If I have learned anything on my journey to living a more simple life, it is that contentment is the real key to being successful.
It hasn’t always been easy for me. Now, with being a single parent, it is even more difficult at times. (Did I mention my sudden hoarding of empty wine bottles? So strange….) There have been several times where I’ve let others dictate what I should buy, should do as a career, should feel and should do in my spare time.
(By the way, anytime a conversation starts with “You should…” prepare yourself for the coming judgement. “You should…” is just someone’s way of telling you that they think they know how your situation could be better. Ignore them.)
On one such occasion, a colleague recently asked me “So, what do you want to do when you grow up?”. Normally…if I have been functioning on all cylinders, I would have quickly said “I am grown up. I am doing exactly what I want to do.” But I was tired and cranky. Before I could utter those words…Ego reared his ugly head and I began to doubt my life path and all that I am doing. Afterall, didn’t this person just insinuate that I wasn’t doing enough?
What if she’s right? What if I am wasting my talents? OMG! I’m failing at life!!!!
“You have an MBA…and the job you currently have isn’t really one someone with an MBA should have. After all…it’s an MBA for God’s sake.”
“You’ve managed, organized, implemented, planned, executed (fill in any other resume building bullshit word here…) – You should do more with your life. Climb that ladder. Boss people around!!”
And so on and so on – until I had worked myself into a complete I-am-totally-wasting-my-life-tizzy which required some wine and a conversation with a good friend who is good at talking me off the ledge.
So…after a week of quiet resolve and contemplation, once I was sitting on the couch with my dear little guy in the simple home that provides shelter and safety, I remembered my true self.
Shut up, Ego. I am doing exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I’m living a peaceful, simple, free life of joy and contentment.
The MBA was expensive and quite frankly, somewhat useless, because I’ve learned that anyone with some common sense, a bit of diplomacy, and a heck of a lot of empathy can manage people. Relationships, not rocket science.
More than two skillets is silly. French presses make yummy coffee. Less clothes means less laundry.
One good, expensive, yet comfortable pair of shoes reigns superior over ten uncomfortable and cheap pairs.
Getting off work at 5 pm and sitting in the grass watching the sun set while a gregarious child tells me about a video he just made beats arguing with committee members or complaining about work over drinks with friends any day.
Contentment says “A few good friends who will come to your aid in times of trouble are better than 800 so-called ‘friends’ on any social networking site.”
Contentment whispers “You have enough. You are enough. Carry on.”
Carry on this weekend – what’s left of it. Forget the emerging ‘Early Black Friday’ sales and spend time on a blanket in the park. Cuddle up with your kids and watch the stars. Write a note to a service man or woman. Find contentment in your life and relax.
This song has absolutely nothing to do with contentment, but it’s a cute little song by Tyler Childers that I love. My questions to you today are: Do you find there are times with others have too much influence over your decisions? Are you content with your life? If so, what is perfect in your eyes? If not, what is off balance?