The Pleasures of Ordinary Life

The Pleasures of Ordinary Life

I've had my share of necessary losses,
Of dreams I know no longer can come true.
I'm done now with the whys and the becauses.
It's time to make things good, not just make do.
It's time to stop complaining and pursue
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I used to rail against my compromises.
I yearned for the wild music, the swift race.
But happiness arrived in new disguises:
Sun lighting a child's hair. A friend's embrace.
Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
It seems the woman I've turned out to be
Is not the heroine of some grand story.
But I have learned to find the poetry
In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

Young fantasies of magic and of mystery
Are over. But they really can't compete
With all we've built together: A long history.
Connections that help render us complete.
Ties that hold and heal us. And the sweet,
Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.

Judith Viorst

I have been reading lots of poetry lately. Today I read this collection by Judith Viorst. The poem I posted can be found in this book. I think it is reassuring to get to a time in your life when the pleasure does come from ordinary life. There are no trumpets, trails of glory, and I am not the star of a play or movie. I do relish the pleasure in my first tomato, green beans beginning their climb up the pole, blooms on a geranium plant, reading poetry books by candlelight, and picking a bouquet. All of it is sweet, sweet pleasure.


  1. Love the poem! It speaks of exactly where I am in my life... just remembering to enjoy the simple pleasures of each day.

  2. My dear, you're 'ordinary' life isn't so ordinary. It's rare. I'm sitting on the other side thinking, 'ah wouldn't that be nice' :D
    you reminded me that the simple things are anything but simple!

  3. I love Judith Viorst! I've been reading her for years. Yes, these years are good ones. Reassuring is a good word to describe them...

  4. Delightful poem. I hadn't read this one yet. I think the secret is to arrive at "the pleasures of an ordinary life" as early as find joy in the small things at all stages of life. I agree w/ just jen's comment that the simple things are anything but simple: it takes conscious thought to arrive. A couple of months back, I adopted the motto "be deliberate" in order to regain my focus and remind myself that everything I do or have is a chosen path, whether I'm cognizant or accepting of the fact or not.

  5. I am glad this poem also struck a chord with others. Alex... that is a good motto to have. It seems we often have to regain our focus.


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