Contentment – n. a feeling of calm satisfaction
Approximately 7:45pm on the evening of Thanksgiving while preparing pancakes of all things, I considered some of the things that cause others to feel like they had a great Holiday. For me personally it’s always been about the turkey, stuffing and an abundance of side dishes and desserts – enough for the day of and a few days after.
This year, Thanksgiving was different for me. The entire week leading up to “the big day” was spent in intense physical pain – back pain that came on suddenly as I was walking, so intense that I could no longer walk. Eventually I was able to walk, but not without pain. Suddenly all of the plans that I thought I had for the week were altered.
I wept as I had to depend on others to do for me what I would normally do for myself…. Yet somehow in all of this and also in not having “turkey, etc” for the holiday there has been this bizarre feeling of “contentment.”
Looking at my life from the outside, some would look at my life and wonder how contentment could be possible. Here’s a peek:
- I am a single woman in my late 30s (with no desire to be married)
- Full time student; part time ministry work
- In my spare time I enjoy resting, cooking great meals, gazing at the sun glistening on trees, read, listen to music, walk, and sip on a tall soy hot chocolate w/ whip cream from Starbucks
- I don’t have very much money/struggling to get by actually
For some this is not exciting, lacks pizzazz, and is definitely not fun. But I can honestly say that I am “content” – satisfied with who I am, what I do, and who and what I have.
Tomorrow morning – what some call “Black Friday,” many will rise early and go from store to store purchasing stuff they want or believe others want, spending money they have and money they don’t have to spare, to get things that are needed and not needed. I don’t completely knock this – nothing wrong with a little shopping as long as it’s kept in perspective (plus it’s an opportunity to save $$$). However, a continual quest for more of this and that, being consumed with a belief that you “have to” have more and more and more stuff keeps one in a perpetual state of “getting” that never leads to the destination of true satisfaction.
If you were unable to have much of the things that you want, would you still be content?