Life is a strange thing - with twists and turns you've never imagined. It's different to wake up each morning and feel, if not happy than content. No one can be happy all the time, something I think many people strive for in vain. Happiness is a fleeting emotion and a very fickle one to base your life upon. I had so many years where stability and companionship were only a dream, and far too many responsibilities that fell completely on my shoulders. But I have learned something about living life, about the myth that is total independence.

People are not made to be independent, people are made to love, to nuture, to have a purpose. I find my purpose in writing a story that people enjoy, I find my purpose in creating a great web application, I find my purpose in doing something for my husband that makes his life easier, I find my purpose in caring for my children. I've come to the realization that the quest for fame and fortune and independence that lurks at the heart of most people is simply an inability to find contentment where they are, humans seem to constantly want to be more, to do more in their hearts. But at the end of my life, I will be remembered as a person not in the accomplishments I leave behind, but in the memories and lives of the people I know, contact, and love. It's like dominoes, if I can touch one life, they will reach out to others.

Human emotions are a shallow, base thing that can be affected far too much by the physical. I cry when I'm pregnant and hormones rush through my body. I get depressed in the winter when my skin doesn't receive enough sunlight. The synapses in my brain mingle with a chemical cocktail that influences the way I feel. I've discovered that there is no logic to emotion - and contentment is learning to let the logical side of your mind - the side that says I'm useful, I have my needs met, I'm content with life no matter what emotion is fluttering in my heart today - that logical side let's me forgive, forget, move on with my life and not yearn for the fleeting things. Those with fame and fortune, those with independence aren't any happier. Some people even run away from a solid relationship, a good life, to chase the path of ambition. But they still fight the same demons, because the problem is not their situation, it's inside their mind.

And every time I look at my children, I realize that at this moment they are my greatest purpose. I only have them for a short time, and when they're gone I can write a great novel or go back to school. I'll live to be in my eighties, I'm barely a fourth of the way through my life. And on days when I feel cramped, useless, hemmed in, I get out a book and read it to my children and watch their faces as they learn, and remember that sometimes personal accomplishment is helping someone else reach great things.



Learning contentment is like learning to read. Once mastered a whole world of opportunities opens up!

2005-08-19 7:29 am

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