Good People Abound

Life-altering decisions may be best made during periods of relative serenity. I have heard and read that suggestion many times, and not just recently. The advice is probably sound, so I will plan to heed it unless circumstances forcefully argue otherwise.  That having been said, I’ve been bouncing around, mostly alone, in a fairly large house for upward of five months. I am comfortable in the house and I love the view, but it was a lot of house for my wife and me. It’s even more house for me, alone. The idea of selling the house, though, brings up other matters that surround such a potential change. Do I want to trade in a large house for a smaller one in a blood red pocket of America where I’ve lived for almost seven years? Or might selling the house present an opportunity to look elsewhere for a place where my political and social views are not so out of step with the mainstream?

Aside from the political and social isolation (though, to acknowledge reality, I gratefully am part of an even smaller pocket of progressive thinking and friendly people in my church), I am spatially distant from my remaining family. That said, though, they are scattered all around…Mexico to California to Texas to Ohio. Perhaps I should consider an even more radical change, like heading out to our original first-choice of places to which we might have relocated: Oregon. Or another pipedream I’ve harbored for years: the northeast or, even more distant, the Canadian Maritimes. I do not know whether it would even be possible for me to move to Canada; I think the restrictions may be too great. Even more radical, but possibly doable, would be Scandinavia. The idea of living in a place where the concept of social responsibility is engrained in one’s mind is appealing.

I think I may be engaged in escapist fantasy; trying to erase or dull the reality of the present by dreaming about the future. I do not have sufficient financial resources to pursue several of the ideas rattling around in my head. And I probably do not have the courage, either. Yet is it courage that’s required to make such significant changes, or it is fear; fear that one cannot long tolerate unwelcome, externally imposed change? That question merits long, honest, and deep consideration. All these questions in my head warrant such examination.


I just watched a video I recorded in July 2011, announcing the decision my wife and I made to “at least temporarily” shutter our business. I attempted to be funny in the announcement but I think I failed. I made some statements in the video about our plans that never came to fruition (growing enormous vegetable gardens, taking many long road trips, etc.).  The image of  me in that video seems, now, to be a much younger man. And I guess I was; about nine years younger. I think, perhaps, I should pay heed to that video and attempt to follow the plan I laid out.


I just watched another video, this one about the world’s first happiness museum. An analyst with the Happiness Research Institute defines happiness as having three components: life evaluation (how satisfied is one with the course of her life); daily emotional experience, also known as affective happiness; and life meaning, our our sense of purpose.  Another reason to consider Copenhagen and environs as my next home.


Yesterday, I was visited by a woman from church, who brought me a jar full of soup ingredients (along with instructions for making the soup), a table of contents for a church member/friend soup recipe book, and some other goodies. That sort of thing, the genuine goodness of such people who plan and execute such programs, gives me reason to look at where I am as a safe harbor. A neighbor also came by with a bag full of goodies. I spent about fifteen minutes on the phone with the minister of the church, a truly good and caring man who helps make the church the appealing entity it is. And I spoke to a friend by phone last night; he offered to travel to any Flying Saucer I choose, after the pandemic, to attend my “plate” party (I’ll write about this again one day, to explain). Good people abound.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Good People Abound

  1. robin andrea says:

    I am so glad you have a lovely support group there. It really makes a big difference. I hope you’ll give yourself plenty of time to think about your future and where you’d like to be. Winter is a good quiet time for introspection, healing, and napping. Take care there.

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