The idea of being content is intriguing to me. It’s not about being thrilled or tired or anything else. It’s about being OK with how things are. This is something that I’ve decided I really want to work on this year–being OK with how things are. That doesn’t mean that everything is the way I would have chosen. It means that I am able to be comfortable with how things are.
That’s becoming my recurring theme for 2012: How Things Are. It’s why I’m here (writing this blog on this topic, not in the larger, universal/existential kind of way, which a subject for an entirely different blog, I’m sure). Historically (or, How Things Were) I have tended to be hyperfocused on past wrongs or future assumptions. It’s been easy to still be pissed about something that happened years ago. Or to be so wrapped up in some future event (ever planned a wedding? most boring day ever is the first day back at work AFTER the wedding) that it becomes all you see.
In the immortal words of Garth Algar, it’s time to live in the now.
Yesterday, Mr. Incredible called out sick to work. I took a sympathy sick day (read: I don’t feel like going either) and in the interest of not getting dressed at all (Pajama Wednesday!) we kept Boo home from daycare. It was a good day. Like a REALLY good day, with sufficient time spent doing laundry and couching and reading and frolicking with our (newly acquired) dog. At the end of it, Mr. Incredible asked me if I was happy.
Yes, I replied, every minute that I’m home. And that’s the absolute truth. We moved into our “forever home” last spring, and it has become such a soft spot to land. Sure, we have projects (um, back yard is dirt) and adjustments (budget, which is going to be its own series of posts once I can wrap my brain around it…) but on the whole it’s exactly the right place for us. That right there? Content.
This is the first year I’ve really put effort and consideration into New Years Resolutions (yeah yeah yeah lose weight get healthy blah blah blah). Everything I read, all those worksheets you download and fill out in the hopes that some magical solution would be revealed, all the “what’s it all about?” pondering actually revealed something this time: Living in the now is about both forgiveness and patience.
Forgiveness is hard, man. Really hard. It goes against every fiber of my being. If I forgive you for what you KNOW you did wrong, then how will I be able to continue to be wronged? My strength comes from having endured whatever it was I’ve been through, right? Forgiving doesn’t take that away. Forgiving is the pinnacle of Letting It Go. It’s not a denial that something happened. It’s not permission for it to happen again. It’s just letting it go so I can move on to the good stuff.
Patience. Ugh. Patience SUCKS. In my cube in the inside corner of my very stressful department, I have a lovely Chinese character on the wall that translates to “The Good Luck Is Coming.” And I’m sure that the good luck IS coming. But I can’t just sit on the edge of my chair and will it to show up. I’ll miss out on the good stuff that’s happening now.
Contentedness, for me at least, is a continuum that looks like this:
Forgiveness————— Good Stuff ————————–Patience
And that right there is the goal: To focus on the good stuff in the middle of the past and the future.