The Quest for The Good Life

I admire confident people, especially people who are confident about the unknown things of life.  You know the kind of people I’m talking about.  You tell them you’re worried about the economy and its strange, grinding lack of real improvement.  They laugh and say “Economy, schmonomy!  Things go up, things go down, things are turning around, study the charts!  Buy low, sell high!”

Then there are the confident ones who don’t worry about tomorrow and provide you with a simplified response to life’s existential questions.

“You think too much.”

What on earth is “the good life?”

In 2007, a movie called The Bucket List was released.  Two men are dying from lung cancer; one is rich, the other is poor.  The poor man has a list of things he wants to do before he dies and the rich man helps him to cross things off the list.  Like a bad country music song, they go sky-diving, visit the Taj Mahal, see the pyramids, and ride motorcycles over the Great Wall of China.

I never actually saw the movie; you can read more about it here in Wikipedia.

Is that the good life?  Doing things Rob Reiner thinks are important?  The movie got a mixed bag of reviews, but the term “bucket list” became part of the American vocabulary.  Facebook is a popular place to see what things men and women are “crossing off” their bucket lists.  Skipping around the Internet this morning, I see there is even a website where one could track and achieve their life goals, cross things off their bucket list.  I’m sure there’s an app for it.  I’m not going to post the link here because it kind of made me sick when I visited the site.

“Go horseback riding on the beach”

“Ride an upside down roller coaster.”

“Work for Mother Theresa.”

Life is not a list of things to do or places to go before you die.  If anyone wanted to see the definition of the word MOAR, it would be on a website dedicated to helping people cross things off their bucket lists.


The good life is not more stuff, more running around, more consumption of energy to visit twenty places some smart alecks think are great tourist destinations.

Maybe the good life is just sitting still.

It’s just my existential crisis.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been tossing and turning and thinking about “the good life” all week and how I’d just like to make some chocolate chip cookies in my non-existent spare time.

The Good LifeOr catalog all my fabric in my sewing room.

Or write a book.

Visiting the pyramids?  No thanks, not in this lifetime, no matter what some “confidence man” says about it.  And I’m certainly not going to spend the rest of my life pushing and shoving my way around the planet so I can say I did this and that before I died.


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5 Responses to The Quest for The Good Life

  1. Loosehead Prop says:

    I envy single-minded people. People who never have a doubt about themselves or what they want. People who never feel divided about what they should do next.

    The Great Santini was my hero that way. Utterly undivided. Utterly sure of himself.

    And in the end, very wrong in some of the most important ways. Redeemed by his final decision?

    I can be like that, but it takes complete letting go of everything else, and I’m not good at that. We are born free, and everywhere in chains. You aren’t good at that, either. Few of us are.

    Are you saying that these books are taking a bucket list approach to the problem of what to do next? So perhaps they aren’t reliable guides to what to do next except to soothe the nervous ego. Perhaps they can still help reveal what the ego is anxiously trying to protect, because somewhere that way lies the core of being, the who and why.

    • Another plug for reading material! After “Kitchen Boy” it will be “The Great Santini.”

      No, the books are just cosmetic, props if you will. I’ve hardly read them yet.

  2. Mary Conant says:

    Well, as the saying goes, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans”. As we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I’m not fond of the “bucket list” premise either and I’d rather like to do whatever gives me pleasure right around home. We moved away from New England to Florida but I miss New England so whenever we return I do have a list of places I’d like to go to in order to rejuvenate my New England spirit. Some people say, “Oh, when I retire I’d like to do” this or that but oftentimes once retired they do nothing of the sort. Life is to be lived each day as each one of us sees fit and if that means just sitting around then so be it.

  3. Mary Conant says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say that we could possibly make those cookies at some point too! And, ask you about that fabric stash on whether or not you still have some of that Ralph Lauren wicker look fabric. 😉 Hugs to you, Julie-Ann and please remember to save me some garlic from your fantastic garden. ❤

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