The words that have been on my mind this week are grateful and content.
As the avalanche of flyer's for Christmas shopping grows at my gate, and there seems to be more advertisements on television than actually programming (all which tell me I will be a better person/happier/smarter/more attractive if only I purchase from a particular store) I am reminded again of how easy it is to lose sight of the concept of being happy with what I already have. And its particularly challenging having two small people in my house who are so easily influenced by the media.
Certainly it is unreasonable to expect a child to easily understand that they already ''have so much'' when they are subjected to this constantly, and also don't have a world view as broad as an adults. And all children see more of what they don't have than what they do.
But Christmas is surely a time we should be taking a breath and remembering just how much we DO have and being glad for it. Grateful for me means adopting some humility and being reminded of the abundance we live in as a society, as a community, and as a family. It means being thankful and gracious even when I don't necessarily feel like being either. Content means being able to accept that I really do have enough - even though they may be times I still crave a particular thing or experience. It goes beyond resignation (that will have to do), and not as far as complacency (I no longer need to have goals or drive) and allows me to appreciate the small things in life that tend to get overlooked - especially in the crazy time that is December.
What are you grateful for this Christmas? Can you look at your life and feel content? What might need to change in 2013 to get you closer to this?
I am grateful for the amazing community I live in - the friends around the corner, the abundance of local produce I can buy, the incredible view of Mt Pirongia I can see every day. I am content with my smallish house, my oldish car and my longish grass. And this year I want to make a real effort (that's the non-complacency bit) to share that gratefulness and contentment with my family over the crazy pre-Christmas season.