The dogs have fleas. The cat keeps pooping on the kitchen floor. The house is of course a mess, and my daughter is graduating from high school tomorrow — assuming she got rid of that F in English. 

Meanwhile, my wife is recovering from her 2nd eye surgery in a month, after two months of eye problems that have kept her inside, unable to drive or to be in bright light very much. And my son is fighting with me every day about wearing his braces/aligners.

But am I complaining? Not really. I have a good job, we have health insurance, the sun is shining, and I’m usually able to get enough sleep. I know how fortunate we are. How fortunate I am.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but 90% of what I worry about is 100% a matter of my internal attitude, not external conditions. 

I won’t go so far as to say that these proportions are true for others, but it does seem clear that an enormous amount of suffering is based entirely on what we choose to focus on. And there is always something happening — right now! — that is worth focusing on.

I’ve been lucky that learning to shift my attention to the now has paid off with greater equanimity and happiness. It’s a gradual process. I’m not very far along. But it helps. And I don’t take that for granted.

courtyard café ::
the grosbeak perches — pauses —
and sings