Looking out my window today, it is rainy and cold. The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees and I have a chill in my bones that will stay with me until the first warm days of spring. Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, I always loved winter. I loved falling snow, warm sweaters, and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea in the warmth of my home. It’s not that I no longer love these things, but now I understand why older people retire to Florida. Sunshine and warmth! And as I get older, I need both more and more. So, why do I stay living in the Chicago area?
It’s where I was born and grew up. Where I went to college, got married, had my children, and sadly, where I got divorced. Still, many people move from the places they grew up. So what else keeps me here? My extended family, good friends, my job, a town we love and schools my kids are happy at. And I’m not anywhere near retirement age yet.
Contentment is the word that comes to mind when I think about why we stay. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, content, as an adjective, means “happy enough with what one has or is; not desiring something more or different; satisfied.” Contentment is the state or quality of being content. Instead of wishing for something I don’t have, or can’t have (such as Florida weather in Chicago), I need to be content, and HAPPY with what I have (including a forecast for a brutally cold and snowy winter).
So bring on the warm wool sweaters! I’ll wait until spring to cut them up into liluga’s.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me strength and power.”
Philippians 4:12-13 NLT