Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peace Within

An odd thing occurred to me yesterday afternoon. I was heading out of Macy's - having stopped on the way home from the office to buy a couple of ties and a couple of shirts (starting trial on Monday and you know what they say about how people react to a sharp-dressed man) - and when I stepped out of Bridgewater Commons I stepped squarely into bright sunlight. We get our share of humid, thick, breathing through a stinky sweat sock pulled down over your eyes and nose type of days here in the State of Concrete Gardens. Yesterday was not one of those days.

Yesterday was hot - but not uncomfortably so. It was just a nice summer's day. And while making the admittedly short trip from the store to my parking space it occurred to me that while life certainly has its little ups and downs, the general emotion that governs my day-to-day these days is contentment. And while the realization of that fact only really hit me yesterday I think that contentment has probably been the soup of the day for some time now.

Contentment is somewhat of a new phenomenon for me. While I am lucky enough to be married to a woman who I adore and who -for reasons known only to her - has not yet kicked me to the curb almost two decades into our life's journey tomorrow and to have been witness to the growth and maturation of two extraordinary young folks from children into adults, I have been prone to bouts of restlessness throughout most of my life. Generally speaking I weigh almost every decision I make over and over before I make it. Almost every one. But as with any rule, there are exceptions.

A year ago January I walked away from the professional life I had known for more than a decade. It soon proved to be an incredibly bad decision. And it proved to be one from which there was almost no escape. Almost. When all hope seemed lost, I was able to extricate myself from a move that, candidly, damn near killed me. In retrospect, I do not know why I did what I did. I cannot explain why I did what I did other than to say at some point I felt I had an itch I had to scratch. And I decided to scratch it. Consequences be damned.

It has been close to sixteen months since I returned to the Firm - a human boomerang I am I suppose - after four months away. And while the re-entry was smooth, which did not entirely surprise me, it was not until yesterday that I realized that while we are well beyond the point of re-entry everything remains well-settled. And the 'everything' that remains well-settled is my mind. The feeling is one of peace.

Contentment should never be mistaken for complacency. That is one mistake I do not make. Contentment is a feeling of tranquility, not entitlement. And it is a hell of a nice feeling.

Peace within indeed.

-AK

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