The Unstable Balance Between Contentment And Striving

We had our 12th annual Fakesgiving party earlier this month, our silly name for what appears to have become a movement of friendsgiving parties sweeping the nation in recent years.  That’s right - 12th annual friendsgiving party - what you got!?  

Anyway - yours truly cooks up a pair of turkeys (16 pounders this year) along with stuffing and garlic mashers, Jill Bear makes sweet potato casserole and pumpkin cheesecake, and then a couple dozen friendlies bring their favorite side and a bottle of wine or 6-pack to share in our little bungalow.  This year, Fakesgiving was warmer than normal, and many spilled out onto the patio for dinner and later a fire pit session. We had about a dozen side dishes this year, and maybe five desserts - and of course I tried everything. A few things were really good, so I had seconds on those - quite a few things, if I’m honest.  

Striving to eat at least a bite or two of each offering is something I’m proud of, but the truth is I could have been content without seconds on anything!  But could I, really? - I know how good that turkey turned out, and that mushroom pastry was killer - and oh, my - who brought that flourless chocolate cake?!  

I’ve had a few folks mention the past few months - “Wow, it seems like LoCo Think Tank is really growing!”, and it always catches me a bit off guard.  It’s true, I guess, in that we’ve grown from 5 chapters to 8 this past year, and we’ve expanded our social media outreach so you see us more, and we have a 3-person team now!  But when I went full-time LoCo roughly 2 years ago I’d imagined that we’d be up to at least 10 chapters by the end of this year and that’s not going to happen. And you know what - that’s ok.  I am very content with steady growth in our chapter count, and I’m excited about the talent and experience we’ve got on the team, and overall life is good. It seams I’m never quite on track with my goals and dreams, but they tend to come in due time and for that I’m blessed.  

Thanksgiving season is a favorite time of the year for me, partly because it speaks to this notion that I sometimes have a hard time accepting.  Being contented by the blessings around me, though I am yet short of my goals and remain striving for more. My title referenced the unstable balance between contentment and striving - but it was a trap!  I’ve come to believe that life isn’t an either-or thing in most cases, and we can say Yes, and! We can have contentment and striving, and not have to choose between them!  

For me, gratitude powers that notion.  When we are intentional about feeling and expressing gratitude, it helps us to be contented with the things that we do have.  And for me, when I count those blessings, I can’t help but strive to help more people and make more impact.  

That’s your encouragement for this edition.  Not just this week, but working toward every day - give yourself space to feel gratitude.  Take a minute to get quiet and count your blessings as your first small step. And when you do, most of the things on your list won’t be things - they’ll be people.  Make or find time to say thank you in a way that’s meaningful for them - I’m grateful for your love/friendship/cooking/leadership/the way you smile at me. You’ll both get something out of that exchange, and the world will become just a little bit warmer and more loving place - it happens one small step at a time.  Thanks for doing your part, and thanks for reading the LoCo Perspective!

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