Complacency, Comparisons and Ultimate Contentment

I had to take a step back from my usual link ups this weekend and get my priorities back in line. I’ve been feeling scattered for a bit now and in trying to get my life reorganized and back on track I stumbled further from the path and almost got myself completely lost.

I’d been trying to work on “me”; on making myself more efficient, organized and I thought more “fulfilled” but in the process I became so self-absorbed I ultimately wound up hurting the very relationships I was supposed to be improving.

I firmly believe, and my husband agrees, that I need regular time to relax, work on my hobbies and just be alone. I can’t give 110 percent of myself 24 hours a day without sacrificing my sanity. But it seems that recently I started taking the good relationships I had for granted in order to rationalize more time for myself. The very rare, everyone’s needs will have to wait for just a bit so I can have some time for myself, became the status quo.

I was complacent in my blessings, not realizing that a good spiritual life, a good marriage and a good mother/child bond is not once and done, it is a continual work in progress. It is not enough to say, “I am happily married, therefore if I can’t find time alone with my husband tonight, or this week, it is no matter. We are in a good marriage and we’ll find the time eventually.” Or, “I’ve been to confession pretty recently and been better about saying my prayers, I can skip tonight in order to do something else.”

Slowly but surely, like the pianist who gets rusty without practice  and the piano that falls out of tune likewise, there began to be more sour notes around the house, where once was only the sound of harmony.

And let’s be honest, I love to blog. I want time to write almost daily but it is a hobby that I must watch closely. At its best, my blog (and social media in general) is a place I can happily escape while recording the best details of my life. At it’s worst it is a distraction from my primary roles in life and a source of envy, jealousy, anger and pride as I endlessly compare myself to others.

The more my relationships with my children and husband fell out of tune, the easier it became to justify the need to escape for some “alone time,” thus creating a vicious cycle.

How easy it is to become absorbed in one’s self; as if my contentment is not tied up with so many others whom I love dearly. And as soon as I stopped focusing on myself, and spent more time on who and what really mattered, I was happier anyway. I have less need of alone time and distractions and organizational charts, when everyone is happy.

When relationships are in tune, work is done less begrudgingly, prayers are offered joyfully and quiet time with a happy spouse is found at the end of each day. There is nothing to escape from and there are no comparisons to be made because I am content with all I have. Now it’s just a matter of hoping I can stay the course.

“Our happiest times are those in which we forget ourselves, usually in being kind to someone else. That tiny moment of self-abdication is an act of true humility; the man who loses himself finds himself and finds his happiness.” -Ven. Arbp Fulton J. Sheen



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  1. Your introspection and self-analysis (not to mention your commitment to your true priorities) does you credit. Good for you for realising before the sour notes turned into full-on dischord. Hope it all goes well in the effort to get back in tune.

  2. You’re so right about the vicious cycle you can get sucked into! I struggle with this too, it’s so easy to get lazy with the things that are most important.

  3. Kelly, I do this ALL the time. Okay, ‘all the time” is an exaggeration, but It is a crazy vicious cycle for me. Get too strung out, snap and demand me time, get lazy about family time, dislike my children even more… (You know what I mean, right? I don’t actually dislike them, but sometimes I *feel* like I do because I have a Bad Attitude About Life.)

    Anyhoo, glad your priorities are back in line. I am SO much happier when I’m well-balanced.

  4. This is a wonderful post for anyone in any type of relationship, especially moms and wives! It is far too easy to become complacent, and to see getting to the fun stuff as taking far too much time and effort, so escape instead. Good relationships and a strong Faith life are hard work to come by but they make life far more fulfilling and something to revel in, not escape from. Thanks for the reminder and kick in the rear!!

  5. A reminder that hit home immediately. I’ve been so self-absorbed in the job search, I couldn’t fully enjoy the family. This past week(end) was a great reminder!

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