I have a lot of wants right now, which is funny because I thought that if I practiced Your Money or Your Life often enough (or any of the other pseudo-zen self-help books I go for) that I would cease to want things and I would find peace and contentment. Maybe that happens in year 3.
What I want right now: to be on the ‘A’ team, to get a promotion, to get a different job entirely, to weigh ten pounds less, to write one thousand words more each night, to be eight thousand dollars richer (I don’t know why I’m so stuck on this number, but I am), to be really working on my writing, to be really working on my network and my career, to be really working on my skating, to be really working on my spiritual health.
Okay, I got a little carried away with that last one, but it’s easy to pile on wants once I get started. New wrist guards, safer helmet, seat cushions for the kitchen chairs. Wanting is so easy. Gratitude is tough. Contentment? Almost impossible.
But I think contentment is what I was aiming for when I asked last week “what if I stopped trying to be a success and started trying to live a good life?” I think what I was really asking was “what if I started trying to be content with the life that I have now?” Because the life I have now is good, in spite of (and because of) the job, the derby, the money (or lack of it). I live in a great place. I live with a great person. I have brains in my head and shoes on my feet. But cultivating contentment feels like giving up. It feels like failure.
Contentment isn’t something I’m going to find in a new job. It isn’t something I’m going to find on the ‘A’ team or at a lower weight or with the right seat cushions. Contentment, like Christmas, isn’t something you buy in a store (two Suess references in one post! I am on a roll!). Which means that I still have some work to do.