As simplistic as it is, I felt this particular reminder was needed, given the extended (and unintended) writing break I have been on the majority of the year. I’ve encountered so many changes of direction, most of them positive, yet consuming. Nevertheless, my heart always goes back to writing; reflection through words that provides an unparalleled outlet. I think the balance between the business aspect of life and the creative one will always be a fight for me. And that’s ok. Because at the end of the day, I realize it’s better to have too many passions, then none at all….
A determined return is on the horizon for me. Of that, I have all the confidence in the world.
It’s been a challenging week for sure. I came down with a bad cold that sort of knocked me off my feet. Except, when you’re an adult and have children, you don’t have the option to be down very long. But after as much rest as I could possibly manage, I’m beginning to feel like my normal spunky self again…so I thought I’d jump on here quickly before the NyQuil kicks in (lol).
One thing that has increasingly been on my mind lately is CONTENTMENT.
Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.
I used to primarily associate the idea of being content with material things. If a person is content, they’re less inclined to fill their lives with endless material things. That statement certainly carries some weight. However, I’ve come to realize contentment in more than a few areas of my life and it has brought me a great deal of peace. I no longer feel the need to be surrounded by people to fill any sort of void or uncomfortableness with being “alone”. I’m content with what I have to offer myself in the way of self love and encouragement; no longer yearning for affirmation in one way or another from others. I’m content with just trying my best each day and having faith in what my life has in store without constantly living for the next moment.
Our society thrives off of flaunting their accomplishments, and with the help of social media, provides many outlets on which to do so. While that may serve as motivation to some, I’m learning the beauty in doing things a little quieter in life and how much satisfaction comes from recognizing areas of personal growth (even if those thoughts never leave my mind or heart).
And on that note, here’s a picture of me and my two biggest sources of contentment (and happiness) in life:
The tranquility of nature….
North Lake Tahoe, October 2015
As I tip toe on the still hot pavement at the end of another scorching California day, I look to my left to see a familiar sight. The old woman that lives across the street is sitting comfortably on her porch, preparing to watch the sunset…just as she does every single night. I’ve grown so accustomed to seeing her at this time that I never actually stop to wonder how long she’s kept up this routine of hers; what she thinks about while she sits there; or how long it’s been since someone sat there and enjoyed it with her.
If you honestly think about it, how long has it been since you stopped and watched the sunset? Not just snapped a picture of it to post on social media…but actually took in the process of the sun dipping slowly, the colors of the sky changing and intensifying, the air beginning to cool, and the city magically quieting down? For me, it’s been months; since my last vacation. (Funny how it takes a change of location to help us appreciate the things that are already in front of us).
I’ll be the first to admit that my life is quite a bit busier than I’d like. This is due to both circumstance and habit. I’ve worked and taken care of people from such a young age that I struggle with the ability to relax. The majority of my time spent “relaxing” is me sleeping. I do believe, however, that there is something so powerfully therapeutic about that in between phase of our days and our lives; where we are no longer on the go, and yet not entirely shut down either. When we allow our minds to wander and pressures to subside.
As small children, we appreciate the simple things. Bright colors, new noises, familiar faces, a box to play in or keys to jingle. But as life progresses, we slowly lose sight of simplicity and contentment. In this society, we are constantly being enticed and pushed toward bigger/better. Not that I’m insinuating in any way that moving forward in life and having goals is wrong. Self fulfillment and healthy aspirations are vital aspects of life. However, it’s become very evident that for me personally and this generation as a whole, we need to train ourselves to come up for air more often. To become one with the world around us, outside of a screen. To redefine our idea of beauty and to appreciate the things around us that are not man made and can’t be bought.
In a way, I feel like that old woman is richer than most. She spends more quality time with the universe and her own quiet thoughts in a week than the majority of us do in months. At what point in time, in our lives, do we once again embrace the uncomplicated, transparent, “free” treasures in life? I suppose that is up to us.
(I took this from my roof last summer)
“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, ever day can end beautifully” ~ Kristen Butler
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing” ~ Camille Pissarro