#oneword2015 Update: Contentment

For the past few years, I have chosen one word to be my New Year’s resolution.  I try to pick one word that I want to embody or even just pay more attention to throughout the coming year.  This year, I chose the word “contentment.”

(Read more about my #oneword2013, #oneword2014, and #oneword2015.)

I’m almost four months into 2015 so far, and what I have learned about this word surprises me more than any other word I have chosen as my #oneword.  Turns out, contentment, more than any word before, has a completely different meaning than I thought it did!  I always thought that to be content was a form of happiness.  If you were content with your situation, then you were pretty happy with your situation.  I pictured contentment as happiness sitting in a rocking chair.  Sort of an older, wiser, calmer, more confident form of happiness.  But what I  have discovered this year is that contentment doesn’t have a darn thing to do with being happy.

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For me, contentment has been all about being present where I am and with what I am doing.  I’ve cut back on multi-tasking this year, thanks for this big word.  Because if I am sitting at Bean’s tee ball practice, but grading papers for school, then I am not content to be at tee ball practice.  Instead, I am wishing I were somewhere else doing school work.  And that just isn’t the case.  I WANT to be at that tee ball field.  I WANT to sit quietly in the lobby for an hour while Gracie is in ballet class.  I WANT to go grocery shopping.  I WANT to go to bed early.

The problem I always have encountered in my adult life is balancing the wants with the shoulds.  I might want to be at the tee ball practice, but I SHOULD be grading papers.  I might want to sit in the quiet lobby and breathe for an hour, but I SHOULD be responding to emails.  I might want to go grocery shopping, but I SHOULD be signing the kids up for swimming lessons.  I might want to go to bed early, but I SHOULD be up late blogging.  With a focus on contentment, I have stopped this mumbo jumbo called multi-tasking.  If I am content to sit and watch Bean play tee ball, then that is all I am going to do at that moment.

Surprisingly, this has not meant that I haven’t been doing things that I SHOULD do because I’m just doing the things I WANT to do.  In fact, the opposite has happened.  When I am at school, I know that I will not give myself the option of working while sitting at tee ball or ballet or wherever I am, so I better get it all finished while I am there.  I know that I won’t give myself the option of checking my email while I wait for the grocery clerk to check out all my groceries, so I make sure I get that done in the time I am supposed to be checking my email.

When I am working, I am content to be working, and when I am playing, I am content to be playing.

It’s all very zen of me.

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More than any other year, more than any other word, I think contentment is making the most profound impact on my life.  I am sleeping better than I ever have before (and that is a minor miracle), I have almost no anxiety right now (another minor miracle), I am happy and fulfilled.

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I am content.  And it’s not what I expected, at all.

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4 thoughts on “#oneword2015 Update: Contentment

  1. You should be glad you are learning this now. It usually takes many, many years to learn about contentment. Good for you Katie!

  2. Stephanie

    I love reading about your contentment! Go Katie!

  3. Bonnie B.

    I am LOVING this idea of contentment. It’s not a definition I would have thought of. And I’m going to try it myself.

  4. Chloe P

    That’s my word for 2015! I told my husband back in January that I was picking the word contentment instead of a resolution. Be happy with what you have right now and stop worrying about all of the wants. 🙂

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