Linda Ronstadt sang it so simply, It’s so easy to fall in love…I don’t care if it’s with the sound of rain on your roof, I don’t care if it’s with the smell of your freshly bathed baby, I don’t care if it’s with the feel of your fuzziest blanket on your feet on your sofa on a chilly winter night, I don’t care if it’s with the taste of the most perfect peach of your summer, I don’t care if it’s with the sight of a freshly bloomed gardenia bud on the bush outside your window…Just fall in love with something good, LOVE something, as many somethings as you possibly can, a whole lot.
Some people might think I’m ridiculous and silly, the way I am so crazy in love with my exquisite black walnut floors, or how I am so crazy in love with the tidy results of skillfully folding my sheets and towels, the way I am so crazy in love with my granddaughters when they say or write something brilliant or clever, and the sounds of their laughter, or how I am so crazy in love with the way I breathe so deeply and fill my lungs so thoroughly when I am standing at the edge of the ocean and tasting that salty gritty overspray on my lips the first time I go up to the beach after a long dull dreary winter…In my life I’ve loved them all. AND, if I had to, I could name a dozen more, or think of a hundred more…I am fully absorbed in the act of being glad for what is good and noticing and appreciating all the things I love, and if you are feeling like there is still something lacking in your life, something amiss in how you feel in this body on earth at this time, maybe, just maybe, STEP 21 is for you.
I think STEP 21 is a nice way to end this project. I don’t know for sure if this is good for everybody but I do know for sure it’s good for me. I can think, just off the top of my head, of SO MANY things I love, and the more I add to my love column every day, the less noticeable my dislike column becomes and the better I feel.
I know people who are happy on the outside and smile widely, and put on a great show of ‘everything’s fine’ but are deeply sad on the inside. I know people for whom nothing in their life is the way they hoped it was going to be. I know people who have reinvented themselves and recreated themselves and have been reborn in every way imaginable. I know people who have had very hard times and splendidly super times. I know people who lead seemingly satisfying lives, who in truth are not all that satisfied with much of anything.
Much like you dear reader, I have been very happy and also very sad in my days on this planet, but more than anything else, I have tried to be a good human and hope that you have as well. There are some people I know who will never ever think outside of their tiny boxes, and there are some people I know who have awakened in a way that is so bold and big and beautiful that they can’t imagine ever going back to who they once were. We are all so different, but I do believe that one thing we have in common is a want to love and be loved.
Some have had little success in the romantic love department and some have hit the jackpot. I know some women who love shoes and dogs and some men who love cars and golf, but who have not found any success or satisfaction in romance. I know some people who have had great success in the romance arena but little success in any other part of their lives. I know people who find love in the four-legged-tail-wagging creatures who greet them at the door every evening after work, and I know people who find love in their kitchen cupboards and drawers and at their stove while they cook and create feasts. I know people who find love in the ebony and ivory keys at their piano, and I know people who find love in the strings of a guitar. I know people who find love in the soil and earth and air and water, and I know people who find love in their new 60 inch Samsung.
I know a lot of people who have been through a lot of different experiences and I found that we are all so unique in how we get through this thing called life. I have found this 21 STEP program very useful. Some of you might think it was a big waste of time to read these 21 ideas to a better life, but for me it was pretty awesome to force myself to think about things in a different way. Some of my friends were going through some difficult situations over these last few months and I felt inspired to write about ways that we can all change for the better. This is the end. Not of RStar’s Common Grounds but the end of our 21 STEP program. Was it helpful? Did you find any value at all in reading any of the words I wrote over these weeks? If not, sorry you wasted your time. If so, stick around, I am not going to stop writing any time soon…
The other day my daughter and I were talking outside in our shared driveway, and she told me something I wrote to her in her card from her high school graduation that she’s never forgotten, “I wouldn’t trade our worst days for a life without you in it” and I thought when she said this, wow, that’s some good stuff…but more than that, I thought, well, maybe this is what makes life so beautiful. Love. No matter what kind of life it is, and no matter what kind of love it is. Sure, romantic love with great sex and great kissing and candle lit dinners and travel has got to be fabulous, but honestly so is discovering that scarlet bee balm looks fabulous in your garden behind the lavender, or that it turns out you really enjoy golf, or spin classes, or working at the food pantry once a week, or volunteering with the ladies auxiliary at the local fire company, or…or…or…there is SO MUCH that is wonderful in life, we just have to be able to love it. It’s so easy.