Satisfaction

The summer before seventh grade, I went to a Boy Scout dance with William Meacham.  I remember awkwardly trying to dance to  “I Can’t’ Get No Satisfaction.”  Judging by the number of times the band repeated the chorus, it was the only song they knew.  Mick Jagger had nothing to worry about.

I thought of this as I sat in my coworker’s office this afternoon and enjoyed a small dark chocolate Easter egg.  It was delicious- certainly worth the 60 calories, and left me feeling quite satisfied.  This prompted me to think about some of life’s pleasures that bring a sigh of satisfaction and a smile to my face.  I suspect you’ll be able to relate, and if you make your own list, you may find yourself a little happier, a little calmer and a little more contented.  I did.

Momma G’s Most Satisfying Moments (In no particular order)

  1.  A long hot shower on a cold winter morning.
  2. Beating the computer at Pogo Scrabble.
  3. Sipping coffee while watching the sun rise at the beach.
  4. Sipping coffee while watching the sun set at the beach.
  5. Watching my child shake hands with the right hand while clutching a diploma in the left.
  6. Getting a massage from someone whose only question is, “Do you mind if I extend your time for another half hour?”
  7. Making the last payment on a car that still has a lot of good miles left in it.
  8. A glass of wine and a delicious dinner after work on a Friday night, especially when somebody else cooks and cleans up.
  9. Late night talks with my brother Eric. 
  10. Seeing my daughters in love with wonderful young men.
  11. My mother’s homemade bread, warm from the oven and swimming in butter.
  12. Finding a clean rest room after driving for several hours.
  13. Cool lotion and icy lemonade after a day on the beach.
  14. Laughing with my siblings until tears stream down our cheeks.
  15. Reading a letter…a real letter…from an old friend.
  16. Finishing an entire crossword puzzle without cheating.
  17. Snuggling under freshly laundered sheets that were dried outside.
  18. Hearing my newborn’s first cry after twenty-eight hours of labor.
  19. Flipping my pillow to the cool side, and seeing that there are still a couple of hours before my alarm clock will go off.
  20. A fresh pot of coffee and time to catch up with my best friend Sue.
  21. Giving  when it is difficult, and not telling anyone about it.
  22. Hitting a perfect harmony that hangs suspended in the air so that you can almost see it.
  23. Hearing my children laughing from the other room, and knowing they will always be there for each other.
  24. Knowing that I loved more than I didn’t.
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Ten in Ten

This post is going to be short.  I’ve got lentil soup on the stove that’s almost ready to go.  Ten minutes is all I have for today’s cup of tea.

A couple of months ago, I had a birthday.  Truth be told, I would rather not celebrate them anymore, but pretending another year hasn’t passed doesn’t make it so. 

Some people yearn to grow older, especially when they are children.  My brother Rick remarked to me that he used to think time passed very slowly as a kid, but it seems to speed up as he gets older.  I have never felt that time passed slowly.  I view the passage of time much like riding in a car.  If we look straight ahead through the windshield, the scenery draws closer at a manageable speed.  We view what’s ahead, digest it, discuss it and turn our attention to yet another object further in the distance.  But when we turn and look through the side window, the trees and grass zoom past us before we have a chance to appreciate them.  I feel that all my life I’ve been staring out the side window.  To me, life passes like a dizzying dance through the lens of a kaleidoscope.

When I am especially aware of the all too fast passage of time, I often take stock of where I came from and where I’m going.  I will never delight in aging, but I can appreciate some realizations that I missed when I was a younger woman.

  1. Assign less value to material objects.  They’re all going to rust, burn, wrinkle, pill, or dry out eventually.  They’re rarely worth an argument.
  2. Fight for your children.   Hold on to them when they threaten to drift into dangerous waters.   Buoy them with prayer.  Encourage them, guide them, forgive them and love them through life’s storms.
  3. Seek hidden treasure.  The kindest, funniest and smartest people I know were rarely popular when they were young.  Think about this when you are tempted to ignore someone who doesn’t fit your image template.
  4. Find value in the simplest of pleasures.  When I was newly married, an economic crisis demanded that we turn off our hot water heater.  For several months we took cold showers.  I will never again ignore the luxury of having hot water simply by turning on the faucet.
  5. Frequent the library.  There are free books about any subject you can name.  In the library, you are rich as a king.  You can travel anywhere you want to go.  Time has no boundaries.  Your imagination can soar and there is no end to what you can learn.
  6. Search for God.  This will be a life-long journey, but reaps rewards impossible to enumerate.
  7. Laugh at yourself often and at others rarely. 
  8. Spend time with your family while they are here.  It is so easy to take for granted that the people whom you love most will be around forever. They won’t.
  9. Cry when you need to.  Nothing cleanses the soul better than a saline shower.
  10. Acknowledge that The Beatles were right.  All we need is love.

Fifteen in Fifteen

This January, my life was marked by a few major events.  I was a juror in an “accessory to murder” trial.  I turned fifty-five.  My mother was gravely ill. 

 

Thankfully, the trial is over and my mother’s health is improving.  Unfortunately, I am still fifty-five.

 

These events and a recent post by my friend Mary have prompted me to take inventory of my life.  This showed itself as a formidable task that I’m not sure I am quite ready to accept.  Where do I begin?  What is important and what isn’t?  Does anyone care about this stuff anyway?

 

As is my custom when feeling overwhelmed, I decided to start small. Here is my challenge: Without taking more than fifteen minutes, list fifteen things you know.

 

 

  1. I know that life and death are not in the hands of man.
  2. I know that nothing feels as good when you are sick as your mother’s hand on your forehead.
  3. I know that as a parent, you will never do it all right and your children will be a reflection of every good and bad thing you did while you were raising them.
  4. I know that nothing beats the smell of clean sheets dried outside on a sunny winter day.
  5. I know that wool mittens knit by your grandmother catch burrs when you go sledding too close to the woods.
  6. I know that coffee and bagels on the beach at sunrise taste better than a gourmet dinner from a five star restaurant.
  7. I know that life without music would be like toast without butter.  You can do it, but why bother?
  8. I know if you worry that something bad is going to happen, it usually will. 
  9. I know that if you don’t worry, eventually something bad is still going to happen.  Nobody goes through life unscathed.
  10. I know when bad things happen, there is no sight as sweet as your siblings’ faces, no matter how quirky and dysfunctional a family you have.
  11. I know that justice is not always just.
  12. I know that driving a new car is a lot more fun than paying for one.
  13. I know that others don’t care half as much about the way we look as we think they do.
  14. I know if you have taught your children how to love, they will be okay.
  15. I know that sleep is great, but waking up is even better.
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