May 8, 2007

Being content

Being content is something that I have never mastered. It seems like every stage of life I am in, I am looking forward to the next. Now, generally there is nothing wrong with hoping for the future or planning with certain goals in mind. I am talking about when you feel like there is always something that you don't have that is the key to your happiness. For example, when I was a teenager I wanted to drive. I thought my life would be so happy if I could just drive. I began to drive and it was awesome...until the novelty wore off. Then it was if I could only graduate from high school. If I could find a better job. If I could only make more money, if I could only find love, if I could only be married, if I could only be rich, if I could only have a baby...and so on. You know what this "if only" way of thinking got me? A: More if onlys.

What causes this? I seriously want to know. When I am constantly looking forward to the next thing in my life, I am unable to enjoy the present time. So, that presents regrets and a feeling of nostalgia. If only I could still be a teenager, if only I didn't have to work. If only I still worked there. It never ends. I have become aware and annoyed at this pattern in my life and am trying to nip it in the bud.

So, I am happy to be 30, married, childless, a massage therapist, a substitute teacher, living in an apartment, in Northeast Philly, with a car that is almost paid off and owner of one cat.


Emily said...

I am always looking ahead to the next bigger and better thing. Right now, I keep thinking (ashamed to admit this), "I can't wait until all my kids are in school and I have more time for myself." Arrrrgh. Alas, I am a wretch in need of redemption. I've come to realize that this constant discontent is really idol worship. The "..if I had_____, then I would be happy.." thing is a sure sign that the "blank" is your idol. I was made to worship God, and Him alone. When I try worshiping something else, it will make me feel empty. Worshiping God is the only thing that will fill me up. (That's the Sunday School answer---there's lots more, but this is just a comment and isn't meant to be a BOOK, Emily!)

Jen said...

I think it's our culture ... everything in our culture tells us we need MORE and BETTER. It's sad, really. So often I also forget all that I do have now and think about what I want - a house, to graduate, a better job. But really, life is good. There will probably be times when I look back on this time in my life with nestalgia. I think staying focussed on God and knowing He's got a plan (somehow!) helps a lot. This too is becoming a book...

Anonymous said...

some would kill for your kind of life.
being able to appreciate your own life, even the struggles, is a major feat that most never accomplish.
then, their lives are wasted away, living only for the future and the "if only..."'s.

Lady Leth said...


I too have that mentality--how many times we have discussed the things we wish we had but don't...but I think its time to find contentment. I think you can do it, I know you can, and I have hope for myself as well.