adjective. contented - pleased - satisfied - glad - happy
verb. satisfy - gratify - please - indulge - suffice
noun. contents - satisfaction - contentment - capacity - volume
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?