Progress

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Content


con·tent/kənˈtent/

Adjective:
In a state of peaceful happiness.
Verb:
Satisfy (someone).
Noun:
  1. A state of satisfaction: "the greater part of the century was a time of content".
  2. The things that are held or included in something.
Synonyms:
adjective.  contented - pleased - satisfied - glad - happy
verb.  satisfy - gratify - please - indulge - suffice
noun.  contents - satisfaction - contentment - capacity - volume



I've talked a lot about the different goals I've set for this year and there they are - to the right...staring at me every day.  But there is one that has gotten woefully ignored.  "Be CONTENT."  Content was the word I picked for 2012 as well.  So let's take a closer look.  First, when I look at the definition above, there are a full words that I find ironic.  "Satisfy, capacity, volume."  Those sound an awful lot like words people losing weight use, huh?  How many times have we said something to the effect of "I can't believe I feel satisfied on such a small volume of food."  Well...funny enough, when I made this goal...it had nothing to do with that.  It was about emotional well being.  Which leads to "Glad, happy, pleased."  

Well, as I've been looking over my past blog posts and reading the last couple years beginning to end, I realize that the last few months have been anything but "content."  I realized that this new position is not for me, that my boss is a dolt and really doesn't like me and that I'm just terribly unhappy here at work.  But seriously...so many good things have happened in the last 6 months too.  Some have been small...some have been big.  But they were largely ignored.  They were acknowledged by a brief smile or sigh and I moved on.  Why is it so much easier for me to focus on the negative, rather than relish in the positive?  Well, that stops today folks.  No, I'm not going to be Pollyanna from here on out.  That's never been my style and I don't see that changing just because I say it will.  But there's going to be more of an effort to embrace the good things that happen day to day.  And when bad things happen, there will be more of an effort to see the silver lining, or at least look for it instead of chalking it up to yet another way karma is trying to screw me over.  Holly had a great post where she takes a terrible day and puts it in an amazing perspective. 

So you can't just SAY you're going to do something and then POOF!  It's done.  You gotta take steps to make it happen.  So first step, I'm going to list all the good things that have happened so far this year.  Feel free to skip down to where I tell you my plan for continuing the Contentment Cha-Cha but I gotta get this stuff out.
  • We're out of credit card debt.  For the first time in 13 years, we have NO credit card debt.  We had accumulated an embarrassing amount and while it took 5 years of paying with nothing but cash, we did it.  We have student loans...that's it.  That's our debt.  We are no longer slaves to the credit card machine!
  • My brother in law is still alive.  He was given 6-12 months to live when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010.  He has survived 17 months and his MRI's are still stable.  Each memory he creates with my niece and nephew is a memory they'll actually be able to hold on to as they get a little older.  I am so grateful that he has survived long enough (and continues to thrive) for them to have real memories of their father that will comfort them in the years to come.
  • My husband and children are healthy.  We fight colds, flus, ear infections, stomach bugs...but overall, we're immensely lucky in health.  
  • We live where we want to live.  No, not in the house we want to live in but in the neighborhood.  I went to high school in this same neighborhood.  It's a great school district, lots to do, great parks and friendly neighbors, it's safe and even though we have to rent a townhouse to be able to afford to be here, it's worth it.  Some day I hope we can buy a home in this area but for right now, I'm content to just be able to BE here.
  • My kids are awesome.  They have their moments, that's for sure.  But they play pretty well together and they try their best to not be too much most of the time.  They love each other and don't mind sharing a room in this townhouse we rent so we can be where we want to be.  They're grateful for what we have and don't ask for much, which makes me wish I could give them more.  But this town home, the getting out of debt, staying within reasonable budgets is going to pay off for them in the future...and while they don't know it, it's why they'll be able to have a car when they turn 16, buy a prom dress without stressing, join teams and clubs and take class trips and buy new school clothes every year without worry.  
  • Hubby and I have been together 13 years this coming August (married for 9).  I met him when I was 18.  While we've had our ups and downs and faced the monotony of routine, I'm so lucky to have him.  He lives to make me smile and most days, he definitely does.  He's a wonderful father and pulls his weight around the house.  I'm very lucky to have met him so early in my life so that I can spend most of my life with him.
  • I make decent money.  I hate my job...that's been obvious but it has granted us the ability for Hubby to leave the job he hated to look for something better and, God willing, he's found it.  It's enabled us to worry a little less about making ends meet which for the last several years, has been a constant struggle.  
  • While I've never been the most popular girl in school, I have several close friends, some I've known since high school and some only the last couple years.  They're there when I need them, they listen without judging (and if they do judge, they keep it to themselves) and they love me for who I am and don't expect, nor want, me to change.  Hold on to people like that.  You never know when you'll need help hiding a body.
So all these things are good things.  They're all reasons to be happy.  To be content.  Day in and day out.  I need to remember that.  So moving forward, each and every day, I'm going to write down one thing to be content about.  There will be days when I repeat myself.  There may be days where my health is the only thing I can pull out, but that's OK.  It's an important one.  They even have that saying "At least you have your health."  It wouldn't be a saying if it weren't a big one.  On days I post, I'll include my "content" thought of the day here.  Lucky you.  I'm also really going to stretch myself and try to take something that may initially be seen as a negative and find the positive in it (a la Holly).  

What makes you content in life?


9 comments:

jennxaz said...

love you post...great reflection. So true, we don't take time to reflect and be grateful for what we have. My hubby and I started doing 3 things we are grateful for each day. We email or text each other. I love this...it has really helped showing each other what we appreciate and he finds things I have forgotten or don't notice. We are in the same boat..been climbing out of our bad debt and bad choices since 2008...this year I can finally sigh relief because I see light at the end of the tunnel....good for you...so want to meet up with you!

vickyd said...

What a great post!! I have a friend who posts 5 gratitudes on FB every day and seeing her daily post always reminds me to be thankful for the things I do have rather than disappointed in the things I don't have.

Jen said...

Great post. It feels good to be happy with where you are at doesn't it?? You deserve all the contentment and happiness that life has to offer!

So, are you down with meeting up on the 9th?? Let me know!

Lyla said...

You have had so many good things happen (yay for being out of debt!), and those that aren't so good (i.e. your job) can be changed when the time is right. Great post on searching for peace.

Catherine55 said...

Great post, Manda! And -- that is awesome about you guys getting your finances in order! Credit cards are the devil -- I avoid them like the plague!

Kristin50 said...

Great post sweetie! It is a wonderful thing to be credit card debt free, we have been for nearly 12 years. It is awesome. We do not have any credit cards anymore and never will again.
It is my opinion that credit is the ruination of our American lively hood. It has gotten way out of control both personal credit as well as the freaking government.

Love you, and I am so glad you realize you got to be happy where you are, and it is not always easy as we all know!

Elizabeth said...

Awesome post!!!! <3

Mari said...

Such an uplifting, positive, heart warming post - thank you for reminding me to be content and happy with the wonderful things I have in my life. x

Holly from 300 Pounds Down said...

I just want to say super duper congratulations on getting out of credit card debt. I know how TOUGH this is. I made this decision several years back after I read a book called Debt Free Living and it totally changed my outlook. I can tell you it has freed me up like nothing else with the exception of weight loss. Losing the debt is a hard thing to do so you deserve a TON of credit for it...not credit card credit...lol..you know what I mean!