Choosing Contentment

I recently returned from a family trip to Minnesota to celebrate my dad turning 60 years old.

In a house of 18 people, we came fully prepared to pick up some sort of bug or sickness along the way.

Sure enough, my oldest went down for the count the second day we were there. Cough. Congestion. Lethargy. Ugh.

But apart from his exhaustion and discomfort, he made every effort to show up and keep a smile on his face. When my 2 year old got the same thing, same story. My little guys were, coughing, phlegmy messes, but they turned out each day with a smile and without complaint.

Then there was me.

I have to believe they felt the same discomforts and aches as I, and yet I struggled to maintain their same composure. In this way, my kids really showed me up. I could barely get out of bed. And smiling, running around? Forget it! I could barely get myself to the bathroom let alone work on my “big jump” as my two boys did. Now part of that is probably due to my aging body (32 is the new 64, am I right? I sleep wrong now and I’m stumbling through the day like I’m dying). But really something about kids and this mentality of joy they have when they are younger, it can’t be stamped out by anything, not even the cold of the century (no, it wasn’t covid).

Really kids have a lot to teach us if we let them.

They choose joy when they are at their worst. They choose contentment when they have every reason to hate the moment they are in.

I post this photo here today to show you what a sick 4-year-old looks like. I won’t share how I look with you right now (no one wants to see a 32-year-old woman with Kleenex shoved up her nose).

I share in hopes that maybe we can all choose joy and contentment. Even when the moment is uncomfortable, painful, or raw, choose contentment.