Holiday season always seems to bring out the introspection as many of us begin to recount all the many things that we’re thankful for. Some years the list may not be as long as you would like, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re alive and that in itself is a blessing.
I’m not immune to this at all. As Thanksgiving rolled around I found myself in deep appreciation for my life. The last few years of my life have been one giant testimony to the goodness of God and what favor looks like. I certainly have plenty to be thankful for.
However, I am the type of person to consistently struggle with lack of patience and maybe a bit of over-ambition. When I was 9 I wanted my MBA. When I was 10 I wanted to be 13. When I was 13 I wanted to be 16. I couldn’t wait to turn 21. I couldn’t wait to be married. So forth and so on. I’m always waiting for the next big thing. Ready to get there. Ready to “make it”. For me it keeps me motivated, but I admit that it’s not necessarily the best outlook on life. It makes it seem as though I never enjoy what I have.
Well that all changed the other night. This weekend The Beau and I decorated our house for the first time together and more special, the first time as husband and wife. Our house is all warm and cozy now for the holiday season. It’s perfect and right now life feels just perfect. So then I was out on a quick run to the grocery store when I had a thought looking at the remaining Christmas trees for sale. “I am content”.
It just hit me like a ton of bricks. For the first time in my life I am just so happy and pleased with where I am today. I embraced that moment and allowed myself to truly understand the present, the current, the right here right now. I allowed myself to open my mind to who I am today and where my life is at this time.
I’m 29. I’m healthy. I have the best husband in the whole wide world for me. I have a beautifully large family of blood, in-laws, and friends. I have the Fortune 500 Corporate career with the salary to match. I’ve been to 10 countries in the last 2 years with 3 more locked for 2014. I have happiness. I realized that if the world ended at that moment, I would be happy. There are plenty of ambitions I still have, and plenty of “things” I still want in life (like children! Eventually…..), but even still, I am happy with today.
That’s not to say I haven’t had reasons to be sad. Business school was stressful and it was by the grace of God and my networking husband that I landed myself in my dream career. I lost my Uncle/Best Friend and two other family members this summer in a tragic violent ending to his marriage that taught me a great lesson as I prepared for my own marriage. Believe me; my boat has been rocked quite a bit.
The first valuable lesson I learned in life that has helped me to get to this point was to always see the silver lining. That takes real work, but you watch your best friend die of cancer but live life like there are no worries and you have a different perspective. By always seeing the silver lining, I take comfort that even in midst of bad times, I know I’ll come out of it. Faith keeps me on my toes and believing that something good can and will come from the bad. This has proven true every single time.
But this recent revelation of being content has given me my second most valuable lesson in life. God will only give you what you can handle. That being said the present moment is so precious. When you are able to stop and love what is happening “now” you will be able to draw upon that moment for strength later when you need to.
It’s amazing to me how time flies. Years ago I was living in Atlanta having a great time but not pleased with where my life was headed. I kept my eyes on my ambitions and figured out a way to make them happen. Today, I’ve come such a long way, and I’ve grown so much, but I’m finally slowing down. I know the children will come when we’re ready (not yet Mom!), and the many other things I so excitedly want will too. The difference is I’m not in any rush. I’m so thankful for today that I want tomorrow to be a surprise.