How Wonderful Life Really Is
Anna Quindlen

  

It's ironic that we forget so often how wonderful life really is.  We have more time than ever before to remember it.  The men and women of generations past had to work long, long hours to support lots and lots of children in tiny, tiny houses.  The women worked in factories and sweatshops and then at home, too, with two bosses--the one who paid them, and the one they were married to, who didn't.

There are new generations of immigrants now, who work just as hard, but those of us who are second and third and fourth generation are surrounded by nice cars, family rooms, patios, pools--the things our grandparents thought only rich people had.  Yet somehow, instead of rejoicing, we've found the glass half empty.  Our jobs take too much out of us and don't pay enough.  We're expected to pick the kids up at preschool and run the microwave at home.

C'mon, let's be honest.  We have an embarrassment of riches.  Life is good.

I don't mean in any cosmic way.  I never think of my life, or my world, in any big, cosmic way.  I think of it in all its small component parts:  the snowdrops, the daffodils; the feeling of one of my kids sitting close beside me on the couch; the way my husband looks when he reads with the lamp behind him; fettuccine Alfredo, fudge; Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice.

Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement.  It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen.  We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.
  

It is her commonplace form
of wisdom that make
readers trust and respect Quindlen. She uses her
candid, heart-to-heart
narrative voice along
with her novel-writer descriptive skills to
show readers how good
we have it in life.

  
   

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