Jul 2, 2012

Contentment and Pushing for Better

I'm an only child, kind of.

I have a half-sister and half-brother, both of whom I adore and both of whom I don't see half as often as I'd like.  They were mostly grown by the time I made my appearance in this world, so I was essentially raised as an only child.

You know what they say about only children, right?  Even Alfred Adler, the guy who pioneered birth order psychology, agrees with popular commentary: only children are spoiled, self-centered, and have a hard time when they don't get their way.  See Ma, I learned something with that degree in psychology!  Wikipedia can tell you more about the social ills of only children (fortunately for me, most of it has been disproved by now).  I'll warn you, it's not flattering.

Veruca Salt, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's legendary spoiled brat.

I think it's possible to be spoiled without being a brat, to want without being greedy.  And I don't think that's just my birth order talking,

I am constantly striving for more, for better.  I think it's a big part of why I am suffering from decorating ADD at the moment.  I think it's why I am a proponent of school reform.  It's why I want to exercise, and travel, and take vitamins, and have a cute house, and sleep well, and read books, and whiten my teeth, and save for a new car someday, and wear clothes that are in style.  Spoiled much?  You better believe it.  Part of that is living in a developed country.  I know that just by the fact of where I live, I have access to more resources than 95% of rest of the people on this earth.  I think the other part of it is human nature.  Don't we all want better and more, at least to a degree?  If we didn't have an instinct toward making things better for ourselves, humans would have never learned to build houses or fight gingivitis.  We'd have never established universities or read the Bible or written the kama sutra.  We'd never try new recipes or kickboxing or investing in the stock market.  We have an insatiable urge to be better.  *I* have an insatiable urge to be better.  And I'm OK with that.

With all things in life, though, there needs to be balance.  Always striving without appreciating what you've already done and what you already have is unhealthy.  Striving without appreciating is what makes a spoiled brat.

I have a husband who I love dearly.  I think he might like me, too.  My parents are wonderful and generous to a fault.  I live in a house that is safe and comfortable.  I have the means to keep food in my kitchen and gas in my car.  I have enough left over to pay down my debts and give back to my community and have some fun, too.  I have two sweet dogs who think I am the best thing since sliced bread.  I have a job that pays me a living wage and doesn't make me crazy (most of the time).  My co-workers are wonderful and so is my boss.  I love my in-laws and they don't seem to mind me too much.  I have more friends than fingers to count them on.  I don't have any chronic health issues that impede my life in a major way.  Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Being content with what I have hardly covers it.  My life is outlandishly, ridiculously, off-the-charts good.

Most of what I record in this blog is about the icing on the cake.  It's fluff, and I know it.   And in true only child fashion, I will write about fluff in my blog if I want to.  I'm going to keep striving for more and better, and I'm going to keep appreciating and being content with what I already have.  I'll try to keep the brattiness to a minimum.


  1. are amazing! LOVE to read your writing...I am striving to be a better you!

    1. You are so sweet! I love to write (at least when it's not academic papers... zzzz). ;-)