Monday, April 11, 2011

The grass is always greener

My life hands me unusual gifts, now that my side yard is an RV park. I meet new people all the time. This revolving door of guests has, and continues to, teach me things.

I have grasped a great truth over the last several years, but my experiences here at the park have solidified it: life is beautiful and life is ugly - it doesn't matter where you are or who you're with or where you're going or where you've been.

I'm like everyone else. There have been plenty of nights spent pining away over things I do not have, places I want to go, jobs I'd rather work. The older I get, the more I have those occasional bouts of panic, "This is it. This is the life I get. Have I done everything I want to do?" Such thoughts used to cause my heart to palpitate, but I have a new mindset which shows me that I have done and experienced more than I could have ever imagined. It's like a backward Bucket List! I discover the great experiences of my life as I go along, instead of dictating all of them.

A friend directed me to a poem recently. "Sometimes" by Mary Oliver. A few lines caught my eye:

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

That nails perfectly how I view life at this point. It is not supposed to be a constant cycle of trying to get to the next big thing. When it becomes that, you miss EVERYTHING. This week, as we were driving home, my husband and I marveled at just how beautiful the countryside is. We love it out here. It's no Colorado. Our lake looks nothing like the ocean. Yet, it's beautiful. It's gorgeous. There is wonderment everywhere, if only we will stop and pay attention.

When I pay attention, I am astonished. My children astonish me. My marriage astonishes me. My friends and neighbors astonish me. When I look and hear and see and absorb, I am amazed at the little bits of fabulous I discover.

"The grass is always greener ..."

Maybe. But who said green defines perfect beauty in grass? Why can't brown be beautiful? What about dirt? Dirt can be beautiful and amazing - astonishing, even.

New things cause our hearts to pound harder. New experiences open our eyes to something we may want to consider. New and different is fun - a THRILL! I love change. Yet, if that's all I think about, I am actually missing some of the best parts of my life.

The reality is: eventually that "new thing" will be an "old thing." That "new place" is someone's "old place." The "bright shiny thing" that caught your eye will eventually be the "dull thing" that needs replacing.

Pay attention. Be astonished. Then tell someone about it.

(photo taken amongst the weeds near my repo double-wide)


Annie said...

I just love this. It makes me feel better about never having a "plan". Just can't do it - intuition all the way.

I love change, too. It is an easy way to be awakened to the moment, but there are other ways, too.....

Stopping to look. Sometimes, I actually pretend I'm "just traveling through", and I look at where we live as though we didn't live here. It is SO cool.

Mariza said...

I'm a new follower and loved this post. You are right! DIRT IS BEAUTIFUL. Brown is beautiful.

J. said...

I love that line, be astonished, tell about it - it's a great way to live.

Anonymous said...

Love that line about a "backwards bucket list!" I'll be using that for sure. Makes me feel better about not having a plan.

Sarah said...

That is FANTASTIC! Pay attention, be astonished, tell someone. Sometimes the very greatest adventures, the most beautiful things, are right there in our own backyard, if we just open our eyes long enough to see them. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Love this post today, thanks for the reminder =) Miss you xo

Anonymous said...

Love this post today, thanks for the reminder =) Miss you xo

Eileen said...

Love the reminder to be astonished.

Consider: the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, and, the water bill is probably higher.

Anonymous said...

love this!!!!!!!!!!!!

tiina said...

Brown is beautiful. I think of compost and soil. Wow! My compost pile brings me such joy. After meals putting my ends of greens, apples and other yummy things earthworms just adore. It makes me smile. I think I will take a visit to my pile now and give it a turn. I actually have two which is twice as much fun.
Have a wonderful day!

jennyonthespot said...

Love this. LOVE. Perfect timing :)

jes said...

this really spoke to me. thankyou :))

kirsten said...

so beautiful. and - yes. Exactly. On the good days, I know this, I hear this, I remember to do this. ON the bad.... well. May the bad be few & far between. :) Love this so very much.

Angie said...

Thank you for this reminder!
And thank you to Jennyonthespot for sharing!!!

jennheffer said...

Wow! Great reminder to just stop. Enjoy today! Thanks for this post!!!