My mother told me that she had had a good life. For 50 years, she’d lived in small-town Scotland, the wife of a professional man: she and her immediate family were healthy, comfortable and successful. Those things matter, but I don’t think that’s what she meant, or that her life was necessarily exemplary.
I once asked her why she didn’t work – she’d been a successful secretary before marrying – and she said that she’d chosen not to, so that when my father was on leave, she would be at home, and he would know her friends. With little complaint, she missed ripe avocadoes, company, and her sisters; she raised two children, made friends, volunteered, and read crime fiction. She worked to live with her decisions; that she was able to do so is what I think she meant by a good life.