Finding Contentment in the Midst of Madness

I hate loading the dishwasher. I really do. It’s not because I don’t like clean dishes, I very much like clean dishes. What I hate about it the mundane, never-endingness of it all. Every day. Unload the dishwasher… load the dishwasher. It happens every day… without fail.

There is something about the monotony of this task that drives me crazy. But that is life… right? We often get caught up in the little things of life and they make it difficult for us to see the big things, the things that really matter. Loading the dishwasher is miniscule in reality. It’s not really that big of a deal. No matter how much it feels like it.

I have always understood the saying, ‘You can’t see the forest for the trees’, but it didn’t always connect with me in a meaningful way like it does now. It could very easily be worded, ‘You can’t see the time spent withe family for the dishwasher loading,’ Or something as equally mundane and benign. I have found myself guilty of focusing too much on the little things of that don’t matter much to the detriment of living in the moment.

Contentment, joy, or happiness have never come easily for me. My wife often tells me that I am consistent grumbler, I must enjoy complaining, and I seem to thrive on being upset. While I don’t expect to not be any of those things, I do expect to find more contentment and joy in the things of my life. I’m not going to go down the ‘enjoy the little things in life, you never know how time you have’ rabbit hole. However, I will say when you are faced with a significant and dramatic change of the norm it does make sense to focus more on the normal things to find the enjoyment, contentment, and happiness available to us.

I have three boys. The oldest of which is graduating high school in a couple weeks. Upon graduation he will be going away for college, but before that he will be shipping out for basic training in the Army. This feels like a watershed moment in my life. And honestly, I am not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I feel very proud and excited for him. On the other hand, I feel like we haven’t had enough time and I am not close to being ready for him to take the next steps in his life. I am enjoying the shift in our relationship as he grows into a man. I am proud of who he is becoming. I just don’t know if I am ready for him to leave home.

Which is why it is important to find contentment, joy, happiness, or whatever you want to call it in each day we live. I don’t have any specific tips or tricks to share for finding contentment each day… I am by no means an expert in this. What I can tell you is I am making efforts to be present for my family each day in everything we are doing. I am making efforts to find happiness in who I am, and in the work, I find myself doing. I am working to maximize my potential, talents, and abilities to make the most impact in the lives of the people I interact with.

I suppose, I do have one tip for finding contentment each day. It is something I try to do each day with varying levels of success, if I’m honest. Some days it works, other days it doesn’t. Decide each day to have contentment that day. Make a decision to be happy. There are so many things in our lives we don’t have control over. The one thing we do have control over is how we respond to external stimuli we experience. We can’t control how people interact or treat us, but we can control how we respond to the people around us. To find contentment in the midst of the madness begins with making a conscious choice to be content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: