So last night, I laid on the couch, cat sleeping across my thighs, controller in hand, hot cider at my elbow, and played video games.

And it occurred to me that if I had everything I desired in life–love and money–I would still probably be laid out on the couch, cat asleep on my thighs, hot cider at my elbow, playing video games. Because that’s my idea of a good quiet evening at home. (Now, I grant you, in my hypothetical perfect world, it would have been followed by a footrub and wild sex, but the principle holds.)

There are ways that my life could be better. I could have enough money that I wouldn’t worry about money, and perhaps could have my own house. My dinner could have been something rather better than reheated chili-cheese dip and nachos. A handsome, amusing man could find me fascinating and look forward to my presence and wish to do extremely naughty things to me. These would all be improvements.

But I’d make the same art, and sleep the same number of hours, and the same cat would still stand on my head early in the morning demanding food, and my idea of a quiet evening of pleasure would be the same.  When I staggered out of bed and make a cup of tea, it’d still taste the same, and when I plop down and check my e-mail, I’d hit the same buttons and visit the same websites and blog the same small amusements for–hopefully–the same cadre of readers. The same birds would visit my feeder, the same weather would drive me to wear the same nifty wool trenchcoat, and no matter how much money I got, I’d probably drive the same sort of car (although I might get a truck one of these days, because I keep finding myself in situations where damnit, I really need a truck! On the downside, I’d have to learn to park it. Ugh.)

In short, the difference between my life as it is now and my ideal life is really rather small. And that’s not a bad thing at all.

I am content.

Now, if I could just figure out how to beat that stupid boss with these maddening controls without waking up the cat…

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