I was at Sweet Butter on Ventura Blvd, a local hot spot for brunch last weekend, when the meaning of life over came me. In the middle of my spinach and feta omelette I heard Tommy Shaw singing, “Paradise, can it be all I heard it was? I close my eyes and maybe I’m already there.” I froze and listened. Then I started crying.
Look, I am not the type that usually bursts into tears at the sight of a cute puppy. It takes a lot more to get the tears to roll out of my ducts. But the line in “Blue Collar Man” by Styx always brings me to tears. And not just wet eye tears, but deep soul shaking sobs from inside of my core being. I know it sounds a little weird. Luckily, I avoided stares as I was able to hide my head inside of a menu, and hold up a “1 minute” finger to my husband until they subsided.
I think for some reason this song just touches me and not like I wished Tommy would have back in the 80’s. My god I LOVED the “Pieces of Eight” album. But go with me here for a minute and just read those words again, “Paradise, can it be all I heard it was? I close my eyes and maybe I’m already there.”
What has my life come to that I need to be reminded by an aging rocker to stop and look around at what I have? Maybe everything I have; my husband, my kids, my friends, business, home, maybe this IS paradise. Maybe I have everything that I could ever have imagined or wanted? Sure sometimes it doesn’t feel like it when the kids are whining or fighting. And sure it doesn’t feel like it at the end of the month before payday. But those things are meaningless when you have the perfect moment on a Sunday morning when the kids crawl into bed with you and the family discusses the plans for a hike or a trip to the beach. Maybe paradise is sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows or taking a bike ride to the park. Maybe I am just getting nostalgic as I decided to pass on my 25th high school reunion, which is this weekend. I am not sure why I am doing that because I LOVE reunions! But I just feel relaxed and happy, like I know a secret.
My husband is from Denmark and he constantly reminds me that people from all over the world come to Los Angeles to visit these places that we get to go to whenever we want. Last weekend we were in Laguna Beach and saw dolphins jumping in the waves a few feet from us. We moved recently and now have a view, so each morning we see an amazing sunrise from our bathroom window. After dinner we walk down to get frozen yogurt. Can this be paradise? Can it be all I ever heard it was? I don’t even need to close my eyes as Tommy suggests, I look around and know that I am already here.
Lora Jakobsen owns Zookies, a children’s brand and shop in Los Angeles.