contentment vs. complacency

I once worked at a company that had encouraging words posted above doorways, and one I remember well said, “Complacency is Devastating.”  Complacency is closing your eyes to the realities around, choosing not to look at possibilities, choosing to accept what is without exploring what could be, giving up. Contentment is different. Contentment is choosing to be satisfied, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t looking for ways to improve things.  I think it’s easy to slip from contentment into complacency if you aren’t careful. I think it’s also easy to move from contentment to dissatisfaction, especially if you start to compare your own life to that of some one else.  That balance, somewhere in the middle, is the sweet spot.

Finding that sweet spot is different for everyone, but I do think it comes down to choice.  You can choose to address the things that don’t work, or you can ignore them and continue in frustration. You can get frustrated over the things you can’t change, or you can accept them and move on. (Just like the quote – serenity to accept, courage to change, wisdom to know which is which.)

Our home is one of those things that we’ve needed to change for quite a while.

Our home is beautiful. It is very well built. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It faces perfectly south, allowing all the beautiful sunlight to enter the front windows in the winter, with a porch that blocks many of those same rays that wouldn’t be as welcome in the warm summer. Our home is our refuge. It is a perfect home, so it’s hard to explain to people why it needs to change.

We are not the perfect family for our home.  We’ve been trying for the last few years to try to fit our family and lifestyle to our house, and while we’ve made significant progress, we’re still falling short. I spent countless hours trying to find a way to add on to our house in the smallest amount possible (we don’t want a mansion sized home) so that it would accommodate our needs and as many of our wants as possible.

This, however, is where it gets sticky, because our family will continue to change over the next few years – as Middles grow and possibly leave for their own adventures, as Littles grow and begin to desire more privacy, as Olders grow their own families (maybe?) and come home for holidays and visits, as my husband’s job has the potential for big changes that could include relocation. Planning for the now as well as the future is difficult when you aren’t quite certain what the future holds. So we do the best we can with what we know for sure, and pray for wisdom about the rest.

After many, many, MANY hours (days, weeks, months) of trying to come up with the best solution, we’ve finally decided on a plan. It isn’t the perfect plan, but it’s the best one for us and our resources. So, finally, last week we (as in my husband) started working on the first part of the addition.   It will be a while before it’s completed, but just this moving forward is so encouraging.  We’ve really had to gather some courage to change something that is so perfect in so many ways. But the joy of making it even more ours is so worth it.