It recently occurred to me that I don’t need to be any happier. It sounds weird, I know. It felt weird when I realized it too. I’m in a good place. It is a sweet season in our lives. My family is together and healthy. My neighborhood is safe and my home is warm. Our finances are pretty much in order. My husband likes his job. Our son is happy. My time is spent on a mixture of work, volunteering, and writing – I love all three. Wow, happy feels good.
There are things I would like. I would like a newer SUV that wasn’t in self-destruct mode like my current one. I would like some tall, comfy, leather boots (in black and in brown). I would like a new laptop free of keys that stick. I would like some new jeans that fit perfectly (and make me look taller and thinner – of course).
There are things that I wish for. I wish I made more money. I wish I could talk to my Grandma. I wish my niece didn’t have a disease that kept her from walking.
But still I don’t need to be happier. I’m content and it is lovely. In the words of hunky country singer, Dierks Bentley “this life of mine should belong to a better believer.”
Contentment is a real gift. One that far more people should be shopping for. Let’s face it, anyone reading this is fortunate. You live in America, where opportunity and resources are vast, you’re on a computer or smartphone – so compared to much of the world you are wealthy. And yet many still want more. Guess what – more won’t be enough. That iPhone 6 won’t make you smarter. That new boat won’t make your life complete. Those expensive clothes won’t make you more popular.
Being grateful for what you already have teaches you to be content right where you are, regardless, of where that is. Not to say that having nice things isn’t something to go after – I still want the newer vehicle, the boots, the shiny new laptop with backlit keys, and the jeans – but I know those things won’t make me happier. They will be enjoyed. They could even make me feel good, but they won’t bring fulfillment.
I think we all know that time is more important than things, but the conscious decision to want less is empowering. In a world of endless stuff we all still have a limited amount of time, and if you’re too busy looking for the pot of gold you are missing the beautiful rainbow.