"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have."
Our back yard is in grave disarray as I write this. The unattractive items that usually line parts of our fence under the coverage of trees and hedges are piled high in the center. Our property sustained significant damage during the hurricane level winds last December. Finally, we are at the point where we can replace the old, dilapidated fence. But in the process, chaos...disorder...and unsightliness reigns.
For years, I have longed for a beautifully manicured yard, free from the piles of equipment that my husband uses for work. Yes, there is an element of beauty to the things that help provide steady income for our family. But most days my scope of vision sees them as eye-sores, stealing my ability to have what I want ~ a pretty, peaceful piece of heaven in my back yard.
My husband and I realize we are approaching and perceiving the subject from completely different angles. He spends most of his waking hours in perfectly manicured gardens. Everything needs to be pristine and tidy. Aesthetics is priority. Coming home to a less than perfect yard is like a breath of fresh air...his own little piece of heaven.
But I look outside and crave order...and beauty...and a yard that doesn't cry out for an extreme makeover. I want a place of serenity where I can sit and listen to the birds chirping while I write. We are two people with two conflicting needs, and the same small space in which to meet them.
There isn't a whole lot I can do to change the fact that our back yard isn't what I want it to be. But I can change one thing ~ my perspective. I can look at the area with eyes of gratitude and appreciate the fact that we have a lovely and comfortable home in a nice neighborhood. I can gaze upon (or ignore!) the equipment scattered throughout and see it as a blessing and a reminder that my husband is a successful businessman with an abundance of work. I can be happy for him and the relief he feels when he arrives home, knowing he doesn't have to maintain the same high standards of perfection he deals with each day at work.
Yes, I have choices. And today, in spite of the disorder and upheaval in our back yard, I choose to live contentedly.
"My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy."
"The best vitamin to be a content person is B1."
"Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase."
~ John Balguy
"Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
~ 1 Timothy 6:6,7