I’ve never had a “word of the year”. Last year I chose a “word/phrase of the month” which lasted until August. I like the idea, though, and this year I am choosing a word that I will focus on for the entire year.
In the last half of 2014 I realized that I have a problem with being content. I just can’t seem to do it. I literally used to call myself a “change junkie” because I was always looking forward to the next change. I actually thought this was a good thing, a desirable quality about myself that I liked and was proud of. I thought it made me “forward-thinking” and “proactive”. I often found myself planning for future events that were not even real. I actually spent time planning theoretical future events. Still do, in fact. I’m a planner and very much an INTJ, an even D/C, and a major worrier.
A change of scenery, a change of course has always felt like a fresh start. I have this deep emotional connection with the idea of a fresh start. Just the thought of a fresh start gives me a hopeful feeling in my core. I have my theories as to why that is, but that topic is for another day.
Then late last year I realized that what I really have is trouble being content.
Why do I spend hours creating plans, spreadsheets to chart and predict what might happen or what could happen when I could use that time and energy to just enjoy today?
Sure, planning is healthy. Thinking of the future is healthy. But looking forward so intently that you miss what is happening right here and now? Not healthy.
I think this is true especially for parents.
I am embarrassed to admit that I have a spreadsheet that maps out when each kid will be old enough for certain extracurricular activities, like gymnastics, soccer, music. And we are NOT even an “activity family” who packs each week full with running from each activity to the next. My husband and I have always talked about allowing each kid to do one activity at a time. Maybe two if the second one is something they do together (like if they are in the same swim lessons class, for example). And our kids are only 1 and 3.
All of the time that I have spent doing this, I could have been planning something fun for us to do together TODAY. I could have been enjoying their little-ness. I could have been enjoying the fact that we are not yet running from here to there to get them to their activities.
For me, this personality trait of mine pulls me away from being content. I tend to always look forward to the next season, completing a project, the end of a semester, the upcoming semester, the weekend.
In 2015, I am going to work on enjoying the present, enjoying what I already have, enjoying the process. I am going to work to find contentment. No. I am going to work to create contentment.
Do you struggle with contentment? What do you do to keep yourself present? Do you have a word-of-the-year? Share with me below!