Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.
“This is really sad,” Adventure Guy said as he joined me lounging in bed last night. We had assumed the position: pillows propped, laptops on laps, television tuned to an episode of Weeds on DVD. The kids were in bed, and we were enjoying those precious moments of quiet before bed, our time.
And that time is far from sad. While we may need to ditch the electronics from time to time, that comfortable familiarity is something I value most in our marriage. After nineteen years together, he knows me far better than anyone else. He’s my confidant, the one I want to talk to about the good and the bad, the exciting and the mundane.
Contentment is not exactly something I’ve striven for in my life. I’m much more of the type to disregard accomplishments as soon as I’ve achieved them. I’ve always been the one looking toward the next task, the next challenge, the next thing to possess. But, suddenly, I find myself in a place I really like, a place I have to call contentment.
Careening toward forty at a rapid pace, content is not exactly where I expected to me right now. I hated turning 39. I had been dreading the next birthday. But, now, admittedly 6 months from the big date, I’m not focused on that milestone like I was earlier. I attribute much of that feeling to Adventure Guy, but I also know that my new job has something to do with that as do the current ages of my kids. I love the new challenges at work right now, the opportunity to make a significant difference in the operations of All-American Public Schools. And I love having older kids, even dealing with Dancer Girl, our resident teenager. I enjoy being able to have a different level of conversation with my children than I could when they were younger, and I especially enjoy catching those glimpses of the adults they’ll turn into in just a few years.*
While I’m sure that one day soon readers will surf by the find me bemoaning the latest personal or career crisis or the everyday craziness that is my life, for tonight, all’s right in Suburbia.
*In case the above post made anyone feel like throwing up just a little bit because of the sappiness, I should mention that my current level of contentment does not rise to the level that I would feel comfortable posing nude for a Times Square billboard like the women I just saw on Ophrah did. There’s got to be a limit to this whole contentment thing.