Monday, August 07, 2006

Contending with contentment

I've been thinking lately about contentment - what it means, do I have it, does anyone else? Is contentment a right, do we have to fight for it? Is it meant for some but not others? If I find it, is there something I should then do with it? Can I pay it forward? I see others asking the same questions in their own individual ways. Whether it's my roommate trying desperately to craft a life that allows her at some point to slow down enough to truly experience the things and people she loves, to friends who, like myself, are seeking a path that will assure the countless hours to be spent working professionally in our life times will add up to something more than a means to pay the bills.

What I struggle with in my pursuit of contentment is knowing on what basis to judge it. Whenever I have an especially good experience, I try and store it away to be called out of reserves when life is no longer looking so rosy. I try and tell myself at such times that true happiness does not elude me, I can pull it out of this hypothetical pocket and say, "I know joy - I know contentment." But what happens in the in between of such highs and lows - the true meat of your life - if you cannot quite put your finger on a sense of comfort with who and where you are? At what point to you change course, try something new, admit that something is off?

I find it hard having lived what I consider, in the scheme of things, to have been an extremely privileged life, to know when to draw this line. What right do I have to constantly question my happiness when I have all the ingredients of security that life could offer? I look at the world and cannot comprehend the smallness of my life - and yet it is the one thing that is mine and mine alone to obsess over and strive to perfect. And strive I do, but often with such a sense of guilt and insecurity that I fear I dishonor the true significance of existing at all.

ps - This weekend happened to have been one of extreme contentment - a lovely reprieve from attempting to 'sort it all out' by indulging in the best of friends, good food, beautiful surroundings and a dash of reminiscing to remind me that this too shall one day be a time upon which I can look back fondly and remember just what it felt like to grow into life as it asks to be lived.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Neil said...

Great post. And I feel thes ame a lot. Sometimes I wonder if you think too much about your contentment, it becomes harder to attain.

8/10/2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

I'm with ya. I often wonder if I immersed myself in a life situation where pondering such things as "what to do with my life" were a luxury, would figuring out the answer be such a challenge?

8/10/2006 2:00 PM  

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