Monday, April 25, 2011

If You Go Lookin For It, You Might Just Find It...

There have been a couple times over the past week that have have gone looking for contentment and, amazingly, I've found it.

One day last week, I'd had enough. Stresses that had been building over the past month as well as putting on a major event had simply worn me out. I had been burning the candle at both ends and trying to be all things to all people and I needed a break. So, I took what I called a "mental health day" and basically laid on a blanket in the back yard. I watched the clouds passing by overhead and reveled in the gorgeous blue color of the sky. I soaked in the warm rays of sunshine and rolled over to find the most delicate of flowers disguised as a weed. No bigger than a pencil eraser, this yellow beauty lay hidden among the blades of grass partially trampled as I picked the perfect spot.... and it was only after close observation that I even noticed it. I made note of its tiny, delicate petals and how perfectly formed it was. I marveled that had I not made a point to take a "time out", go outside, lay on a blanket and stare at the ground...I would have never discovered this perfectly perfect little bloom.

What a metaphor for every day life. What beautiful things are right under our nose--largely unnoticed due to our "busyness" or our failure to simply look for them? Yes, the little yellow bloom I found was indeed "just" a weed. But it was beautiful and a much-needed reminder that focusing on even the most minute, seemingly unimportant details can bring things into perspective.

I also found contentment this evening in the most simple of acts. And that act was cooking dinner. I picked up the boys from school and had NO desire to go get groceries. However, not only did I buy groceries, I bought enough to last a couple weeks. And after putting them away, I put in a load of laundry and began cooking dinner. The boys were outside and Keith was cutting the lawn and I found it. Contentment. I lit the candles in my kitchen and living room and soaked in the simple pleasure of having enough. Enough money to buy the groceries I needed (and many I didn't!), enough time to pick up the boys from school and take them with me on my excursion, enough determination to clean the house before we left for Easter so I could have a peaceful start to our week... and enough insight to appreciate the simplicity of an uneventful, regular ol' evening of doing things for my family.

Needless to say, I'm happy I made a conscious decision to look for contentment lately and am always amazed and when, and how, I find it. One thing's for sure--whether it's in the unappreciated beauty of a miniscule flower or the sizzling of onions in a skillet on my stove...I'll be looking at my life a little differently from now on.

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