I Was Content Once

The year was 2007. My first child had just been born. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel any pressure to figure out what I had to do next. I spent my days loving him, tending his needs, and I was happy. It wasn’t perfect or simple, mind you. New babies are scary. Plus we moved from Arkansas to Michigan right after our son was born, and that wasn’t easy for me, but I am extremely adaptable. Maybe I had the opposite of post partum depression. I remember talking happiness with my cousin Chris and telling him that true happiness was indeed contentment. This contentment lasted for probably about three or four months. I am so wise.

My mom used to accuse me of wishing my life away. I’ve noticed my son does it, too. He told me lately he couldn’t wait to be big. I remember feeling that way. It makes me sad for him.

Even at this stage in my life, I’m constantly pushing myself do more, look for something else, accomplish something, because honey, it ain’t enough like it is.

I’m working on a writing project that keeps providing roadblocks. I take it as a sign that my skill is lacking, though overall it is a good piece of work. My confidence is on a precarious perch.

I decided to start writing again during my brief spell of contentment. I decided it was a good time to give my life-long dream a try. Why not? Now as I bang my head repeatedly against the wall, I only wonder why.

I’m pushing myself toward success and my goals aren’t realistic. But I wasted so much of my life afraid of failure.

My worry is how my discontent and the pressure I put on myself affects my family. But if I don’t apply the pressure, who will?

How do people find it within themselves to just be? I had it once, but it slipped away.

6 thoughts on “I Was Content Once

  1. Lisa Ann Hayes April 21, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    I find you refreshing. You’re not always letting life happen to you. You’re pushing back – making elbow room for yourself. I’m an elbow gouger from way back. Art is a nagging beast and not easily fed. The truth is, after you get the part of learning your craft out of the way, it’s really just about hanging in there long enough for something to happen. And by something I don’t mean raging success. I mean finishing what you started. That IS the hardest part.

  2. Penni Jones April 21, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    Thanks, Lisa. I’m so happy to know you. Your words are inspiring.

  3. Kim April 21, 2013 / 3:40 pm

    This is my new favorite piece of writing. Truthful and beautiful, just like the author. Life is too complex for total contentment. I don’t think one can throw an umbrella of contentment over an entire life. Maybe a small section, but it’s a journey baby and sometimes the dude holding the umbrella can’t keep up to how fast we are running. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

  4. Penni Jones April 21, 2013 / 3:45 pm

    Thanks, Kim. I tend to shy away from posting anything personal. I’m really pleased with the positive feedback. 🙂

  5. geezergirl1 April 22, 2013 / 11:31 am

    Dear One…Breathe, Me thinks you and I should gather soon. love you. j

    • Penni Jones April 22, 2013 / 6:41 pm

      Thanks for the outing this morning. I needed that. Love, love. P

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