When I think of contentment, I think of being happy with what I have versus what I want. I don’t really think of contentment being about what I have versus what I had.
“Don’t long for ‘the good old days.’ This is not wise.” Ecclesiastes 7:10 NLT
How often do we wish for “the good old days?” Fondly remembering our high school friends or college days? Remembering the way it used to be in our marriage or relationships? When our kids were babies?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that reminiscing is wrong. But there is a point in life where we need to move from the past into the present. We need to be content in the moment and focus on where we are today.
I love catching up with my high school and college friends on social media. It’s so great to see them with their spouses, kids and grandkids. It’s great to celebrate their accomplishments. But there is a fine line where we may not move from the past into the present, especially if there are regrets.
Consider Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. Like it or not, Napoleon Dynamite has some pretty significant life truths in it. Uncle Rico stayed so focused on what could have happened in his life had the coach put him in during the big game. Mind you, there is no guarantee that things would have been any different, only his perception that it would have. By choosing to live in the past and what could have been he failed to move to the present and lost his girlfriend because he “lived too much in the past.” Contentment would have saved him money on the time machine that obviously didn’t work. 😉
What about our relationships? We hear so often, “It just isn’t the same as in the beginning.” Well I certainly hope not! My husband and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage soon. It is definitely not the same. It is so much better! Our friendship is deeper. We have moved into this awesome season in our lives where we are so much more connected than we have ever been. If you are focusing on the past, STOP IT!! Move forward!! Put in the effort needed and enjoy the present. You are with that person for a reason, remember it and use that memory to propel you forward into reigniting that relationship and making it better than it was!
I love babies!! There is nothing like holding a newborn. Inevitably when I hold or see a newborn it takes me back to when all my 5 were babies. I remember the way each child felt in my arms, Believe it or not, they all felt different. When my older ones were born I was more intimidated by them so I don’t feel as though I truly enjoyed that time. However, as the younger ones came along I truly enjoyed that newborn stage. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I was acutely aware of how fast time moved along.
I remember my mom telling me as I sat up in the middle of the night nursing my oldest daughter, “Enjoy these sleepless nights. These are the easy ones.” How right she was. It’s so easy to have a house full of teenagers and small kids and wonder, “Where did those days go?” Those days you knew exactly where they were and or they had not yet discovered rebellion or attitude. But it is so important to enjoy the ages they are now. Even the teenagers. I know it’s hard. But you will survive, I’m proof of that.
So enjoy today. Enjoy the season you are in. Contentment is a gift to yourself. Don’t look back and wish for “the good old days,” because in a few years these will be “the good old days.” Don’t miss them.