Friday, April 17, 2009


"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."-- Iris Murdoch

At the end of his usual morning call the other day, John told me to "Have a good day." My reply to him was "Oh, I will! I'm pretty good at that you know. In fact, I think I've found my "niche" - having good days!" We both had a good yuck over that, but we both knew it was actually true. I do have a gift for having good days, and I have no idea where it came from, since I was raised by people who seemed to excel at having bad ones!

I think one reason my parents weren't happier is that they were looking for something outside themselves to do the trick. They always felt they needed the next big thing - the thing that was just out of reach - and then they would be happy, while I was what John fondly referred to as "a cheap date." All he had to buy me was a Dr. Pepper, and I was as happy as a little clam. Also, people frequently say things to me like "I'm glad you're so easily entertained", because the tiniest things can make me giddy. I wrote about that in my post Euphoria.

Anyway, the longer I live, the more I'm convinced that "stuff" has never made anyone truly happy. The minute the newness wears off, the glow is gone. Then you will be out the door again, searching for the "thing" (or the person, for some) that is going to fix you, and you are never going to find it. Ne-ver, ne-ver, ne-ver!

It is only by going inward, slowing down, clearing away the clutter, staying in the moment and living deliberately, that we are finally able to see and appreciate the tiny miracles - the "continuous small treats" - that abound in our everyday lives. Learn to do this, and you too can become a cheap date - one who gets orgasmic over a musical crescendo or the exciting color combination in a ball of yarn!

P.S. John just called and asked what I was doing. When I told him what I was writing about, he said "Well ultimately, that was probably the most expensive date I've ever been on." "Oh really," I replied. "How so?" "Because it has lasted for nearly 40 years!"


Teri in CO said...

I love the yarn! Have I told you that orange is one of my new favorite colors? And red is an all time favorite!

And did I tell you that it's been SNOWING all day! Yes, it's April 17... and it's cold and snowing... can't wait to get to the Hill Country! =)

musingegret said...

In my browsing around the 'net I'm sensing that our national culture is changing in the regard that you describe about slowing down, de-cluttering one's life, eliminating the need for "things" to provide feel-good rushes. Do you have that impression also as you make new friends while attending the recent social events? The immense popularity and exposure to the Susan Boyle video seems to underscore this changing philosophy as everyone remarks on how joyful they felt while watching it; even news programs running the gamut from PBS to Fox have featured the clip.

Hill Country Hippie said...

Hey Teri, I love the yarn too! It calls to me, in the same way that books do. My last project was for someone else, so it was mostly brown because that's good on her - but I hated working on it!

And yes musingegret, I definitely feel a shift, at least amongst the blogs I read, but then, that's the type of blogs I am attracted to. I really hope the trend is spreading out amongst the general population. It's certainly true in the Texas hill country, which is what drew me here. (Too bad the world judges all of Texas based on a few loud-mouthed yokels. I swear, there are quite a lot of intelligent people here!)

I didn't realize the Susan Boyle thing was so big. My husband just sent it to me yesterday, and when she opened her mouth, I got chills up my spine. I sent it to several friends, but had no idea she had been on news programs, etc!

Linda said...

You have a wonderfully grounded perspective. No wonder you are so happy!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Why thank you my dear!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

that's a lucky talent to have ... !

Hill Country Hippie said...

Indeed it is NJNRR - especially since I have no talent for making moolah!