Perfect is a Pipe Dream

Recently I have been fantasizing about running away. Not just taking a few days off. I mean leaving my responsibilities behind in search of a place where I can spend the rest of my days living footloose and fancy-free. Doesn’t that sound like heaven?

Everyone is overburdened these days, it seems, and there’s no end in sight. Life just keeps getting more complicated. If we’re lucky, we get to take a break now and then, travel some place new, and remember what it’s like to be in the moment and let our cares drift away. Unfortunately, when we return home, there are piles of work to be done, decisions to be made, and always, always dust piling up on the furniture.

So now I am daydreaming about what it will be like to retire and where Peter and I want to end up. In fact, we discuss this topic endlessly. So far we’ve considered many different options, yet we keep changing our minds about our ultimate retirement destination. Mexico? Europe? Florida? New Orleans? Live aboard a sailboat and travel along the coast, maybe venture to the Caribbean?

It all sounds wonderful, but then I remember I have a business to run—and I’m too young to retire (darn!). Plus how would I feel about leaving family and friends behind? I know plenty of women who have left the area, moved to new locales, and found happiness.

That’s another topic I am mulling over a lot lately. What is it that makes me truly happy? Is it a place? The people? Good weather? Am I looking for happiness outside of myself when I should really look within?

You know that saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” It’s so true and so telling. I think most of us would agree that happiness can be an elusive thing. Plus it seems like today with a barrage of messages from social media, advertising, and the universe, there seems to be more pressure on us to live the perfect life.

Perfect is a pipe dream. It’s never going to happen. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can take stock of the little things that make us happy: the tasty soft-boiled egg Peter cooked me for breakfast, the smell of rosemary from the bush outside my door, the exquisite beauty of tulips that seem to magically grow in the vase, and the sweet sound of birdsong. These small pleasures are the key to being happy.

In fact, something as simple as breathing can help make your day better. Make sure you take the time today to pay attention to your breath and focus on the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Being in the moment and taking pleasure in the simple things in life are what help keep us sane.

Of course, daydreaming a little every now and then can’t hurt either. Here’s to you and your dreams!

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

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