Malibu Lagoon by Carson Pritchard
After many years of striving for "things" and wanting more, I find myself surprisingly content with what I now have. I say "surprisingly" because it is a surprise...to me. I have always been very security minded; anxious to know I can pay my bills and there's money in the bank for a rainy day. When those things are not in place, I am riddled with anxiety and fear that tends to make me physically ill. So, the idea that I am finally learning the meaning of contentment is a big big surprise and a welcome one.
This occurred to me yesterday while sitting in church. Our wonderful minister was speaking about the things we need to pursue on a daily basis, one of which was to enjoy the life we have. I realized I do enjoy my life now. This wasn't always the case.
I have gone from the needy, striving, covetous position of having nothing and envying others to finding a place for myself in my relationships, my marriage, the working world. I had to evolve from dependence on my husband and friends to dependence on myself. I had to learn to take responsibility; not an easy thing to do when always looking outside myself for happiness.
It has taken 50+ years to understand that happiness truly does come from within. I was told this but never seemed to accept it. I always thought there should be more. But more is all in your head. It is perception and not reality. If you perceive yourself to be happy, you are and vice versa.
This weekend was a fulfilling and reflective series of events. My husband and I attended an art show fundraiser, mingling with the artistic members of our small community. It was a great deal of fun and a different kind of outing for us. Yesterday, our youngest son turned 21, a huge milestone for all concerned. We took seven people to dinner and then he and his friends invited us to one of our favorite bars for a drink. When he paid for our drinks, my husband was all smiles. "This is the way it should be!" he said. I knew what he meant.
We talked about how lucky we are to have two sweet, kind boys, well-liked by their friends, who include their parents in their hopes and dreams and fears. They fill us with pride. Did we do a good job? We did our best.
I do not have the money I wish I had, I do not have the physical health and energy I wish I had. But, I awaken each day, go to a job I like, see my friends often, write in my blog, read my books, garden, cook and participate in life. I'm so far from perfect it's pathetic. I'm so far from secure, it's laughable. But my expectations have lowered considerably. I'm becoming a little easier on myself; more forgiving. These are the things that contribute to my new found sense of well being and contentment.
The painting above is in a collection of art work by my childhood friend, Carson Pritchard. She's another talented artist whose work I want to share. Double click her name above to see her collected works.