Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on February 21, 2024 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 4 comments

King of the castle


“I’m on the top of the world,

Looking down on creation”.

Top of the World – The Carpenters

If you had the choice, would you rather own a Rolls-Royce and a villa in France, unlimited financial resources and a trip around the world or a good night’s sleep? It seems like a no brainer unless you happen to be in your “golden years”. You see, the definition of luxuries changes with age.

When a golfer hits a ball perfectly, it’s referred to “hitting it on the sweet spot.” Throwing a perfect game in baseball, scoring 300 points in bowling or getting the elusive 29 hand in crib, are all examples of perfection but normal mortals rarely reach these lofty heights. I have always felt that striving for excellence was far more important than striving for perfection. Perfectionists are often terrible bores.

Recently, I have been feeling on top of the world. No, I didn’t win the 50/50 draw. I do, however, feel like I’ve won a lottery of sorts because I have come to the realization that I am blessed with so many luxuries. At the top of the list is good health followed closely by having so many good friends. One could argue that the two go hand in hand and that friendships are a key determinant of good health.


At seventy-two, I don’t have a lot of pressure anymore. Our children are launched, and my “official” work career is behind me, although I still manage to crawl out of bed three days a week to substitute teach. No more mortgage. No more car. I live a very simple existence.

As a result, my worry meter is very low and as a result, I sleep well. The value of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated in my humble opinion. It may be the greatest luxury of all because when a person is well rested, just about anything is possible.

Slow mornings. When I’m not schlepping my backpack to school, I have the luxury of being a slug. I watch the morning sports recap with a nice cup of coffee and then settle in for an hour of reading. When you’re younger, there’s always somewhere to go and something to do. I believe it’s called responsibility.

Long walks. I walk every day of my life, and nothing gives me more pleasure than a long walk. I’m not necessarily talking about a Camino walk of 800 kilometers. Having the time to walk for an hour or two is a gift. Many years ago when I was a marathon runner, I would often listen to music or a podcast to alleviate boredom. These days, I’m far more interested in listening to the sound of birds even if it’s a murder of crows.

A good book. Retirement has given me the luxury of time and every day, I read for at least two hours. It’s a form of escapism especially when reading fiction but who cares. It is a delicious way to pass the time.

Home cooked meals. I love nothing more than going out for pad Thai or a juicy steak but there is great pleasure in having the time to prepare home cooked meals and to share them with good friends or family.

Power snoozes. Actually, a short midday nap might be closer to the top of my luxury list. It is “the pause that refreshes”. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have the capacity to fall asleep, on demand, in the middle of the day. This is one of the many byproducts of having a low worry meter. When a person is in the trenches of midlife, raising a family and working, there’s just too much going on in your head to be able to hit the snooze button. As shocking as it may seem, I can consume a cup of coffee at lunch time and a mere thirty minutes later, crash on the couch. One thing I’ve noticed is that these short bursts of rest are not accompanied by dreams. I fall asleep quickly and am shocked to wake just as quickly as if nothing had happened.

Time for fun and play. Many retirees have discovered pickleball. Others curl, golf, quilt or play bridge. Add travel to this list. My guitar is always close at hand, and it is indeed a luxury to have the time to learn new (old!) songs. Learning new things is fun and stimulates the brain. At least that’s what I’m hoping. And writing, of course.

Sunrises and sunsets. No explanation required. I never take my sight for granted.

A good conversation. It’s a wonderful thing to sit and chat with a dear friend one on one or gather with a group for a fulsome discussion on something that matters… or merely shooting the breeze. I love being in the presence of people who are smarter than me. I don’t have to work at that!

The freedom to choose. So many people do not have the privilege of choice. I know how fortunate I am. One of my most recent choices is to drastically reduce my intake of news. So much of it is depressing. I don’t mind being accused of being an ostrich but not obsessing about things over which I have no control allows me to have power snoozes and a good night’s sleep. By the way, ostriches, contrary to popular belief, do not bury their heads in the sand when scared or frightened. When an ostrich senses danger and cannot run away, it will flop to the ground and remain still, attempting to blend in with the terrain. Now aren’t you glad you read all the way down the page?! I simply flop on the couch and close my eyes!

I have an abundance of luxuries.

Most of them don’t come with an expensive price tag.

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,

Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,

So, oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”

Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin

Have a great weekend… and sleep in, if you have the luxury of doing so!


What goes up, must come down

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