This year I chose the word content as my word of focus. I knew that there was so much in my life to be thankful for and I was tired of the never ending cycle of “get more stuff, do more things.” I decided to strive for contentment in 2015.
I used to think that being content meant being happy but I’ve learned that isn’t always the case. Sometimes being content just means being. Being without complaining. Being without coveting. Just accepting where you are and being thankful.
So what does contentment look like for me? Well, for me being content means being satisfied with the home I have. It’s not the biggest nor the nicest in the neighborhood. It’s old and there are some things that need repairing. But I have a home to live in that is warm when it’s cold outside and cool when it’s hot outside.
Being content means being thankful that I am able to provide for my family while still being home for my children during the day. There are days when I long to be a stay-at-home mom. There are nights when I don’t want to leave for work, when Layla wraps her arms around me and tells me she doesn’t want me to go. But I am thankful that working part-time is enough and that I only have to give up two nights away from my family each week.
Being content means looking in the mirror and being grateful for what I can do and not complaining about what I look like. I’m not skinny, my skin isn’t flawless and I have more bad hair days than good. But I am strong. I can run. I can keep up with my children whether on foot or riding a bike. My daughters want to run and lift weights and stretch because they see me doing it–not because I want to be skinny but because I want to live a long life for my children and my future grandchildren.
Being content means accepting that “just enough” is still enough. There are months when it feels like we scrape by. An unexpected bill shows up, the dog has to go to the vet, something around the house breaks and has to be replaced. Those things always throw a kink in our finances but somehow we never go without. I’ve never gone hungry (obviously!), I’ve never gone without weather-appropriate clothing, I’ve never had to sleep on the street. I’ve always had my basic needs met no matter if we have $500 left at the end of the month or $5 left.
I may never possess earthly riches: a big house, expensive clothes and a new car. I may never be a size 6. I may never build up a huge savings account.
But I am starting to see the beauty in a life of contentment.