Content With What You Have and Where You Are

Content With What You Have and Where You Are

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”

Charles Spurgeon, Baptist Preacher

Life has an interesting way of sending us invaluable lessons when we need them most. Often infiltrating our situation or circumstance, they intend to remind us to be content with what you have and where you are in the present moment – a place so few of us currently live in. 

These can be powerful lessons whose impact is exceedingly felt as they frequently alter our current way of living and are not easily dismissed. Let me give you an example.

A decade ago, I found myself unemployed. At the time, my wife and I still had a sizeable mortgage, were halfway through our car loan, and made considerably less yearly earnings than we do today. 

Unemployment is often unexpected, and the inconveniences to your daily life are immeasurable and overwhelming as you process the roller coaster of emotions associated with it. 

My wife is the eternal optimist – possessing an enviable ability to manage problems by quickly compartmentalizing feelings into the proper categories before they overtake her day-to-day existence. 

On the other hand, I am the complete opposite – dwelling on the inner emotions I’m stricken with, which only rehashes the pain experienced by them over and over again. I’ve been told over the years that Italians are notorious for this, and I’m living proof.

After finding myself unemployed, she recommended using this time to be content with what you have – to take solace in the blessings to overcome the inevitable feelings of what I’d lost. Not an easy task when your life has been wholly uprooted as you struggle from one day to the next to see through the clouds of self-doubt and fear toward a resolution.

During that time of exploration, and discovering how to be content with what you have, I learned something that genuinely left me in awe. 

One can always find another job with persistence and determination, but the cherished individuals in our lives are irreplaceable. 

Even as I write those words today, I’m deeply overcome with the authenticity of such a  statement in our lives. How often do we allow problems with definitive solutions to overshadow the importance of those whose presence in our lives is not guaranteed?

I’m not suggesting that our careers are unimportant as a means of supporting ourselves and our families with necessities while contributing our talents to improving society and growing our economy.  

But today, more than ever, we lose sight of what IS and IS NOT replaceable. 

As hard as it might be to admit, we are ALL replaceable at work, regardless of our tenure or level in the company. 

But we are NOT replaceable at home, nor are the individuals who fill that home with joy, laughter, love, support, security, and much more. It’s vital to hold on to this perspective when our situations or circumstances in the outside world are dramatically altered and we struggle to find some sense of normalcy.

I was surprised when I realized that it had been almost ten years to the day when I experienced the example I provided above. Ten years ago to the day, and I now find myself in the exact same situation again, like so many other hard-working individuals across the United States.

With much appreciation, our household finances and responsibilities have improved in the last decade. While staying optimistic is not always easy, I’ve been working hard to remain positive by reminding myself of those sacred words from ten years ago.

One can always find another job with persistence and determination, but the cherished individuals in our lives are irreplaceable. 

I am incredibly fortunate that my soul mate remains constant during all the ups and downs this life will provide without solicitation. 

Through all the triumphs and challenges in my life, her unwavering presence has reminded me to be content with what you have. To acknowledge that we often have enough, if only we could pause from focusing on the uncertainties of life to be sincerely grateful.

American journalist Germany Kent says, “It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”

For all those who currently find themselves unemployed, remember to recognize how you’re feeling by taking a few days to adjust to your new reality. Emotions will undoubtedly come and go with each passing day, but it’s essential to allow yourself time to grieve the loss before you can effectively move on to new opportunities.