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Sunday, November 14, 2010

For Anita

image from www.tvcream.co.uk
Anita, you wondered on Facebook what FarmWife's five HUMAN life priorities are—five things no human should have to live without.

I thought I would have nailed it with my guesses, which were 1. Shiny brown mules, 2. Cute baby animals; 3. Delicious things like carrots and blackberries; 4. A room full of hay, and 5. The internet. She says these are all very good, but that she might instead list, off the top of her head, these five alternatives:

1. Health (including healthy food and a healthy environment)
 2. Relationships (including love, family, and friendship—even when your best friend is a mule)
3. Home (a sense of place, ownership, or belonging, and a sense of community)
4. Productivity (feeling valuable, or contributing to something greater than oneself; feeling that the general impact of your life on others is positive, or feeling that what one does is worthwhile)
 5. Joyfulness (call it joie de vivre if you'd like—enthusiasm, appreciation, or eagerness. This can be passion for your work, for your hobby, for your day-to-day routine, for your mule. Everyone needs something they're excited about).

FarmWife would argue that 1, 2, 3, and 4 can contribute to #5 but that #5 can be cultivated on its own through conscious gratitude. "Sometimes," writes Thich Nhat Hanh; "your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

I still think that cute baby animals and a room full of hay are pretty darn important, too.

Fenway Bartholomule


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