I have to admit, there are still a lot of lessons in life that I need to learn. While I’d prefer to learn other – easier – lessons at the moment, I’m stuck with this one:
I really, really hate that word. In fact, there’s only a few words I hate more. Words like laundry and taking the dogs outside to do their business. In the snow. To return and get the house all dirty. Again.
But I digress.
Contentment is a foreign word to me. My life has always been about waiting for the next thing. When I was eight, I was already looking forward to going to college. Summer comes and I’m already looking forward to the holidays. The holidays come and I’m already looking forward to next year’s holiday season.
(Yes, I am a bit nuts in the head.)
The point is, I spend most of my life wishing for the next big thing. And, I never realized it was a problem. In fact, wishing and hoping was what got me thru most of my life. Half the time it was my life-saver. When I’d fall back into a state of depression, it became my coping mechanism. I learned to get through the day by looking forward to the future.
And it worked.
The only thing is, it has become a way of life. A not-so-healthy way of life, I’m finding out.
Funny thing: I’m married to a live-in-the-moment type of guy. So, as you can imagine, our views on contentment (or lack thereof, in my case) don’t really mesh. While I’m dreaming and planning for the next exciting “thing”, he’s just enjoying the moment, appreciating the time we have now.
His approach has taught me a lot, actually. It’s made me rethink life. It’s made me realize that life is not just a thing to “get through”; it’s meant to be lived in-the-moment. It’s meant to be appreciated – whether you’re in a mundane stage, exciting stage, challenging stage or excruciatingly painful stage. Life is meant to be lived…not dreamt away.
Not that I’m saying looking forward to things is wrong. Believe me, I’ll always be a dreamer.
But there’s this thing called balance. And I think if I learn to be content in the moment, the things that I look forward to will be so much sweeter when I get there.