Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's OK To Love Your Life

Each year around now, I turn contemplative, as the date dictates I should. Back when I was editing magazines, I'd write an editorial that outlined everything I had learned that year, and the goals I had for the following year. It was an exercise in humility ... did I do enough this year? Will my readers be sufficiently impressed? Are my goals lofty enough for next year? Ugh.
The year 2009 has been a tumultuous one for me. Virtually nothing is the same in my life today as it was a year ago. And I mean big stuff ... husband, home, job, pets, friends. As one new friend cogently stated "life circumstances changed." Indeed. But I'm not writing today to whine about all my self-induced change (because that's what it was) or lament about relics of the past. My message today is that I love my life; and it's OK for you to love yours as well.
I experienced a little epiphany the other day. As I sat on the floor playing with my early Christmas present from my sweetie, a 10-week-old Cairn Terrier puppy I named Pearl, I felt a twinge of guilt. At the moment just prior to that, amidst Pearl's puppy growling and air-twirling, I felt sheer and total bliss, utter happiness. My conscience said to me ... "shouldn't you be doing something that makes you miserable, like cleaning toilets, or 'querying' editors about writing assignments?" I texted my sweetie and asked: "What's up with that? Catholic guilt or something?" Why must I feel guilty about being truly happy, for once in a long, long time? The answer is that I don't. So it's true ... I don't have a high-powered office job anymore; I take care of a few dozen animals every day on this farm; I cook supper from scratch every night; I knit and sew the things we need like potholders, curtains and wash cloths; I clean, organize and do laundry; I cheer when I see dead rodents that the dogs or cats have killed outside (and sometimes inside!); and I wait with anticipation for my sweetie to get home from the office every night because ... I love this new life we've created together. (And I love him more than words can express.) For me, it's a life full of inquiry; so much more than when I sat in an office chair every day and was assigned the tasks of creating 5-year plans, performance evaluations, competitive analyses, and the like. Each day is different--I never know what I'll find when I step outside the door and into the barnyard--and by my own choosing. 
I was chatting with MaryJane Butters on the phone last week and I shared my "epiphany" with her. She seconded my conclusion and said "yes, why can't we just sit and play with a puppy if we want to, or grandchildren" or whatever for that matter. It's OK to love your life exactly as it is, this day. Embrace those moments of clarity, silence the inner chatter, and revel in the bliss of a puppy's gentle yip or a grandbaby's smile. We don't have to feel guilty or busy ourselves with other, "more important" work because ... there simply isn't any.


  1. Bravo! Perfectly penned. :) HAPPY 2010.

  2. I think I need to copy this post and read it every morning, your so very right! Thanks for the inspiration and for including me in your life by way of this blog. I have watched your transition as I followed you from the publicaiton where I first found your blog to your new life and I have cheered you along all the way. Happy New Year!

  3. I'm a long time subscriber of Hobby Farm and Hobby Farm Home and I started following you on Twitter about 6 months ago. I was just asking my partner what happened to you since I no longer saw you writing the opening letter in the magazines and you weren't tweeting much.

    I'm glad I found you and I'm super happy that your life is so great! I'm also thrilled to find that you are blogging your adventures on your farm. That's one of my goals for 2010. I want to blog all the little things I learn daily by living on a small farm in snowy upstate ny.

    Thanks for keeping us posted! You seem like a very cool person! Anyone who follows their bliss is definitely someone to know. It's so rare these days since it's often not the easiest path!

    Happy 2010.

    Eddie (eddiejams on twitter)

  4. You will find yourself on the floor playing with your puppy more than you ever dreamed.Enjoy!

  5. I'm recalling a favorite quote:

    "That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet." - Emily Dickinson

    Always a good reminder to live in the present!

  6. It sounds like you have it way better than before. This world has a warped sense of success, in my opinion. It is also my opinion that you have now found true success. Good article.

  7. First off, I love that you were chatting with MaryJane Butters, she is one amazing woman! I get that guilt thing. Not as bad as I used to, but it's been over 4 years since I left my full time job to move to the country. It was hard at first,like somehow the work I am doing here as a farm wife isn't as important because it doesn't come with a big paycheck. But I think I'm finally used to it. Luckily I have a supportive husband who loves a home cooked dinner every night!

  8. Life isn't about the big moments, it's about the quiet ones, isn't it!? Something I try to remember but often overlook. Thanks so much for your encouraging and quite timely post. :) Enjoy your puppy!

  9. I cannot believe how much of what you said is so similar to my own life! I am starting over. I, too, feel extraordinarily reflective after the last couple of years. Nothing of my former life is the same except for family and yet even some of that is different i.e. my parents aren't living with me after having been for the last 10 years and I am no longer living with my kids. See my blog especially the last few blog entries and you will realize you are so not alone in your new journey. We need to remember to not feel guilt about our happiness and to be happy in the present. Otherwise, what is the use?! I affirm you! Thank you for your blog!

  10. Well said. It's time we all, but women in particular, stop letting others dicatate our priorities. Caring for those we love often brings the most joy.