I really enjoyed your article, John. Absolutely, positively loved it, in fact.
I have a small issue with these lines that I have quoted here:
“The self help gurus and personal growth experts, however well intentioned, don’t help. They tell me to get up insanely early, read thousands of books a week, take cold showers, declutter, and hack every facet of my life. Then I’ll be perfect and happy.”
Frankly, my issue is that not all folks who help others with personal growth do the things you mention. In fact, some of us are way more along the lines of Brenda Ueland, writing in her book “If You Want To Write” in which she states, “ So you see, imagination needs moodling — long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”
I realize you are not necessarily writing here specifically about writing, but more generally about creating a life. And that takes a great amount of moodling, cat playing with, napping and contemplation.
Creating a great life does not need hacks, cold showers, or grinding (my currently least favorite popular word). It takes a willingness to live, to embrace the life we have.
Can we grow? Of course. Improve ourselves? Without a doubt. Its just that we don’t need listicles of 350 simple ways to live a better life to do it. All we need is a willingness to embrace our souls and live.
As a young man long ago, I worked in a place similar to where your mom lives. I saw lots of happy people, grateful for the simplicity of their lives. Those memories have served me well throughout my life and I learned to help others enjoy their lives by creating simplicity and honor and joy.
I’m glad your mother has such a place.