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Monday, March 7, 2011

Contentment

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There are a thousand things I should be doing tonight. I think of them all as the wind howls and mutters relentlessly outside my house. I can hear it like the lonely souls of those long-gone moaning from the darkness beyond the street lamps.

The rain continues to drizzle from a torrential sky as I sit here on the couch with my laptop striking the keys, their rhythmic beats sounding out a cadence of thought.

I have been thinking a lot lately about contentment; I have also been thinking of how I have not been allowing myself to feel so, either. I remembered someone once telling me long ago to, “be grateful for what you’ve got,” and I realized that I hadn’t been. I had – more often than not - found myself looking at so-and-so or what’s-their-face and all that they seemingly had…you know, their this, their that, or their other, and wondering just why that wasn’t me. I saw myself noticing all of those things – all that I felt I so rightly deserved in life, and wondered why I wasn’t in the same position that they were…

In reality, life seemed pretty cruel sometimes.

I was walking through the hallway at school recently and another teacher said, “You don’t seem to smile as much as you used to.”

I think this teacher was right.

I then realized that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel a sense of accomplishment, success, and contentment for that which I do have. It was then that I recognized that I needed to do better.

I really do.

I need to take the time to notice those things that I do have. Those things I am capable of, those things I do do really well. All of those things in life for which I should be grateful…

I sit here on the couch typing as the wind blows outside my windows; it whispers in the night as the strains of David Tolk sift through my living room. I ready to switch off my computer, go to bed, and awaken to a new day, a day for which I will strive to feel contentment.


"The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment."


-Doug Larson

19 comments:

Cheeseboy said...

I think you should feel contentment with this post. It was terrific. And smile.

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

From the timeless wisdom of Steel Magnolias Truvy says, "Smile! It increases your face value!"

Laura Anne said...

Incredibly well written and expressed, and I agree entirely with the sentiment. Sometimes it takes making the choice to be content to become it effortlessly.

Joan said...

Thank you the reminder. This post was exactly what I needed today.

tammy said...

Beautifully said.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I know I don't snub contentment..what I do want is basic... a relationship w/someone that I can trust, be on the same page with... For the most part I am content.. My health is good, so are my finances and my children... My son is one thing, I wish would realize he needs to get therapy...So, its 2 things that are in my craw as they say...two bumps in the road and that's ONLY 2... so, on the whole, I am grateful/contented

Rachel said...

:D Remind me to tell you about a scene in "Pride and Prej." that makes me laugh every time. The word, 'content' is used.

We have so much to be grateful for. All around us. God has given us much. I have dreams, wishes, hopes....... I still strive them..... but I am grateful for what I do have. Content? I'm not sure because I don't want to be so content that I don't progress and not work towards those things..... grateful though....

I am however, content with what God has given me and what He has in store for me and if the dreams, wants, hopes, etc. don't come into play..... then I am more than content with that as I know He has a far broader vision than I do.

I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future..... and I am contentedly happy with that.

Karen Peterson said...

I don't know how it is that you always seem to write about the exact things I've been thinking about lately, but this is another of many examples.

I don't know if I even know what "happiness" means. But I have recently started to discover that, while there are things in my life I would like to change, there are also a lot of things that are going right. I've been spending more time focusing on those things, and I really do feel content.

Gerb said...

I love that quote at the end. That sums it all up for me!

Shannon said...

What we really have a tendency to forget is that contentment ulimately contains spectacular happiness...it's a twofer that most don't realize. Smile, Mr. Z ~ the world's a better place when you're doin' your thing as only *you* can do it.

Richard & Natalie said...

That elusive contentment...may it be close enough for us to realize our blessings, but far enough out of reach to make us work to realize our dreams.

This was exceptional. Thanks for a timely reminder.

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

A great reminder...contentment can only be found within. we often look for it on the outside...and then wonder why we never seem to find it.

Teachinfourth said...

I really need to start noticing what is there instead of looking always for what it 'out there' in the great 'out there.'

Thanks for the fantastic comments, guys...

Today's Gift said...

Good post. It kind of reminds me of a quote from Professor Dumbledore in HP: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

Sarah said...

Even though my life is different in so many ways from yours, I can still say that I know EXACTLY what you are talking about.

Being content with the choices we've made matched with feeling grateful for the amazing gifts we've been given...that would be a wonderful feeling of contentment indeed.

Mindy said...

I saw myself in your post.
So often it is easier to notice the dark of night instead of the glimmer of stars, the depth of the canyon instead of the beauty of the vista.
Thanks for the reminder.

Bits-n-Pieces said...

I think that society doesn't allow us to feel contentment very much..like they don't want us to. We either have to be ecstatic or depressed. If we are "down" then we can get meds to make us feel "up" b/c hey...isn't that what we want out of life? To be happy all the time? Shouldn't we feel happy all the time?
Well, no..... there are times that contentment is exactly where we need to be.
And realizing that is huge. It's ok to be content.
It's not a bad thing!
Happy is great...but content is peaceful.

Jenny said...

Very inspiring post!

Kara said...

Pretty sure I've shared with you one of my favorite quotes: "Life is like a box of grapenuts. You open the box...no grapes...no nuts." It always makes me laugh, and when I first heard it I thought pessimistically that it was about not getting what you want from life, what you expect. But now when I read it, it gives me great comfort and CONTENTMENT because I feel like its saying, "Well, maybe you're not getting grapes and nuts, but what you do get is much better." (not that I actually like grapenuts, but its the idea that counts). It may not be what you expected it to be, but your life is wondrous. And may I say it has made all the difference to many of your friends (very much including me).

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