday party for
his beloved late wife’s brother. richard. the marine’s brother~in~law.
richard is married to martha.
they are two of the most wonderful people you’d ever want to know.
they have a beautiful home in tulsa that has grounds like a park.
and martha is a consummate hostess.
everything is always so lovely. gracious. the very epitome of “HOME”.
they have two beautiful grown daughters with their husbands and children.
the house was full of family and friends and neighbors
of laughter and true friendship and love.
the marine and i had a great time.
the food was delicious. the wine was excellent. and the people friendly and warm.
a good time was had by all.
on the way home i felt nostalgic.
i said to the marine . . .
“you know ~ sometimes i wish we had that.”
he said. “yes. that was great. but we don’t.”
ever the stoic truth~teller! he keeps me on track! LOL.
i got to thinking.
i perhaps could have had that.
yes. death intervened in our lives very early. taking parents prematurely.
then our spouses. though his only recently.
it tends to whittle away at the family unit.
but it reminded me too that perhaps i COULD have had all that even afterward.
there were two marriage proposals that i turned down after bob died.
i was still young.
i could have enjoyed a family and children perhaps.
but i simply didn’t love those men. though they were perfectly nice.
i loved my bob.
it just wouldn’t have been fair to them. or me.
so . . .
we make our own lives don’t we. we do old bean!
little by little we make the exact life that we apparently want.
i think the secret to real joy is realizing that we have made an authentic life
and that we love it.
and the real joy is in recognizing it.
in my own case . . .
i’m a loner. i really always have been.
i hesitate to use that word because they are always the ones that seem to shoot people.
but even though i can be and am social when it’s called for . . .
the truth is . . .
i truly enjoy my quiet small life.
i wouldn’t have it any other way.
and when i’m tempted to think otherwise . . .
as i was for a moment after that delightful party . . .
i’m reminded by this famous man who said . . .
very wise words those.
i never thought i was a ‘comparing’ sort of person.
i’m not one to envy. never was. especially the material part of things.
i’ve always been and am so content with all the things I DON’T HAVE ! LOL.
i’ve never liked things that much old bean. you know that about me.
just ask pooh.
so no. it’s not that.
then what is it that makes me feel i’m not authentic to myself?
it’s that i realize i’ve been quietly and secretly . . . even to myself apparently . . .
comparing LIVES !
every now and then
especially like this weekend . . .
for just a moment . . .
i couldn’t help but wish somewhere deep within me for a huge noisy loving family like that.
to lose one’s family so young . . . it’s a little weird.
and so . . . i think i’ve been longing in a way for that which i never had.
which is foolish.
they say you don’t miss what you never had. and they’re pretty much right.
but not totally. at least for women. at least a little bit for me.
or maybe i just wish i were more like the wonderful martha’s of this world!
but as i sit here writing this i realize
i not only am living the life i want to live . . .
but that it is a totally AUTHENTIC life for me.
it’s okay to have few people in it. it’s okay that i don’t entertain.
it’s okay that i don’t want to own a lot of stuff. it’s okay that i go nowhere!
it’s okay that i’m a bit of a solitary person. it’s me. and it’s what i like.
the sea change is really no change at all except that perhaps i’m
finally recognizing in myself and accepting the ‘myself ‘ that i’ve always been.
maybe THAT is the sea change for me. i finally accept myself.
i lived it. but inwardly thought i really should conform to the norm.
especially every now and then and in certain seasons.
if you are different then . . . you stand out like a sore thumb.
people cannot believe it. they simply can’t!
the pressure is on from every direction to have a busy hectic full life.
with all the accoutrements that come with it!
it especially is brought to bear when the holidays are upon us.
thanksgiving and christmas and hanukkah.
when you step to the beat of a different drummer
so totally out of the world of materialism and consumption and crowds . . .
you’re looked upon as odd. you just are old bean!
so this odd duck will quack more joyously now.
i have the inner knowing that it’s okay.
as if we ever need to give ourselves permission. but apparently we do.
deep inside i think i knew it all along. it just seems a hard thing to know.
because it’s all part of being a woman
~ and it’s still mainly we women who make the home really ~
a little loner type minimalist is a bit of a different feeling than most.
so it can leave you feeling slightly forever out of kilter.
BUT NOT ANYMORE !!!
i’m full of joy as i write this.
“i am being willing for things to be just as they are.”
i hope you’re living your own authentic life too old bean.
i’m sure you are.
i’m always a little slow to catch on!
it’s fine to entertain and have lots of people in your life.
but if you choose the quieter smaller way . . . like mine . . .
that’s okay too!
as they say
“come on in the water’s fine!”
if you’d like to check out the blog where i found that quote
i don’t think you would be disappointed.
it’s clean. and spare. a lovely space full of beautiful pictures and thoughts.
my sea change has been enlightening.
and you know . . .
minimalist that i am . . .
i have even managed to clear out the wren house more.
oh no worries.
it’s not stark.
it’s full of color. and light.
but it’s spare and elegant now instead of
being filled with homey clutter. that’s just not me.
i love it in other people’s homes. I DO !!!
i simply need the space.
and the openness of the lack of things.
why i’d slipped back into the way i “thought” it should be to please others . . .
heaven only knows!
but i can breathe again now.
it’s the authentic me.
i wish for you a beautiful ‘sea change’ if that’s on your horizon!
it can be a wonderful joyous thing.
til soon old bean.
picture of footprints on the beach