Risking Contentment

We are allowed to have no plans today.

We are allowed to enjoy a long, tasty meal without feeling guilty that we aren’t working.

We are allowed to take an afternoon nap and not think we’re lazy because of it.

We are allowed to go the less direct, more beautiful route home.

We are allowed to do the things that stoke our contentment.

That’s often forgotten, though. In our pre-occupied world, contentment is easily conflated with complacent.

Plus, you might say, there is so much to do in our short ride on earth. It’s natural to want to do all we can in our finite lifespans.

Yes.

And if we deny ourselves contentment, we deny ourselves the ability to savor this brief ride we have.

Narrow ideas of productivity - do, do, do; go, go, go; work, work, work - do not alone a meaningful existence make. Meaning necessitates pauses, stillness, reflection; spending our time as a reflection of our values; working in common purpose with others on something larger than we are; the fierceness of spirit to find out who we are in discomfort, doubt, uncertainty.

And the courage to be content with it all. Not complacent and inert. But appreciative. Grateful. In awe of this aching, stunning, spinning world, and our time in it.

This is contentment. If we risk it, it enlarges our spirit to the point where we live so fully, so generously, the world can’t help but be better for our time in it.

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