by Dave Markwell

I cleaned my kitchen this morning. I did this while warming some cinnamon rolls in the oven for my kids to enjoy on a cool and drizzly morning. Pandora radio played as I scrubbed some pots and pans and wiped down the counters. I performed some bathroom monitoring duties to ensure no conflicts regarding this valuable space. My beautiful offspring came down stairs well-coifed and ready for their days. After breakfast, my son drove himself to high school and I drove my daughter her middle school. All in all, it was a pretty typical, uneventful morning. Just the way I like it.

In looking back on my early days, I remember sitting at our kitchen table eating my breakfast cereal as my dad drank his coffee while working on a crossword puzzle and KJR radio played. After finishing my Count Chocula, I would stroll into the living room and position myself and favorite blanket over a heat register and watch cartoons. My dad would come into the living room to put his work boots on before leaving the house. This ritual was a staple of my days for many years and it’s what I remember most and what I love remembering best.

In my life I have seen some fantastic places and visited some exotic lands full of new and beautiful experiences. In doing these things, I have realized that I like home better. I like my family better. I like soft mornings listening to music and loving my kids better.

It’s easy in the busy, stressful, challenge-laden lives many of us live to look for an escape. We look forward to a big vacation or a big change with grand hopes that it will provide some relief. There’s a tendency, I think, to believe more in explosions and events as the path to joy than the mundane dailies. I believe we miss something with these thoughts. We can overlook our days. And we have some good ones. These days pass and we will miss them when they’re gone.

In examining the days of my life, I am always warmed by the simple ones; breakfast with my dad, playing cribbage with my son and buddies, eating ice cream with my daughter, sharing a couch with my wife. These wonderful things happen every single day.

While I enjoy a vacation or event as much as the next guy, I always look forward to coming home and mowing my lawn or helping my kids with some homework. These are the days of our lives. They are finite and they are precious and they are worthy of regard. There is much beauty in the simple and real moments of our days. The non-event IS the event. The ordinary IS the extraordinary and when we look back on the pages of our lives, I think we will know this as truth…OR we can accept this as truth now and enjoy each day a little bit more with this understanding…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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