Tag Archives: contentment

Discontent

Within our Torah community, discontent is something we often discuss.  It’s pervasive in this day and age, and likely always has been.

We see it played out in the exodus story – the people complaining about their meal delivery plan not being as diverse as what they had available to them in bondage.  Rather than continuing to celebrate their freedom from bondage, rather than being thankful for the daily food they were delivered, rather than being in awe of the historic event they participated in, they instead obsessed upon that discontent of temporary gastrointestinal displeasure.

Always looking for something to make us feel better, why are we not satisfied with ‘enough’.  When is it ‘enough’?

Why do I feel like the dining set I’ve had for 20 years needs to be replaced?  It’s sturdy, it expands to seat extra people, it’s scratches and worn finish could easily be covered over.  What creates that desire to have more, to replace what already exists?  It seems so easy to justify whatever we perceive as our desires – and that self-justification and subsequent acquisition only temporarily lulls that lusty appetite for more.

I could dive into the psychological manipulations of the marketing gurus from decades past, or the social manipulations being currently driven by mass data mining and artificial intelligence.  But it goes back much farther than that.

The desire to have what is perceived to be better than our current holdings, our current space, our current position, this drive to have what was not ours, it’s making us miserable.  And it seems our species is entrenched with it as part of our genetic make-up.  It seems we’ve always been looking for more.

This discontent has upset the entire global structure and clouds our perception of how life should truly operate.  We think we can improve upon every natural thing, but instead corruption and destruction lies in our wake.   Our self-importance and striving to improve our lots are threatening to wipe out important species, and draining our natural resources.

Where does it stop?  How do we turn this gluttonous belly of society into a functional form?

What is your discontent?  How can you accept your place, your space, your allotment in life and embrace contentment?

Are you out of line?  Am I?

Cultural Days: Bittersweet Pages

Today marks the cultural page turn – from 48 to 49… meaning that I’ll begin telling myself that I’m 50 now.

It’s a bittersweet change, a journey-marking and emotion-stirring sort of transition.

I love who I’ve become.  It’s been a long hard journey, but I feel it’s come full circle now – I found the girl I lost a long, long time ago.

A woman now, but with a girlish joy, a girlish energy, a girlish view of life – with a firm foundation of reality and knowledge.

Oh, I don’t know it all – hell no I don’t!

But what I do know gives me courage.

It gives me strength and fortitude.

And I can now look in the mirror and say “I love you, you beautiful bad-ass you!”

That took a long time, and I just realized today that it’s real.

Sadly, I’m now the number my grandmother reached, never to count another.

Did she ever reach a satisfaction point?

Was she ever able to look at the mirror and love those eyes looking back?

I’m only two years from the number my mother last counted.

I don’t know that she had the satisfaction of self-acceptance either.

This anchors me, holds me firmly on my feet.

I think of their end – to feel as young as I feel, yet to have lived as much as I have lived now.  To realize how precious life is – I mean, we finally really get that at this age!  Then to be done?

Finished.

No knowledge, no history to follow.

Missed opportunities, missed grand-kids, missed great grand-kids…

That rocks my world a bit.  It makes their absence seem off-balance, skewed and unreal.

I know that I’m 90% likely to exceed this year by 20 or 40 (yes, I’ll take the positive view) years.  I’m thankful for what I have and what possibilities exist…

And I’m so happy with where I am, where we are, my spouse and I – where our kids are, and what our lives are about.

More importantly, I’m so thankful to Almighty that I’ve been allowed the opportunity to see today.  We really never truly know if we’ll see tomorrow…

Sigh.

There you have it – it’s bittersweet…

But there’s more — I’ll share the “cherry on top” moment for the day:

Moving slowly this morning, just a little worn from four hours of road time yesterday, topped by a 5K mud dash for a fundraiser, I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I’d accomplished a physical feat that I had been unsure of, and I had met new people and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

lozilu profile

I took my sweet time, finally taking time to run through the edits and uploads for my niece’s bridal shower pictures.  Much later than my usual time, I was ready to eat breakfast and get outside to monitor the poor, neglected garden.

I was in such a hurry to get outside, I decided to take my yogurt/granola out with me and eat it as I walked through the garden.

There I was, granola bowl in hand, rounding the corner of the garage, noticing that there was a strange chair peeking out from behind the camper.

As I continued my approach, the accompanying bistro style table with colorful flower mosaic tile and second chair came into view!

I have to admit, the smile on my face was the biggest I’ve had, and the tears that streamed down my face were pure joy.

I slowly set my bowl down and admired his choice, feeling the sudden rush of contentment that comes from someone just knowing me so well.

Yes, I feel pretty good, pretty grounded about the number fifty.