Happy penguin

As good as life gets for a penguin.

I just heard the expression “Living Your Best Life” a couple of weeks ago and liked the sound of it—so catchy and original.  It referred to a U.S. senator who is not running for re-election and is therefore “living his best life” by saying exactly what he thinks.  Imagine that!  I did a little research into the phrase and learned that, as usual, I am late to the party.  The expression has not only been around a long time, it has achieved the status of a meme.  (I still can’t define “meme” with confidence but it sounds good.)

There are many descriptions of what it means to Live Your Best Life. WikiHow offers “14 steps (with Pictures).”  This is a bit much.  I don’t really need a picture of a “thumbs up” to understand “Staying Positive in Your Life.”  The ever-present Joel Osteen has trimmed the Best Life concept down to “Seven Steps to Living at Your Full Potential” but it will cost you $10 for the audio CD.  Buzz Feed’s advice is less spiritual and very practical, including getting enough sleep and being on time for appointments. As a bonus, BuzzFeed’s article includes a video of the adorable Lin Manuel Miranda dancing (as an illustration of “It’s more fun if you turn your cleaning chores into a dance party”).  Truly.

So what does Living Your Best Life really mean?  There are 113,000,000 responses on Google, so obviously it means many different things to lots of people.  For me, at this time in my life, there are the big reasons:  my family and friends, health;  and the small happinesses:  not having to wake up to an alarm, a comfy place to live, a cat who likes to settle down next to me wherever I am (as he is now, on the couch, in the living room). What does it mean to you?  Drop me a note.  I’d love to hear from you.

Photo by moi, South Georgia Island. 



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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