I am here with my cat Vixen watching the snow fall, and feeling very grateful for how my life has turned out. I am not the smartest, wisest, or most hard working person I know. And yet, here I am.
I think I have generally made good decisions, but I have also made a number of mistakes. That my mistakes have not ruined my life is … I am tempted to say miraculous, but of course that’s nonsense. Good things happen to people who are better and worse than I am, and bad things happen to people who are better and worse than I am. There’s no secret plan. No hidden hands are pulling strings. Life is just chaos. We can ameliorate it a bit, but we can’t eliminate it. We can choose whether to build a house on sand, but the snow falls on the just and the unjust alike.
I’m not sure I would even want my life to have been perfect. Some of my most entertaining memories are from times when things went wrong. I once spent 24 hours in snowstorm, trapped in a crappy little Chevy S10 pickup truck that was nearly out of gas. I started the engine for a few minutes once every couple of hours, just to keep from freezing. All I had to eat was a frozen pizza I found behind the seat. I had nothing to drink at all.
It’s not 60 days in a Chilean mine, but it’s about as life-threatening as my memories get.
I have been really phenomenally lucky, all thing considered.
I wonder about my family and my friends, sometimes. They are good people, by and large. They have made decisions, some better than mine, some worse than mine. Chance and chaos have taken their toll. I look at their lives, and I would not trade with any of them. Do they feel the same way about mine? I really hope so. I hope that despite the things that have gone wrong, that they appreciate what they have, and would keep it even if offered the chance to trade.
The snow is a couple of inches deep now. I wasn’t expecting this. It was 60 degrees yesterday (15.5 degrees Celsius).
I really hated this house when we bought it. I hated it for not being what I wanted. I wanted two basins in the master bath. I wanted a vaulted ceiling in the living room. I wanted hardwood floors. And so on. I am more materialistic than I would like. I think it’s because I grew up poor (although even then, I never truly wanted for anything — I had a safe home, and food, and clothes, and toys, and parents who loved me).
Desire is the source of all suffering, or so the Buddhists say. There’s some truth in that, obviously.
I have been noticing more about the house than what it isn’t, the past few days. Being grateful for what is, rather than resenting what isn’t. I would like to do more of that.
I just noticed that the yellow flower that bloomed yesterday, the first flower I have seen here, is covered by snow. I am going to go put a plastic cup over it. Maybe it will survive.