I recently found a quote by Robert Holden that read, “Beware of destination addiction, a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.”
Everywhere we turn, someone is telling us to start that business, take that leap, constantly strive to make yourself better, stronger, faster, more educated, or more money. I have a hard time grappling with it all. Where do we draw the line? Are we ever fully satisfied? Do we ever reach the pinnacle of whatever it is we want? And how will we know we’ve reached it? I’ve been thinking about this idea for quite some time. At this very moment in my life, I feel satisfied. I have no desire to go back to school and no desire to learn a new hobby. When I say this out loud, I almost feel bad. I feel like I’m limiting myself. But is that a bad thing?
When is it ok to just be content?
I’ve been a teacher for 15 years and people ask me all the time when I’m going to become a principal. Honestly, I’ve never even thought about it. Could it be a good financial move? Yes. Would I be good at it? Maybe. But would I be happy? I’m not sure.
For some reason society pushes us to keep doing more. I have friends who are asked all the time why they are single. Then, they get married and are asked why they haven’t had kids. It’s as if someone has made a rule book about adult milestones we must complete, and that somehow you are incomplete if you haven’t attained these things.
I’m married to a man who is constantly setting goals, constantly searching for a new idea or a new business venture. I look up to him in his drive to always strive for the pinnacle of achievement, but sometimes his drive makes me seem almost…lazy. I am the type of person who lives in the moment, the “right now.” I worry about things as they come. I deal with events as they arise. Some might label me as capricious, but I tend to get overwhelmed with thinking about the future. I am in a constant battle with myself that I should be doing more, learning more, investing in my business more. That somehow, I’m just being mediocre.
I help people when I can. I travel when I can, but I can’t live my life based on a destination that I might not ever reach. My routine is what makes me happy. The “normalcy” of my life. I feel accomplished when I complete tasks for one particular day; I can’t imagine thinking about what I’ll be doing in six months.
I certainly admire those bucket list, goal-oriented people. I feel like some people thrive when they are called to reach big goals and are natural motivators for others to do the same. I see those types in my classroom everyday and am inspired by their go-getter attitude. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’m learning to appreciate where I am right now. Maybe I will go back to school, maybe I’ll invest more time into my business or maybe, two years from now, I’ll still be trying to figure out what we will eat for dinner each day. And that’s ok.