I am not a naturally content person.
A dear friend has often described both she and I as simply discontent. “It’s what makes us good at things,” she says, “but also sort of miserable.”
The word itself has sort of always made me turn up my nose, as it connotes being stagnant which obviously means being mediocre or worse, giving up. Ew!
But content is how I felt this year. Or rather, this year I got my first taste of contentment.
Content: Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
Doesn’t it sound great?
This year I traded in a demanding, life-sucking job for one that is simpler. Less challenging, less interesting, a little more fulfilling. I spent months going back and forth about whether I liked it or not, whether it was stimulating enough or the right career move, before deciding to simply accept it. It is, like any job, good and also bad, but I chose it, and I am learning from it. I picked it for a reason, and I’ve worked hard to remember that in the moments when my ego tells me I am so totally too smart for this place.
It’s weird how being content takes work, isn’t it? Was it ever our default setting?
This year I traded in the excitement of dating for a steadier kind of love. I gave up flirting and being flirted with and the silly, ego stroke it brings for the happiness of being loved in the most mundane of moments. This year I felt adored while brushing my teeth. That hadn’t really happened pre-2015. Being loved in the small moments has filled in a million little empty spaces I didn’t know I had. I was always able to hold myself together but it feels a little sturdier now. Like a floppy stuffed animal that got packed full of fresh cotton.
I have had to accept the fact that I cannot pursue everything I want to. It is my least favorite pill to swallow. But I swallowed the embarrassing, horse-sized medicine and am trying to focus on doing a few things well rather than doing everything badly. I think it’s a good trade. And a necessary one.
This year I decided I like my body. Hey, I said it out loud!
I accepted the fact that being in a good relationship still means giving up a lot of control. Ask me where I will live in six months. I can’t tell you.
I’ve made peace with the fact that I cannot cook like my Mother. Or maybe I could, except I have zero desire to put in the necessary time. Later, I say. When I’m home with a cute, illiterate baby and am losing my mind.
Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
Can you imagine it?
It’s tough for me. I still have things I badly want, and am working hard to get them. I think maybe I’m just a little more okay with enjoying the small moments. Remembering that life is what happens while you’re waiting for the big stuff.
Content is my word of 2015. What’s yours?
p.s. this post was inspired by my friend Jill. Read her words, they’re lovely.