Earlier this fall, I started experiencing a restlessness that something was off. It was uncomfortable and nagging, but also happens often. I brushed it off as stress manifesting in a new way and kept going about my hustle. Fall as a wedding photographer is no joke. And so it made sense that stress and exhaustion would make me feel a little off.
But that same nagging feeling kept coming back, especially when I was journaling. Truth be told, this is the only time I consistently made for myself this fall so it makes sense that it is the only time I pay mind to try to understanding this weird, nagging feeling.
The more I journaled, the more I realized that despite reaching and surpassing so many goals, being surrounded by pretty things, something was off. I had all the things, but I was not content.
Being the obsessive researcher that I am, I began an investigating of the ever illusive ‘contentment’. Here are some things I’m learning:
- Pretty things do not make me content. Actually, it’s usually quite the reverse. The more pretty things I have, the more I have to take care of and find places for. While I long for clean counters and an uncluttered home, I also have a thing for throw pillows and cozy blankets. When I think about my home, I want it to be a place brimming with grace and acceptance and I want it to spark beautiful community through real conversation. Self consciously, I translate this to adding in all the cozy touches so people feel welcomed. Throw pillows, blankets, rugs, lamps upon lamps: I’ve got them. But all these cozy touches overwhelm me. It turns out the saying was right: “too much of a good thing is a bad thing.”
- Deals, sales, and thrifted finds are my weakness. I grew up rummaging through thrift stores and celebrating killer finds on sale racks. And 15 years later, I still find myself drawn back to the thrill of finding something for an amazing price. But all these amazing finds, they’re just things. And things have to have a place and have to be taken care of, something that takes both time and energy
- Minimalism is incredibly interesting to me. Back in the summer, my friend, Jess, introduced me to the world of ‘Practical Minimalism’. I was hooked. Over the past year, my wardrobe and home have slowly taken steps towards this minimalism idea; but I still have quite a long way to go. Confession: the closet in my office is literally overflowing with things I have removed from my home and closet but continue to hoard just in case I need them someday.
These realizations are all good and well, but just being aware of them won’t move me any closer to the goal: contentment. So I’m going public; and yes, this means you are more than welcome to hold me accountable for what I share. For the next season, however long it may be, I’m going to check in monthly with specific ways I’m pursuing contentment. For the sake of a name, we’ll call these the ‘Contentment Chronicles’.
Tomorrow, I’ll kick off with sharing a few ways I am attempting to introduce more contentment into my life For December. I promise it won’t be mind blowing, revolutionary, or all that complicated. But when I go public with my goals, things begin to shift.
So here’s to more contentment and fullness, one month at a time!