Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today is one of those days when I feel content, at peace with myself and those around me, and filled with certainty that all is going according to a much greater plan than I could devise. These days aren't rare anymore, but they aren't always consistently present either.

I made a card for my wife and gave her a little present last night. Such little things made her happy. I think that we are both so grateful for the little things that we have now. I suppose that I am easily pleased these days. The times of being hyper-critical of myself and others are diminishing. Today I'm viewing that as a positive thing.

I am grateful that I don't pick apart every meal to find something unacceptable. I don't want to pick apart friends or companions with impossibly high criteria that will only widen a circle of isolation. I wonder how much perfectionism and high standards are really masks for not facing my own shortcomings.

My contentment stems from an understanding that perfectionism sets me at a distance from others. And that distance enhances my feelings of being different which leads down a treacherous path. As Mark Nepo writes: "The devastating truth is that excellence can't hold you in the night, and .......being demanding or sophisticated won't help you survive."

Instead I'm glad to find that contentment is not dependent on circumstances or other people. Instead, it depends on my outlook. Circumstances may color the world around me but joy comes from deep within. And the extraordinary is everywhere around me if I just take the time to look. A jewel can be as bright as a diamond or be the dew on morning grass. Music can be the sound that comes from a Stradivarius or the rain on the roof. Taste can be a five-star meal in a fine restaurant or a hot dog cooked over a camp fire.

It's all good today.

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
—Helen Keller


  1. Ah that is one of my favorite Helen Keller quotes!!

    I had to learn how to love the little things all over again. When I was stricken 8 years ago with what we now know is lupus & other ailments, I had no choice. I was a total "type A" with myself, my home, my friends etc. Always going for the gusto at all cost.

    Now, I've slowed down and appreciated the little things so much that others find me unworthy of their time. They think of me as an under achiever in all ways. Funny, because my marriage is strong, my kids are fine, my critters are fat and happy and I'm content.

    Syd, you are more in line with happiness than you know. It's enjoying the moment your in, not the one ahead of you. Good for you and thank you for stopping by today.

  2. Oh, how I love those days! It's so wonderful to just be content and at peace. I hope the rest of your week continues in the same manner. You might want to check out the post on my site today that I just put up. I think you might find it interesting!

  3. Contentment is such a beautiful thing. Once we are content with ourselves, we can be content with the world.

  4. I'm so happy for you. Thank you for sharing your contentment.

  5. I needed to hear this today. Thank you! I appreciate your words so much!jeNN

  6. "It's all good today." Ditto

  7. I love the paragraph on contentment and pefectionism. I will steal it and quote you unless you warn me not to.

  8. Great post, Syd.

    I am always telling my younger friends that it is important in life to focus on the "little" things, like nature or petting a dog or just being happy for the ocean or a warm sunny day. Happiness surely does not lie in material things or circumstances.

    As that great philosopher Bono once said, "It's a beautiful day."

  9. cool. i felt great today too. despite lots of circumstantial (ppl places and things) evidence to the contrary :)
    i love to have emotional independence from the apparent circumstances. its very liberating. :)

  10. ditto ditto! My FB status this morning, "who knew mowing the yard could be a spiritual experience..."

    Except for the grasshoppers that kept trying to jump in my mouth, mowing has become my panacea for all manner of isms that float in my head. I just with I had a reason to mow all year :-)


  11. Lovely post, Syd. I think it is so true that our contenment has to come from within ourselves.

  12. Love this post Syd. Contentment - a beautiful thing.

    Reminds me of a woman long long sober who passed on some years ago. Everyone knew her and listened to her. She used to say "Practice being satisfied." People still quote her many years later.

    Also reminds me of something I heard in a meeting today. "Today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday and 'all is well'."


  13. widen a circle of isolation, wow...that was me.

  14. copied this in to a note on my fb too! Genius!

  15. Sooooo glad I get to read blogs like this, like yours!

  16. Great lessons here...

    I aspire to the sort of contentment you describe...

    Blessings and aloha...

  17. it sounds to me like you've reached a truly wonderful place in your life. i'm happy for you and your wife!

  18. I get pockets of serenity Syd and then weeks of washing machine head, I didnt get to sleep till gone 2am last night and then up this morning at 630 so feel a bit tired.
    I keep praying and asking for Gods will in my life, I think I am getting more aware of why I feel certain ways.
    Its good to know you are out there, a wise man reading my thoughts...

  19. I am so happy to have your blog to read, I needed uplifting this morning and your post did that. TY.. I am so glad you have found serenity. SMILES

  20. I tend to expect everyday to be like this...and take them for granted until they're gone. Then I wish to have them back. God is in the now...right here, right now. Choked me up because I'm so not there right now...wanting to change the way I feel...


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