Be Happy With What You Have?

No.  That is the simple answer.  The real answer is more complicated.  When someone tells you to be happy with what you have, it sounds like you are not grateful for what you have.  That is not true though.  I am grateful for everything I have (and lost).  I have made a lot of money, and I have lost a lot of money.  I have had relationships, and I have lost relationships.  I have made some good decisions, but I have also made a lot of stupidly bad decisions.  I am grateful for all of the good times, and the bad.  The good times are easy to appreciate.  I choose to look at the bad times as lessons learned… if I pay attention to them.

I would not be who I am today (for better or worse) without all of the good and bad in my life, but that does not mean I am satisfied with who I am.  I always strive to be better.  I will always want a better life for myself, but more importantly, for the people around me that I care about.  Going through the challenges of the last few years, watching my youngest son deal with his disabilities, and seeing my oldest son deal with his brother’s disabilities, his parent’s divorce, and his struggles to fit in, it has certainly made me appreciate what I have more than I otherwise would have.  That, however, does not mean I will not strive for more: more happiness, more security, more quality time, and more family time.  I will never stop trying to be a better person.  My priorities might have changed as I have gotten older, but my ambition has not.  I am happy with what I have, but that does not mean I cannot strive for more.