9.17.2012

Content: /kuhn 'tent/

For quite a while now - for a few years in fact - I've felt truly content with my life.  I don't think that I've ever felt this way for such a long stretch of time.  I'm happy to say that the important things in my life are and have been really, really good for some time now.

I absolutely adore my husband.  I've said a million times here that Barry is my best friend.  We have a great time together, no matter what we're doing.  We make each other better people.  And after 16 years, I still think he's super cute.

I have an amazing family.  My parents were (and are) totally committed to raising a strong, ethical, and happy family, and they are endlessly supportive.  I love my brother and sister and their spouses and kids.  I enjoy their company and I am inspired by their creativity and talent in fields of design.  I have in-laws that most would envy.  They are fun to hang out with and they have been very generous to me and Barry.

I have great friends who introduce me to new things and with whom I love to share my time.  And I enjoy my time to myself, filling it with lots of different activities that bring me joy.

I live in a city that is both exciting and comforting to me.  We own a little home in it that is perfect for the two of us.

I have a secure job that I enjoy going to.  I work with creative people and get to use lots of different skills that leave me satisfied at the end of the work day.

I am healthy and strong.  I am in decent physical shape and my mind is often stress-free.  I sleep well at night.

I should be content, right?  I've got it good.  Real, real good.


I'd been riding this wave of contentment for a while.  And then it hit me.  Should I be content with this contentment?  I'd spent much of my teens and twenties thinking about where I wanted to be next and how I should get there.  I feel like I was always working to get to a better place.  I probably didn't appreciate how good things were at that time, but I was driven.  I don't miss the intensity and stress of that drive, but I've started to wonder if my contentment is making me complacent.  If I've lost some edge that kept me moving (and, maybe, interesting).  Thoughts on any this, friends?

Some thoughts of mine that are related to contentment but not related to each other:

Is it boring to be content?

I wonder if living on the West Coast for a while has played a role in this change I've noticed in myself.  I definitely attribute some of the drive I had when I was younger with the pace that surrounded me in New York City.

Since I'm so content with the state of my life, I should be spending some of my time helping other people who need it.  I kick around the idea of volunteering a lot but haven't really done much about it.  It's time.

13 comments:

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

I can pretty much relate to most of what you've posted here, Susie! The last time I could recall not being content was when I was a teenager and couldn't wait to get out of my hometown and go to NYC. Everything in my life since then has made me feel pretty content, or if I wasn't content, things somehow changed and I was fine again. Right now, Andy and I are struggling a bit with running the business, and I have to keep reminding myself how much worse things could be. I'm not entirely content...and I'm pretty sure it's not making me more interesting. However, it is making me work harder, which is a good thing. (I always think of myself as lazy, but I think my parents raised me with a pretty decent work ethic, because I always seem to equate "work" with "good"!) Life is about ups and downs, and as cliche as it is, the bad times can make us appreciate the good (or even boringly content ones) so much more. It sounds to me like you're on the cusp of doing something new and exciting, and I say go for it!

marissahuber.com said...

Good post and question, Suzy. I think it's refreshing that you're living in the present and feeling happy and grateful for the good parts of your life. Life throws us all enough curve balls, that maybe we should enjoy times when we're feeling like this. Or it could be you're in a different place in your life, out of the rat race of the "East Coast"?! You're old enough and confident enough to know what you whom you enjoy, and not waste your time worrying about what you should be doing.

If you're bored, then maybe it's time to see what you can change up, but I think you already are. You're taking some risks in your jewelry, trying new things, had some non-content car troubles and winter slumps...so ENJOY :)

xoxox

marissahuber.com said...

Good post and question, Suzy. I think it's refreshing that you're living in the present and feeling happy and grateful for the good parts of your life. Life throws us all enough curve balls, that maybe we should enjoy times when we're feeling like this. Or it could be you're in a different place in your life, out of the rat race of the "East Coast"?! You're old enough and confident enough to know what you whom you enjoy, and not waste your time worrying about what you should be doing.

If you're bored, then maybe it's time to see what you can change up, but I think you already are. You're taking some risks in your jewelry, trying new things, had some non-content car troubles and winter slumps...so ENJOY :)

xoxox

marissahuber.com said...

Oops. Please delete one! Ha!

Mom said...

WOW Suzy,

Am overcome with this post and it's going to take me time to respond. This exceeds anything I could imagine.

I love you so much and am so grateful and thankful to God that you are my wonderful daughter. Love forever, Mom

Nadia said...

Maybe it's time for a big, scary challenge!

to answer your questions said...

I feel you on the east coast/west coast thing. When I lived back east (and when I visit) I felt/feel the "fire" constantly. I feel more alive and motivated when I'm back there.

Oh, and if you are looking to "shake things up" a bit- try having a baby. It will kick your arse:)

Hope to see you soon.

LeeAnn said...

As women, we routinely define how happy we are by the relationships we have with the people we love. Sounds like you are in a good spot! Contentment is such a prized state of being. Contentment takes work! And it needs continual maintenance too. So in my world Contentment only becomes Complacency when you stop working at it. Additionally, when you get the internal workings of your home and personal life working well, it is the perfect opportunity to reach out and give of yourself in some other capacity. What you are filled with is what you give out. A pitcher of water gives water because that is what it holds. If you are filled with contentment, joy, and rest this is what you'll give to others as you spend time with them. :)

Cheryl Arkison said...

Definitely not boring to be content. I think too many of us always try to be more, to do more, without stopping to realize that the here and now is a pretty damn good place to be.

That being said, if you want more then go for it!

Mike Nettleton said...

There is nothing boring at all with being content. Actually, being comfortable and confident in your contentedness (sorry about the alliteration run) is refreshing and interesting. There seems to be a national obsession with striving and restlessness. That's fine if you're not where you want to be, but if you are, why the guilt?

As far as the east/west dichotomy, for me, the "energy" of the east coast, NY specifically, is misleading. I didn't feel energized simply from being in NY. If anything, I felt agitated and my energy constantly being sapped. Honestly, I see a lot more people devoting more time to their passions on the west coast. It just so happens that many of those things aren't strictly urban or commercial. My two cents. . .

Shan said...

I agree with LeeAnn...contentment is a prized state of mind. Not easy to achieve it! And, I suspect that once you have achieved it, contentment becomes a habit - a praiseworthy one.

Plus I have learned that life runs in cycles, and alternates between "in breath" and "out breath", so to speak. You never know when the next "in breath" is coming (surge in busy-ness) so ride that out-breath wave as long as possible!

PS: I'm coming to Portland next month for just one day...hoping to try to find the boutique which stocks Sulu!

Julie Owsik Ackerman said...

Wow, Suz. Great question. Should I be content with my contentment? I think appreciating the gifts of your life and having gratitude feed contentment. And I agree that surely rough times will visit again, so enjoy the contentment as much as possible. It will fortify you in the future. And keep asking questions. The Jesuits would be so proud :)

Janine said...

I always tell people how boring I am- and I am really content with that. To me "boring" a lot of times equals happiness.
Time to read, time to cook, time to eat, time to be...that's life quality to me. Just my two cents...
P.S: really nice to read what you've been up to lately & glad to hear your dad is better!