16 September, 2010

Perfection + Contentment

Reprinted from SmallNotebook:

flowers-in-green-vase

Photo by
Krikit ♥

When I was in college, I always carried the idea that “next semester would be better.”

Next semester I wouldn’t have this class with such a heavy reading schedule.

Next semester I wouldn’t be bothered by a work-study job grading papers where the professor would call me at home early in the morning asking me to come in for a half-hour of work. I can hear her now: “Rachel…?” (I would still be in bed.)

There was always something wrong that I would be able to fix “next semester.”

Finally one day it occurred to me that there would always be something to fix, something I wouldn’t like, and something that couldn’t be fixed. I didn’t need to have something be “just right” for it to be good.

Now when I see something about my appearance, my home, my circumstances, my job, my family, or really anything at all that I want to be different, I know that’s part of this life. Even though I keep goals, hopes, and plans, I’ve learned not to let “perfect circumstances” be a condition for my contentment.


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This blog post came at a really good time for me. I get in these moods where I want to pack what I can into my car and runaway. Let the top down, blast my iPod and drive until I hit some small town off of Highway 66 and can settle in. Start over. Surely, somewhere other than here has to be better. It won't be so frustrating, things won't be so confusing, I won't hurt people, I will be a better friend and love like I should... God will come alive to me again, instead of being like a fading memory I am desperate to grasp again.

Somewhere else is my "next semester" and the reality is that will never happen. I can move 100 times and my problems will find me every time. I can flee for the rest of my life, change my name, shut out everyone who knows me now - and it will still be there.

Contentment - the ability to say God if you have me here - then okay. It's the best I can do at the moment. I will stop scanning the horizon or dreaming of the quiet home in a foggy tiny village in Germany I would love to have someday... I will stay here, be here, learn, grow and love here - and, who knows, maybe find a bit of rest and contentment in all of my meanderings...

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