Every day on rising, I start with the one thought I’ve had for decades: this is a glorious win; this is another day in paradise.
Seriously. I mean it. And this while acknowledging that on some of those days I was dealing with the loss of a loved one or heartbreak or a life-changing financial setback.
It’s still paradise when I say it is.
This paradise is not Pollyannish, naive, blind, murmured timidly with blinkers on and hands over my ears to keep the bad things out. But eyes open, loving the moments for their richness and immediacy.
I’m not spiritual. This isn’t some stoic acceptance of god’s plan or a zen karmic equanimity.
It’s straight-up momentary delight, extended beyond the moments that might “deserve” it. It’s this moment’s Paraguayan guitar music and cool desert breeze and morning coffee, all maintained with the psychic sustain pedal through the chores and challenges that every day brings.
It’s acknowledging the privilege of a designed life that includes more leisure than most have, and more adventure than most choose. Rachel and I paid our dues to earn that privilege, and I claim every day that we live it as paradise.
Why wouldn’t you? If, after spending years crafting your circumstances, you then lived the plan in action, how could you label that anything but your best life, anything but paradise?
It’s easy to give setbacks too much credence, to lament that mechanical breakdown or that health issue or that distant barking dog who just won’t shut up. And to have those negatives color all the other moments with bleak and black.
It’s easy to blame anything but your attitude for how you see the world and how you live in it.
It’s harder to choose something beyond your circumstances, and to stand inside that declaration as if your life depended on it.
But hard or easy, whether reasonable arguments against or overwhelming evidence for – circumstances be damned.
I declare paradise.