Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Recognizing Contentment Before You Miss It


I just watched our new puppy race across the room so fast that instead of landing on his floor cushion, he tumbled head over heels. Remember running so hard that you missed the place where you wanted to stop? Or, have you ever tried on an outfit that you loved, weren’t sure you wanted to buy it, and then tried on a zillion more options only to realize you wanted the thing you liked in the first place—but then it was gone—sold to someone else?

Abundance. So often it’s defined with possessions, money, and influence. I’m like most other people. I keep thinking I need something different; I need a change; I need more. I was just talking with a friend who couldn’t wait to tell me about all the things his money provides—fabulous toys, vacations, parties, etc. He rarely asks about my family or me or what we do now that our finances are spread more thinly. When he was gone, I chose to feel inadequate, deprived. Yet he didn’t take anything from me. I took joy from myself.

Previously, I’ve written that change is inevitable. You don’t have to hope you’ll change. You have and you will. You can’t help it. Your mission is to try to make sure the next changes you experience will take you someplace positive. You don’t have to hope the world changes. It will—in both good and bad ways. Some alterations will be impacted by your choices; some won’t.

A beloved friend of mine recently died a slow, painful death. Her death reminded me that when I wake up each morning, I can stand and do yoga beside my bed. While she was dying, I was building up greater health. Each of us made choices that may or may not have changed our outcomes. One truth is certain. As life transforms around us, we need to pay attention to what’s working—what feeds the essence of us, and rise above that which depletes us.

I remember a time when I was shoveling sawdust and manure at a horse boarding facility. A boy who had been hired to help me stood in awe as my husband arrived driving our older car—the one that needed extensive repairs. The boy looked at me and asked, “Is that your car, too?” I nodded. “That’s my car. The one I drove here belongs to my husband. He needs to take it to work because it has four-wheel drive and we’re expecting snow.” The boy shook his head in wonder. “You have two cars for two people?”

In that moment, I was ashamed. To the boy, I was inconceivably rich, and I had no concept of it. I was distracted by my wants. They weren’t really needs, after all. I have never experienced serious needs. I have to stop rushing and look around. Whether or not my next book makes a profit, whether or not I’m ever able to visit my friends overseas or take the grandkids to Disneyland, whether or not my arteries remain clear, in this moment I’m rich. In this moment, I want to pause to be content.

3 comments on “Recognizing Contentment Before You Miss It

  1. Frances Sullivan
    November 19, 2016

    A perfect timed reminder and as always, beautifully written. Thanks, my friend. 💕

  2. Frances Sullivan
    November 19, 2016

    That should read ‘perfectly’ timed. Doh!

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