Monday, June 9, 2008

A short guide to a happy life....

I am OBSESSED with a book I have owned forever and I finally read last night. It is A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen. I love a quote by her about how she made a mistake rushing to the next things and not treasured the little things enough. My search for the exact wording of that quote last night led me to dig out that old book. You can read the entire thing in 20 minutes and it totally rocked my world. I read it twice and it made my heart race. She basically said (in really nice words) exactly how I feel about my life right now. Exactly what is in my heart and has been for the last 2 1/2 years. The part I read over and over was this:
"I learned something many years ago. Something really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had a choice, it would never have been changed at all. And, what I learned from it is what, today, sometimes seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to LOVE the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it completely and utterly..... I learned to be happy."

It goes on to talk about how she met a homeless man and he taught her an amazing life lesson.... he stayed in the cold on the boardwalk facing the water and when she asked him why he never went to detox or to a shelter... he told her "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view." She goes on to say, "And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. That's all. Words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. When I do that he said, I am never disappointed."

So, I could go on forever about this book. About how much it mattered to me. About how she talks about her life as two parts - BEFORE her Mom died and AFTER. I feel so connected to her story in that way. My life now is AFTER. After my Mom died. And I always miss my life BEFORE. But, I sure have learned a lot. And from this day forward, I will make time EVERY SINGLE DAY to Look at the View. I hope you do, too.

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