"What's not wrong?" Laura asked.
She went out to point out that we humans seem to be hard wired to focus on what's wrong in our lives. Ask anyone how their day is going, and most folks will list all the woes and tribulations of the day; we seem bent on drama. It's as if sharing what's okay, or good, just doesn't evoke enough response in folks.
I think she's right; just look at the news each day. Not much "feel good" stuff going on in the headlines, or dare I mention it, the current political campaigns.
So, Laura asked us to sit for 5 or 10 minutes and simply list what's not wrong, whether they're tiny and seemingly insignificant, or they're huge. Then, we were to choose at least 1 item on our list and photograph it.
I'm finishing up Laura's on line photography course on gratitude, and "What's Not Wrong?" is the most recent lesson.
Gratitude and contentment are a huge focus for both Phi and I right now; both words have been popping up everywhere for us, whether it's the financial course offered by Michelle Singletary, Laura's course, or more.
Being content doesn't mean we don't desire anything; I could produce a list pages long for you! Instead, being content comes from making the simple decision to be happy with what I have. It means to take a deep breathe and enjoy the life I have.
And, it is a good one; it really, really is.
Honestly, this contentment gig is a work in progress, and sometimes, I am feeling rather cranky as the latest bit of camera equipment appears on an Amazon link, as we pass the newest little restaurant crowded with folks laughing and enjoying themselves, as I read about someone extolling the newest and greatest art supply. A very persistent little voice grumbles, "I want it."
Truth is, I (we) have way too much stuff; the piles that have made their way recently to Goodwill make me cringe, and I mutter, "What is God's name were we thinking?" My stuff spilleth over, and it's not what's making me happy.
My stuff wasted money, makes me cranky finding a place for it, gives me a sore back as I pack it up and haul it away.
I've long ago learned to cull the ongoing ads from Chico's, Michael's, Anthropologie, and more from my email list. What does pop up periodically rarely gets opened. Because if I do open it, I want it.
I don't need it, but boy do I want it!
So, what's not wrong in my life?
I have a roof over my head, and a husband that loves to cook.
He buys me fresh tulips and daffodils because both make me smile.
We love to go exploring new places, and we've learned that we can have an awesome time and spend little.
I have enough art supplies to open up my own little shop; long forgotten tucked away treasures are getting rediscovered and used.
My two grandsons give the world's best hugs.
Our car just ate up $855 last week; so why am I content? I could pay the bill and still have a bit left over.
I could go on and on.
Listing them was good for me; I'm keeping that list.
Because, you see, I know the cranky voices and the "I want its" will be back. I know sometimes it's not going to be fun.
Before I go to bed, I try to remember to write down one good thing about my day...a sunny blue sky, the violet's blooming out front, hamburgers from the grill. When I need to, I spill them out and look at them.
It's work sometimes, this learning to be content. It's a conscious decision to pause when someone asks me about my day, and then to tell them something that's "not wrong."
I guess you could say that Phil and I are in training to look at our life and focus on the blessings, both large and small.
So, tell me, what's not wrong with your life? I'd love to hear!