Life is good. I have a great job. I might even call it my dream job. I get to do creative things like writing and designing and brainstorming new ideas. I get to meet lots of interesting people – both here in Canada and in other parts of the world. I am in a position of some authority, so I get to make decisions and have a real impact on the organization and the work we do. I work in a non-profit organization whose mission is to “end hunger” – what better goal could there be than that? I even got to create a new blog – on work time! (It’s here – not my writing, just my design.) I get to feel good about doing philanthropy and I get to tell stories of the people whose lives we’re impacting. I get to travel to interesting places. In February, I’ll probably make my second trip to Africa – and this trip will be primarily for the purpose of writing stories and taking pictures – how dreamy is THAT?
I have a great marriage to a compassionate funny man. Three of the most beautiful girls in the world call me mommy and make me feel loved unconditionally. I have a comfortable home with enough food to eat, plenty of clothes to wear, a car in the driveway and a shiny bike in the garage.
So many of my dreams come true on a regular basis, it hardly seems fair. Not only do I have a great job, but I also get to do some fun freelance work on the side. My writing gets published fairly regularly now, I have a few opportunities to facilitate interesting workshops in leadership and creativity, and I get to do some public speaking now and then.
Life really is good. I could hardly imagine a more bountiful, complete life.
But then… why oh WHY am I always waiting for the next good thing to come around? It seems I am almost always restless, dreaming of something bigger and better and more adventurous. Beautiful things surround me, and yet I long for more beautiful things. There is always something I am dreaming of – another trip, another freelance opportunity, another adventure, another job, another room in my house, a bigger kitchen, another country to live in for awhile, more time for creativity, less responsibility to a 9 to 5 job, more time to take art classes, a beautiful office space that I can decorate to inspire me, a family vacation, and on and on and on.
Restlessness is so much a part of my nature, I probably wouldn’t recognize myself if I stopped being restless. When the thing I’m dreaming of arrives, I revel in it for awhile, feel blessed and refreshed for a brief time, and then I turn my back and start dreaming of the next good thing.
The teachers in school used to call it “daydreaming” and yes, I am very guilty of staring out the window and daydreaming. When I was growing up, I daydreamed about moving to the city, getting a good job, flying somewhere in an airplane, and having lots of adventures. Then I grew up, all those dreams came true, and soon I was staring out the window again.
Perhaps it’s in the nature of every creative person to have a restlessness like this. Maybe it’s good to always have a dream. Perhaps that’s the only way I’ll move forward – reaching for the things ahead of me.
But sometimes, I wish I knew how to be content. At least for a little longer. I think I could learn a lesson from the Buddhists who find contentment in mindfulness. Or the apostle Paul for that matter, who wrote these wise words: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Sigh. I wish I knew the secret of being content.