I found the recipe for a happy life

June 21, 2023

At the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. April 2023.

The other afternoon on the patio I opened a book a friend had given me to a scene in which a mom was putting notes in her daughter’s lunch box.

It’s not your imagination, she wrote. Most people are awful.

I burst out laughing.

It’s not really true.

Or is it?

Life is so simple, although some of us make it difficult for no good reason.

Note that I said “good” reason.

Of course, there is no “good” reason to make life difficult. Because it’s really simple:

We are here to love and be loved. To give and receive grace. To forgive and be forgiven.

It really is such a simple recipe.

Anything else is just…noise.

I took the photo in this post on a trip in which the joy of that simplicity was obvious. We were visiting M’s brother and his wife in Boston. We had many laughs and good talks. We met our our adorable and fun little grandnieces. We ate delicious food. We visited museums. We talked about what we saw.

We saw so many beautiful arrangements at the Isaabella Stewart Gardner Museum that weekend…of plants, of flowers, of sculptures, of paintings. But this still life spoke to me of the peace of a simple life, one full of the only things that matter.

I looked at the page in my book, then the photo, and thought, “People really can be awful…….but when they are, it’s not about you at all. It’s about them.

Pay no attention to them or their toxins. They don’t matter.

Just bask in the simple joys of a happy life.

(The book I quoted from is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and it is excellent!)


14 comments on “I found the recipe for a happy life
  1. Laurie Stone says:

    It took me a long time to realize it’s many times about them. Being an empath, I always figure I’ve done something wrong. I finally learned to look closer, and many times, it’s their bad mood or something’s going on.

    • Yes and sometimes we don’t know what it is. We just know it isn’t us. My husband and I were talking about just this subject and how people see others not as the other is but as they are. So their lenses, their filters. Not the other person as they are. Back in the day, a Silicon Valley marketing guru once said “Perception is reality” and he’s right. There’s no such thing as objective truth.

  2. Alana says:

    I’m with Laurie. It took me a long time to learn this lesson. Which reminds me, I left off reading Lessons in Chemistry several months ago. I need to resume reading it.

  3. Glad you had a wonderful time in my backyard. Really like the points you made.

  4. Lauren says:

    The Gardner Museum is one of my faves. I used to go study there in college. And I agree. We make life more difficult than it needs to be.

  5. Rita says:

    Yes, get all the joy you can. Limit, as much as you can, interactions with toxic personalities.

  6. Jennifer says:

    It’s something that I’ve really been focusing on these past few years. Basking in the simple joys.

  7. I’ve always wanted to visit that museum.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "I found the recipe for a happy life"
  1. […] The recipe for a happy life is pretty simple, Carol Cassara points out on her blog. Read about what she’s discovered right HERE. […]

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