There is the age old saying ” The grass is always greener”.
It’s something that plagues us throughout our lives. Always wishing things would go differently in our lives. Wondering about the what ifs and the what could have beens. It’s easy to look at the highlight reel of someone else’s life and wish it was your own. We are all guilty of doing it at one time or another.
Just a month or so ago, my family and I were out to dinner at our favorite restaurant when a girl I went to High School with walked in with her husband and sat a few tables over. I watched them as we ate and I found myself thinking how nice it must be to enjoy a weeknight meal with no kids. They were enjoying some adult beverages and chatting and smiling and looked so happy. They were both dressed so nicely and seemed so put together. And I did a quick survey of our table….me in my work shirt and jeans with paint all over them from my craft with my kids at school that day. Will still in his scrubs. 4 kids making a absolute mess and talking loudly and moving all around their seats. And while I cut up chicken into tiny bite size pieces for 3 of my 4 kids, I started thinking how nice it will be in a few years when the kids are older and Will and I could sneak away for said weeknight dates. The ones with adult drinks and smiles. Essentially wishing away my kids childhood and wanting them to grow up. Because greener grass. Clearly.
It was the next day when I received a FB message from that same girl. She said she just wanted to tell me how beautiful my family was and how nice it was to bump into us. She then shared that she and her husband had been trying to start a family and had been finding it difficult. I immediately started to feel convicted. The entire dinner I was fantasizing about what her life must be life and wishing for the same thinking how glamorous it must be, and meanwhile here she was just a few tables away looking at our table and wishing she were me. Me. The mom with all the crazy kids. Looking a mess and frantic. ME.
Why is it so hard to find contentment where we are in our lives? Why are we always looking for that greener grass? How do we learn to be content?
I don’t know the right answers, but for me something that has been helpful is trying to keep things in perspective. Something as simple as remembering that when my kids are being crazy and I think it is so hard to stop and think of all the women who struggle with infertility who would trade me places and take my crazy in a heartbeat. Keeping things in perspective helps create a thankful heart.
Yesterday while my family dined at that same restaurant I found myself smiling at Will over the messy chaos that was our table. Still loud and still messy. Still in our work clothes and spending more time blowing on kids food that ever eating our own meals, but this time it was different. This time I focused on the tiny hands reaching for my food and squirming in their high chairs. I listened to the big girls tell me about their days at school. We laughed and made jokes. And I thanked God for this time. This one right now. The messy beautiful patchy grass of life that we are in.
How do you find contentment in your life?
Meg O. says
This is such a hard struggle, especially when life is handing you lemons. I start feeling resentful towards other people who, in my mind, “have it better.” It’s not fair and not realistic. It’s only going to destroy me. Loved the post, Michelle. The grass is certainly not always greener.