Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Monster of Discontentment

I open up my Facebook page and scroll through the updates of my friends and acquaintances.
There are pictures from an exotic honeymoon cruise.
As I click through the pictures,
I think of our own honeymoon to the glamorous town of Roosevelt, Utah.

In an effort to save money, Sam and I weren't going to go on a honeymoon.

At the time, my dad's company was renting a basement apartment in Roosevelt for employees to use during jobs they had in that area. Since it wasn't being used in the week following our wedding, my mom suggested we go there.
So we made the drive and thoroughly enjoyed our little getaway as we ate meals composed of chips and peanut butter we found in the cupboards and chocolate covered pretzels from Christmas.

I continue to scroll down the page

and see elaborate bouquets of flowers from significant others.
I admire their beauty, and recognize that grad school allows for bouquets of wildflowers,
which are just as appreciated.

I see photos of trips to the beach, storytime at the library, and visits to Grandma's house.

My mind briefly flits to the fact that we are living the one-car life, the boys and I get to spend every day within the walls of our own home, and our extended family lives thousands of miles away.

The beautiful babies and videos of laughing toddlers

are a stark contrast to the meltdown we just had and the faint smell of spit-up that seems to accompany just about every fabric we own.

And as much as I love this wonderful life I live,

every once in a while the little monster of discontentment begins to creep in.
It beckons me to compare my entire life with the highlights of others'.
It whispers to me that what I have simply isn't enough.
It distracts me and urges me to forget the beauty in this simple, blessed life
filled with love and harmony and generosity.
And it takes some effort on my part to remind that monster that I am dizzyingly happy
and each night I feel acutely undeserving of the privilege of living with such joy.

I have to remind the monster that each of our lives have highlights,

and while I love being able to stay connected with
hundreds of acquaintances through social media, it's unrealistic to think
that life is completely and accurately portrayed through the snippets we share.
Seldom do we share photos of dishes in the sink, toddler temper tantrums, and bad hair days.

And as I stop comparing, start appreciating, and send that monster away,

I love and feel gratitude for the fact 
that I can see glimpses into the lives of others
while recognizing that glimpses do not compose a life in its entirety.

And with that, I bid discontentment adieu.


  1. Thank you, Kaitlyn. This is my life right now as well. One car, two monster kids, and family who, while they live close, are unavailable most of the day. It sometimes feels like I'm holed up here with no one and nothing for comfort. Social Media has become one way I allow myself human interaction. No, it's not as personal as a phone call or a visit, but it's what I can do right now, and I'm grateful for it. It can be put down in an instant when my kids need me. The same holds true with my writing. I love telling stories and reading books,partly because they are such interruptable activities. (As it is, I just got up in the middle of writing this to help one kid go down to nap and made the other a snack.) Discontentment is something a lot of people struggle with, but like you, I've found that reminding myself how much I have to be grateful for is the best way to get through those moments. Great post :)

    1. Thanks for your comment, Darci, and thanks for sharing the post!


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