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con-TENT vs. CON-tent

Someone told me yesterday that their observation of me was that I am “exceedingly happy”. I laughed aloud. Partially because it’s untrue and partially because I seriously doubt I project an affectation that I am exceedingly happy. I felt defensive and explanatory. I needed to correct this notion that I am exceedingly happy. But then I paused for a split second, gave a half-hearted rebuttal and then ruminated upon this notion for half a day. I’m still chewing. I am happy, quite happy. There is much for which I can be happy. And thankful. And grateful. I am most assuredly not unhappy. Nor am I discontent. I am quite content which is quite an accomplishment. In fact, when I was asked by my not yet estranged father shortly after the birth of my first son what I wished for him and his life I said, “I hope he is content.” My father thought this an odd ambition; I didn’t want for my son’s health or wealth or happiness. I didn’t. My father wanted to know why. I responded then – I would respond similarly if asked today – “We won’t always be healthy, wealth is fleeting and money never makes anyone happy; happiness is an intangible. One can be content in any situation; it’s all about perspective.”

I am quite content. Truly. I am not always happy. Health and wealth are relative and possibly just as intangible as happiness. But I am quite content. I have a kick ass kitchen in which to cook and I occasionally get to cook and bake for others. I have a yard and gardens and I am learning new things. I am learning to accept the imperfect vegetable. I am actually eating things I grow….from seeds. That’s a bit wild. It is a lesson in patience. And lastly, I am piddling. Doing little things, starting little projects (or big projects), working at ideas and generally lingering about an idea without haste or urgency. A life without haste or urgency is a contented existence. What a blessing.

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