It is now six months since I right-sized my life at both home and work. I find it interesting that one of the most frequent questions I get from people is, “Do you miss your house?” Frankly, I don’t ever think about it unless it comes up in conversation. Sure, there are things about the house, more so its peacefulness, that I may miss. Yet I’d rather focus on the good of my current situation. I love the apartment home we’ve created. I enjoy the fact that our dearest friends live next door and that we’ve met other wonderful people in the building. I lived in my country house for nineteen years and could only tell you the name of one neighbor. I appreciate how my new location makes my life easy. I doubt we’ll stay where we are forever, but we enjoy its benefits now.
The fact that I get this question about “giving up” my house and where I might live in the future makes me wonder if we forget to be content with the present. We live in a world that so often drives us either towards setting goals, reaching new targets, being, doing, feeling, having, looking, living better than we are today. Don’t get me wrong; goals are important and striving for personal and professional growth, etc. are part of living out our purpose, whatever that may be. However, it seems we forget to acknowledge, be content with, show gratitude for, or even celebrate the state of now. I am challenging you to live contently. You really can be happy with what is now while still looking forward to a better future. Consider the following three ways to realize contentment.
You’re never given more than you can handle. Whether it is difficulties, sadness, financial or physical burdens, you do have the mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical strength to hold on, to fight, to make it through. Appreciate that you have what it takes. When you’re granted great fortune in any form and it comes with both the blessings and responsibilities, you can handle that too.
Realize there are seasons in life. Nothing will stay the same for too long. Change will come. In the meantime there is beauty, grace and benefit to every season. Cherish your experiences and the people in your life at any given moment. Whether you love every minute of it or dread it, each season will pass. There is always something to appreciate and something to learn. Sure there are challenges and things I’m still getting used to about my right-sized life, but I’m savoring all the juicy goodness of it and soaking up the life lessons knowing that it will change again, because that’s life.
Live in gratitude. It sort of all feeds into gratitude. If you are living contently no matter the circumstances then you are grateful for at least parts of your life. Focus less on the 5% that isn’t perfect and more on the 95% that is. I particularly see this with clients wanting to lose weight or dealing with a health issue. When you’re in pain it is particularly difficult to put your mind anywhere else. However, even when you are doing wonderful things to improve your health be sure to still be grateful for what is good about your body and health now. It is like focusing on that one blemish or scab and forgetting that the rest of your skin is healthy and whole and doing its job to protect you. Keep a gratitude journal and write in it every day.
Live contently. Appreciate where you are today even while you seek the future. Know that you’re in a season of life. And no matter what is on your plate, you can handle it, blessing or burden. Be grateful for all that you have, all that you are, all that you’re experiencing, all that has passed and all that is yet to come. Life is good.
Originally posted April 30, 2014