Finding Paradise

My stay in Panama City Beach ends this week as I head back to Chicago on Friday. I’ve been sharing many pictures of my 17th-floor perch via Facebook.

Yesterday, I shared the above image with the following words:

My 17th-floor perch. I happily share pictures of the many moods of the ocean and her mesmerizing sunsents.

What I am unable to share is the night sky, Jupiter, Venus, the moon, and the many stars. I stare up at the sky and just smile or shed a tear at her beauty. My phone camera just can’t capture the night sky.

Many nights I start the night by sleeping out here for a few hours and then going inside.

I am beyond grateful that I can work from anywhere with Wi-Fi, my laptop, and my cellphone. The privilege isn’t lost on me.

It seems many people say welcome to paradise in locations like Panama City Beach, and while being by the water is my happiest place, paradise is a feeling, not a location. Find paradise in the smiles you share, with the kind words given and received, as paradise lives within you.

Wherever you are, I wish you a magical day.

Paradise - a place or state of bliss.

As I said above, my happiest place is by the water, yet paradise can be found anywhere you want to see it.

Moving forward, I invite you to find paradise by:

Focusing on gratitude. And I mean FOCUSING on it. When things are going well, it’s easy to discover reasons to be grateful. How about in challenging times? That is when digging deep and going back to basics is helpful. I am grateful for a warm bed to sleep in. I am grateful to have a roof over my head.

Understanding paradise does not mean fantasy or perfection. For me, it means feeling it all and feeling the LOVE. Feeling the celebration and feeling the challenges and feeling LIFE. One night as I sat on my balcony watching a breathtaking sunset, I felt lonely. It didn’t last long. I was in incredible beauty, yet I still felt lonely. I was in paradise and had hard feelings. My idea of paradise isn’t fantasyland; while that would be nice, paradise is how I choose to LIVE, and yes, even in the hard parts.

Giving life your best each day. Some days your best might be at 40%, which is still YOUR BEST for that day. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Keep moving forward.

 Finding paradise in the small moments. The shared smiles, kind words given and received, and hugs were given—the laughter from a silly joke. 

Mostly, I want to remind you that you can choose how to live your life. Life will give you many reasons to celebrate, reasons to be sorrowful, and reasons to struggle. What you do with all of it is a choice you get to make. There isn’t a right or wrong way either; it’s what is right or wrong for you.

Until next time, I’ll see you in paradise.


I am grateful daily for what was, what is, and what is to come.

Words to LOVE by:

Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts. – Voltaire

There is a kind of serenity in LOVE which is almost a paradise. – Alain Badiou

Paradise is open to all kind hearts. – Pierre Jean de Beranger

Sounds for Your Soul:

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