Life can at times throw a tremendous sucker punch. I mention my life and times, good and bad, often. Not because I think what I went through was worse (or better) than what others have, or that my life has been more difficult. In truth, while what I went through at times was not happiness and roses, it was mild considered to what others have endured. Yet, I believe that there are lessons to be learned through those moments, and that maybe, just maybe, someone who is dealing with a difficult time will find encouragement through those shares.
I wonder now, sitting here in my chair, the morning sunlight bright in the window, a stray cat or two or three wandering up to see if there is any food left out back, and my coffee cup once again nearing empty, am I content, in the content of my life? Am I happy, with where I am now?
Yes, and no.
There are memes on social media that loops around ever so often asking something along the lines of ‘who lost everything and had to begin again with nothing’? Followed by a list of names of those who have had to do exactly that. Sometimes I respond, more often I don’t. Even though it is happening more now than before, I tend to not look back. There is a reason that rear view mirror is small, right?
I don’t discuss it often because in the here and now, it is unimportant, but I have been married three times.
The first time, before I ended up giving up on trying, we lost a new mobile home and a new to us car, through repossession. We moved into a rental house with no heat. The power was turned off. It was the cold from the man I was married to and not the cold of no heat that finally caused me to leave. We had depended on the charity o others too often. I left with what was mine and I started again.
I got a decent job. I moved into a rental mobile home and I was doing okay. I got my divorce and was moving on along. Then the man who was to become husband number two came along. We ended up moving from North Carolina to Louisiana. I found out what being married to a very abusive alcoholic was like. I began to drink myself. As long as I was drinking, he left me alone. Until that one night. I later managed to escape and come back home. With a few suitcases of clothing. Everything else, furniture given to me by my grandmother, a console stereo given to me by my parents, a lifetime of records and albums left behind. I wanted to live so, that was left.
I came home and started all over again, again. I found a job and was moving forward. Then I met the man who would become husband number three. We bought a mobile home, we ended up moving it to the dirt road and we had a son. When my grandfather died (Grandmother died years before) my parents bought my uncle’s part of the house. They moved into it and we moved into this house. Thirty-two years of marriage ended when my husband died suddenly.
Three years after that, I found myself without a job. I had in a sense, to begin again, again. In a different manner.
And I have and I continue to move forward. Am I content? Yes….and no.
I think that many of us can stop and look back and see times when life has not been easy. That we have struggled and we have lost. We have tried as hard as we could, but lost our grasp and watched as what we had dropped away. We then faced having to find a way, to begin anew.
Right now, I am content. I have a feeling of peace and calm within that I haven’t had in a long time. I realize that every time I stop, take a deep breath and feel the warmth of the contentment within.
I’ve heard the statement, be happy with what you have. I can say that for the most part (that Wrangler envy aside) I am. I don’t need a big, fancy house, I only need a place to sleep and be safe from the weather. I really don’t need that Wrangler, I have a good car that gets me where I need to go. I don’t need millions of dollars I need only to be able to pay the bills, eat, and the occasional plant…well clothing is good too.
Where am I not content? In my weakness (Wrangler envy aside). I still have those moments of fear, of insecurity, of loneliness when the house is too quiet and I have no one to talk with but myself. But, those are now far and few between as I find my intended path.
I think, that many of us battle the emotions that cause us to feel less. To feel unwanted, unneeded, a failure. All are untrue. No matter who we are, as long as we continue to take steps, as long as we move forward, we are not failing. I said it before, even if in the process of moving forward we take a step or two back, turn it into a dance and boogie on children. Hear the music in your heart and dance to the beat of your life. We are loved, we are cherished, we are special. Even in the moments when we are faced with starting again, when our life seems to be in shambles, the wreckage of what was spread out around us, we can find the contentment in our breath. In our friendships. In the simple, quiet, gentle things.
Like a long hike in the woods, a cup of coffee in the morning watching the sunrise, the smile of our children, dancing to old time rock and roll, spending time in prayer and meditation. Am I content in the content of my life? Actually..yes.