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The Small, Happy Life

small happy life

The other night, I was talking to one of my dearest friends as the sun set over my building’s rooftop. It had been a busy day/week/month/year at work, and as we sipped bubbly wine, nibbled on cheese and crackers from Pike Place Market, and eased into the soft padding of the lounge chairs, we had a really genuine conversation about life and adulthood and meaning and purpose… and if we were succeeding at finding it.

And then I read this article entitled “The Small, Happy Life” (the NY Times has been crushing it lately), and this excerpt really resonated with me:

Kim Spencer writes, “I used to be one of the solid ones — one of the people whose purpose was clearly defined and understood. My purpose was seeing patients and ‘saving lives.’ I have melted into the in-between spaces, though. Now my purpose is simply to be the person … who can pick up the phone and give you 30 minutes in your time of crisis. I can give it to you today and again in a few days. … I can edit your letter. … I can listen to you complain about your co-worker. … I can look you in the eye and give you a few dollars in the parking lot. I am not upset if you cry. I am no longer drowning, so I can help keep you afloat with a little boost. Not all of the time, but every once in a while, until you find other people to help or a different way to swim. It is no skin off my back; it is easy for me.”

Although I am constantly trying to find purpose, and give meaning, and do the most that I can with the time and resources that I have… I found it incredibly relieving and inspiring to be reminded that maybe, our purpose is also just that the people who are important to us feel loved, and cared for, and know that in moments of joy, or sadness, or everyday life, we’re there… and happy to be.

{Photo via Her Paperweight}

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