The Pleasures of an Ordinary Life by Judith Viorst

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.


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for this poem, Robin. I love Judith Viorst, both the adult books she has written and this poem, as well as the children’s books, such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. And I find it to be true, when I slow down enough to just be in the moment, that it is the ordinary life that pleases my soul. Thank you.

    • Donna, I think I got this poem from you originally. So thanks. And I love her book about Alexander, too.

  2. Too true Robin, the best things in life are free in a broad sense, but keep in mind that everything comes with price.

    Made contact with K and will plan an invasion soon.

    Adios My Friend

    • Ok, Mr. Cranky. I guess the question is whether it’s worth the price.

  3. Judith Viorst has a funny piece about competitive grandmothering in Eye of My Heart, which is probably my favorite grandparenting book. (Don’t tell the authors of the other books that I’ve reviewed on my website.)

    • I have this book, too. You’re right–it’s good. I reread the Judith Viorst one last night. I love it!

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