The aroma of banana bread is baking in the oven. Songs from Sting are playing in the great room. The washer and dryer are working to clean today’s laundry while Mike irons his dress shirts. We’ve just returned from Sprouts where we purchased a week’s worth of fresh vegetables and I am boiling eggs for future breakfasts. My niece will be coming soon for afternoon tea and my level of contentment is soaring. It would be difficult to feel any better than I do right now.
I suppose that my satisfaction is a sign of my age. It doesn’t take much these days to feel blessed. I’ve learned over time what is most important in life and it certainly isn’t things. It’s a sense of security, enough healthy food to feed my energy, and great moments with family and friends. I enjoy good music and the opportunity of another day whether it be sunny with blues skies or cold, wet and grey.
I spent the morning planning for a Pre Calculus study session with my grandsons. It’s nice to know that my brain is still working, probably better than my knees. I also created lessons for some young men who are learning Algebra I, a couple of youngsters who are mastering middle school math, and two little tikes who are learning how to tell time, read a calendar, and add numbers. Having a purpose each day is priceless and does much to boost my optimism. I see young people working very hard to learn and to move toward their own futures. They give me faith that the world will ultimately be just fine.
We humans are rather amazing. We don’t just hunt and grow food. We turn it into delicacies. We don’t just talk to communicate. We turn our voices into musical instruments with our singing. We use our words to paint lovely pictures. There is something quite miraculous about the things that we do. Our creativity and curiosity have led us to great heights throughout history and I can’t help but believe that we will continue to use our magnificent intellects to solve the world’s problems. We have always ultimately risen to every occasion and I don’t see why we won’t continue to do that.
A young man who was once my student is looking for a job. He earned a degree in petroleum engineering, a rather incredible accomplishment, but he is not from a world filled with contacts. The great thing is that with only a few strokes of the keyboard of my computer I was able to put him in touch with generous people who work in the world of oil and gas. They are eager to help, just as people usually are.
It would be easy to only see the really bad aspects of the world, but I choose not to do so. Dwelling on evil only invites depression. Instead I have always found that the key is to find the good people who are so much in the majority. I was happy to hear one of my grandsons following that same path. He recently boasted with great joy that he feels confident about the future. I suspect that he will be very much part of the new generation that tackles difficulties and I can’t think of any way better to do that than with a sense that all will be well with just a bit of work.
Of course it is important to share what I have with those who are less fortunate. Not everyone lives in the kind of luxury that I enjoy. They may have dangerous living conditions and worry about where they will find food for the next meal. They have serious problems that threaten to overwhelm them. It’s up to those of us who “have” to help those who “have not” both with tangible offerings and educational opportunities. The old saw about teaching someone how to fish rather than just giving them a fish is only half right. Sometimes they also need that initial fish just to have enough energy and ambition to learn.
At my age one never knows how much time is left. That can be a depressing thought or it can be an impetus to make the most of every single day. We just don’t know when we will hear our last song or eat our last meal, so why not savor every second to the utmost? Taking joy out of even the smallest of experience is good for the soul and helps to make the heart healthy.
It’s also important to have a willingness to learn and change. It’s never too late to take that class in geology or to tackle a new language. Keeping the mind alive and alert seems to gush lots of happy serotonin through the brain. It makes each moment feel a bit more adventurous.
The school bus will soon bring the children from the neighborhood back home. Hearing those lovely little voices never fails to bring a smile to may face. On this day of contentment it will be the cherry on top of my glorious mood. Life is good.