Friday, August 9, 2013

Chasing Contentment

      Here we are and the holy month of Ramadan is over. Can you believe it? When Ramadan falls in the summer I find myself worried about the long days and hot weather and now I am shocked at how quickly it is passing me by and what a beautiful and blessed month it has really been.  It is strange how as people we sometimes worry about small selfish stuff and if we take a minute and go up for air we see how truly amazing and bountiful the gifts of Allah are and how small many of our worries really are.
  Today I took the kids down to a little playground that is within walking distance of our house. The weather was lovely and it was just a beautiful dream watching them so young and free and happy. Today was one of those days were I felt like I was totally on top of the world. Some days I feel down and as if I am missing out on something or not doing anything well enough and some days I feel like I have everything in the world I could ever ask for. I guess I should see it as a blessing that I can appreciate all that life has given me. . . but I still kinda wish I could find a happy balance and be content everyday. . . but maybe I would miss the roller coaster . . .who knows? When I was at the park my brother called and invited us to lunch and that was such a wonderful surprise. I walked the kids back home so we could get ready to meet him. As we approached the house I marveled at the beauty of my little corner of the world. Some days I might come home frustrated that my yard isn't as nice as some neighbors or irritated at the kids toys lying around. . . but today I admired my little hodge podge of colours in my flower beds and was even struck by the beauty of seeing my kids bikes and ball in the yard. It was beautiful because Allah has granted me the blessing of sharing my life with these beautiful little people. All I could ask is that the days don't pass by us so quickly. In moments like these my heart is so full and utterly content in this life.
   When I say chasing contentment I chose the word contentment because it felt more apt than happiness. I figure you can have contentment without happiness but I'm not sure you can have happiness without contentment. I don't mean that you should settle and not strive for more. Of course we will always have wants and desires and goals but perhaps our whole well being shouldn't be based on obtaining them. Because if it is I'm not sure that obtaining them will bring happiness. . . the wants will merely change and expand and the happiness of obtaining them is really just an illusion. But I am definitely a victim of this self imposed torture. I ponder the what if I had done this or been this . . . I wish I had more of this. . . I would be happier if I had more money or if I was better looking or if I could do this or go there. I know the real secret to happiness is accepting who you are and what you can do from this day forward. The secret is being content with yourself and content with what you have and content with the decisions you make. Because if you are always in a state of inner turmoil how can you begin to find happiness. But dang it. . . I'm not Zen . . I have my moments of peace and true happiness and then I have lots of moments of self doubt and regrets and gasp . . perhaps worst of all self pity and jealousy.
   But sometimes true happiness feels so obtainable. Beautiful days like today keep me dreaming. I was thinking yesterday as we painted the house that all of that had its own peculiar beauty. I mean my husband and I were here painting our house. In a way we were working on our life together. Little by little we are making our own little refuge from the world. I feel so close to him not only when we share our big dreams but also when we share the small ones. I feel like when we work on all of our little small dreams together we are working on the very life we hope to spend together. We have our lives and our hopes and our dreams for our children's lives. I want to be little old people walking together and holding hands in the parking lot at the grocery store. I want little white rocking chairs on our front porch. I want us to grow old together  . . . and when we are so old that no one can even imagine us as young people. . . I want us to see each other as we have been and as we are and as a lifetime well shared. InshaAllah we can make that life. But in the meantime I want to appreciate every single moment I have and the beautiful little children who still need me as much as I need them :).
Salaam Ladies.

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