Debbie Granick is a parent/childbirth educator and freelance writer. She received a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Public Health, specializing in Maternal and Child Health, from the University of North Carolina. Her previous work includes counseling adolescents and their families in a substance abuse prevention program, teaching tobacco education and reproductive health in a school setting, and consulting with local child care staff on toddler discipline strategies.

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Bringing Home the Good Life

Sitting in my garage, taking advantage of a quiet car to return a few calls, I noticed an empty food processor box on a shelf. “Bringing the Good Life Home” read the logo.

I know it’s just a marketing campaign and they’re trying to sell food processors, but it got me thinking. What is the good life and why isn’t it home already?

I called Cuisinart. They had no answer so I consulted the experts: my two 92-year-old grandmothers. Grandma Mildred (doesn’t everyone have one?) said “it’s going to sleep without worrying. People worry when they don’t have anything to worry about. Just appreciate what you have.” Grandma Fannye (you probably have one of those, too) says “having family around, seeing your great grand-kids grow, having people who love you.”

What about finely shredded vegetables? Where do they fit in?

I thought about my definition: a day when no one poops on the floor or colors on the wall. A day where my husband and I chat on the couch for more than 15 minutes without falling asleep (or having to take someone to the bathroom for the third time); a Sunday morning when the kids agree on a cartoon and we sleep past 6:30 am. So shallow. I know.

The good life changes with our age. To our kids, it’s a great day of play with no time-outs. To us, some peace and quiet. To my parents, financial security. To my grandparents, a healthy day surrounded by loved ones.

Has anyone mentioned blended food or well-diced legumes? No. Not once. I realize saving 15 minutes of vegetable chopping might buy me 15 more minutes on the couch with my husband. But in my brief, but thorough, family survey of “the good life” not one appliance or material object earned recognition.

Regardless of our age or family situation, we all agree that the good life is some intangible happiness, some state of being that brings joy and satisfaction.
And we don’t need to “bring it home” because it’s here already. Oh, great. Another reason to clean the house—I know the good life is here, I just can’t find it under all the clutter.

Appreciate the good life we have. Count blessings this Thanksgiving season. Make a gratitude list with everything good in your life. Add to it every day. Now I gotta run. My “good life” just toddled past me without pants, holding a permanent marker, heading out of sight. Good life, meet real life. “Hey, where you going with that marker…..”

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