Surprised by Contentment

I was driving home from Costco, an odd time to get a glimpse of contentment. Or is it? Any time is a perfect time to feel content. It just took me by surprise, that’s all.

So I hadn’t been feeling well for two weeks: a bad head cold and exhaustion. I had just started getting over the 10.5 hour time change between Delhi, India and Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. when I got slammed by this cold. I had time; it was the winter holidays, and I had been careful not to descend into a holiDAZE!

Just feeling better, I wanted to get that big container of dental dog chewies plus some other items I’d discovered at Costco. For an early Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t as crowded as I had dreaded. Working from my short list, I completed the task in record time. My Honda headed west on I-275.

I’d only driven a few exits when the combination of uplifting Mozart on the radio, space in the interstate lanes, and the completion of a task on my list combined to make me smile. Hmmm, I thought. Ever analytical, I quickly figured it out . . . . .

Ah, contentment.

It doesn’t happen that regularly. Too often I am driven by a free floating anxiety. What haven’t I done yet takes priority in my brain over satisfaction with what I’ve completed. I don’t recommend this way to be in the world. I’m not proud of it. Anxiety is one reason I am drawn to meditation.

So when contentment floated into the front seat and put its arm around my shoulders, I sighed. “I recognize you,” I thought. “It’s been far too long. Welcome home!”

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