“What if you woke up one day and it turned out your whole life was only a dream?”
My older daughter Casey shared this quote with me the other day. She read it somewhere recently and it really spoke to her.
As she and I went back and forth about the craziness of this concept and how it would feel and what it would be like, what struck me the most was this: She said she’d be devastated. Because– and I quote, “I have a pretty damn good life.”
I was not expecting that.
I was not expecting that, given our family history– her father’s death when she was just a baby, my recent divorce and all of the preceding circumstances, and some of her own personal struggles in the past– I just wasn’t expecting to hear that she loves her life so much.
On sleepless nights, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about everything I haven’t been able to give my kids (read: an intact happy family) and the variety of loss they’ve experienced in their lives. I think as parents, especially, we tend to think it’s all much more complicated than it really is. And although at times my kids do feel the rough edges of brokenness rub up against them, it’s not how they define themselves or how they view their lives as a whole. There are tons of little things that give them so much happiness and make them feel loved.
And as it turns out, it’s the little things that make life wonderful, even when the very big things don’t measure up.
My daughter’s remark got me thinking. There are really only a few things any us of need to feel like it’s a pretty wonderful life after all. And the more people I talk to, the more I’m convinced that especially during the Christmas season, we cannot be reminded of this enough.
So what exactly makes the short list?
Love that makes us feel secure
Feeling accepted for who we really are
A passion that lights us up
Lots of laughter
Being surrounded by people who genuinely like us
These are the things that make a wonderful life. It isn’t about creating an atmosphere of perfection. We never could anyway. It’s about tons of love, grace, and laughter. It’s about really connecting with each other. It’s about pursuing things that speak to our souls and set our hearts on fire. It’s about friends that feel like family and family that feels like friends.
George Bailey would’ve lassoed the moon for Mary. But even that was too much.
Mary toasted her friends simply by wishing them this~
“Bread. That this house may never know hunger.
Salt. That life may always have flavor.”
To which George added, “And wine! That joy and prosperity may reign forever!”
And in the end, it’s the bread, salt, and wine of life. The little things that make it wonderful, even when the big things may not be perfect.
Cheers to the little things~
And cheers to a truly wonderful life.