A Personal Exercise in Contentment

I think most people have an area where they struggle with contentment.  Maybe there are multiple areas – but there is undoubtably that area that rears its ugly head more often than others.  For me, it’s our house.  I often wish we had another bedroom, a separate family room, a second bathroom, or more space than the sprawling 1000 square feet that we currently occupy.  I could go on, but I won’t.  That would defeat the purpose of this exercise.

It hasn’t been much of an issue lately.  In fact, I think it got better when we decided to cut our cable and lost our ability to watch HGTV.  🙂  Still, I’m sure the dissatisfaction and longing for something greater will return sometime and I thought I would take the opportunity in this season of contentment to make a Grateful List about our house.  This is more of a personal journal entry I can refer back to when I need a reminder, though (obviously) you are welcome to read along!  I find the public accountability to be helpful.

GRATEFUL LIST

1.  It is easily affordable for us.  In an economic environment of unemployment, foreclosures, bad loans, and adjustable rate mortgages, I am thankful that we can pay our mortgage easily every month.  Plus, utilities on a small house are pretty low, too.

2.  I love our attached 2-car garage.  And the fact that my husband insists we keep it clear enough to park both cars in it.  It’s spacious enough for both cars, lots of storage, our food pantry, washer/dryer, and a workbench for Rusty.  Many newer garages don’t have as much space.  I also appreciate that I don’t have to go outside in the elements in order to get in my car or bring in groceries.

3.  If you’re only going to have one bathroom, ours is pretty nice.  Plus, if you have more than one bathroom you have to clean more than one bathroom.

4.  I am in love with our kitchen.  It leaves nothing to be desired as far as I’m concerned.  My husband ripped the whole thing out and remodeled it – with lots of upgrades – a couple of years ago and I could not be happier.

5.  I love my fireplace.  This is my favorite part of the inside of the house.  It keeps our home cozy from Fall through Spring.  This year I think we even had a fire in July.  Plus, another benefit of a small house is that it isn’t tough to heat it.  Light a fire in the fireplace, turn on the blower, and the whole entire house is toasty until morning.

6.  Our backyard is awesome & spacious.  In an area where 4000 square foot lots are common I am so grateful for our little piece of paradise.  It’s fully fenced for the dog & the kiddo.  We have a BBQ, eating area, lounger, hammock, storage shed, garden, fire pit, wood shed, and play set – and it doesn’t even feel crowded.  We live out there all summer.  Plus, it looks great.  All credit for this area goes to my husband, the gardner/care-taker/builder/complusive-lawn-mower.

7.  We have space for “extras.”  If we lived somewhere with less outdoor space or community regulations we might not have any place to put our hauling trailer or our camper.  What would we do with ourselves???  We LOVE camping!

8.  It is more than enough.  When I am truly honest with myself I can admit that everything that we may want in a bigger, newer house is about convenience rather than need.  We have been blessed with so much – and everything we may want a bigger house for is actually possible in this one.  It might be a little more crowded, but possible.

So there it is.  A list for me to refer back to somewhere around February when I feel like the walls are closing in.  Maybe (hopefully!) at some point we will be able to move, maybe (hopefully!) we will be blessed with more, or maybe we will retire in this house.  Regardless, I will strive for contentment & gratitude.  Feel free to remind me of Points 1 through 8 when I slip up and whine about the gift that we’ve been given.

Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “A Personal Exercise in Contentment

  1. Hi
    Very impressed how you put forward your thoughts. Right from going back to work to wanting something bigger . I feel the same, nice to read this post, very good. I get thinking about big and nice posh houses watching programmes like relocation relocation or escape to country etc (I live in UK). But yes, I do get the thoughts you have put forwrd – easy to clean, we have also paid off quite a bit of mortgage inspite of paying a substaintial amount towards childcare for past 9 month. I love to wait for your easy dinners on monday, as makes me easy to plan my next week’s menu and have one of them on my list. My boy is bit younger than yours, mine is 15 months and I really loved the post about how people keep talking what to expect. Also being tolerant after being parent – so all in all i think i have apprciated every post of yours. I donot remember how i came across your blog, but loved it. More realistic and simple or may be my life is very similar to yours – being a working mother, having simple dreams, wanting to be good rather than a 100% perfectionist, correct me if i am wrong and i do apologise but reading your blog gives me that idea. And i think letting go and trying not to be 100% makes a healthy environment rather than getting frustrated of not able to achieve 100% and not satisfied of anything achieved or we have.
    Continue to keep good work, not all have the talent and idea to put it in writing. All of us think, all of us have ideas, but not all of us can do what you are doing in this blog. Good work.

    Regards

    Prathiba

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Yes, it does seem that we are living parallel lives, doesn’t it? 🙂 I appreciate your comments. I am having a lot of fun with my blog, it helps me to organize my own thoughts/life. Congrats on paying down the mortgage – we are also working on paying things down, we are following Dave Ramsey’s plan! 🙂

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