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August 18, 2023

It's good to be alive

Finally! I’ll swear it on the holy book: I’m thrilled to be alive! On May 27, I plunged into the ocean of my 76th year, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Last night, I had dinner with my two great-grandsons, who were as happy as young frogs jumping into a bowl of chocolate. Their father and grandfather were there too, with the human bottle mom, ready to breastfeed between two bites of sushi.

Being happy to be alive is understanding and appreciating what truly brings us joy. I guess each one of us is on a quest to find a happiness that’s in tune with our own reality: age, whether or not we’re in a relationship, work, family, creative interests or social life. One thing is certain, we all dream of being happy and content with the life we live. I thank the heavens every day for making me the way I am: reasonable and realistic. Just like everyone else, I’ve had my ups and downs, my miserable moments and my times of glory. I continue to have them. I’ve matured like a century-old oak tree: highly resistant and simple to please.

At my age, I don’t have enough fingers to count my blessings to be able to do so many things: walking without a cane, living on my own in my bungalow, keeping up my home, cooking meals, driving my Mini Cooper, running my errands, devouring thick books with the help of reading glasses, and mostly, being able to think and write with a keyboard.

All these daily activities make me utterly happy. I slip on a sexy pair of leggings, attach my bra, dry my hair, brush my teeth, apply cream to my face, pick out my coloured glasses and a shade of lipstick for the day. I just love to put my laundry on the clothesline to dry, water my lupine beds, tie my running shoes, stir my fruit jams and pedal on my stationary bike while watching fictional stories on the TV at night.

I spent my entire career as a businesswoman imagining the inaccessible, setting the bar very high, chasing my unrealistic goals, counting each penny and fighting cyclopes who were unable to see the vision of where I was headed.

Ensconced in my country home, I’m delighted with the simple life I live today and enjoy every single minute of it. Maybe you’ll think it’s because I’m happy-go-lucky, and you’d be right. A call from my grandson, a friend dropping by for a visit, a delicious apple pie, a nicely written letter, a friendly conversation… I take delight in all these little moments of happiness.

Just like easygoing people, let’s try together to tame contentment – this precious elixir for happiness. Let’s enjoy small daily pleasures like a stranger’s smile, a good cup of coffee, a friendly conversation, a stolen kiss and all the nuggets of wisdom that can be found in the ordinariness of life, and whose value proves immeasurable.

As Jacques Brel sings, “Let’s stop looking for perfection, the unattainable star.” Let’s stop looking for perfection in things, people and, above all, ourselves.