First of all, thanks to Jody (aka The Scarf Princess) for having me here at the Words of Wisdom blog. I hope you all enjoy my post today!
“Are we there yet?”
How many times did you bug your parents with that question? And how many times do your kids repeat it on those long car trips? Let’s be honest, though, it’s not a question exclusive to children. We adults are just as guilty, asking the same thing in various forms to express our discontent with the current status of our lives. I’d say the vast majority of us are discontented with at least something every single day.
I know it’s true for me as mom and writer—When will the three year old be potty trained? When will my daughters stop fighting? When will it ever be quiet around here so I can actually talk to my husband? When will I ever lose this last ten pounds? When will I ever be as good a writer as so-and-so?
The funny thing is, even when those wishes are granted, I can still find things to complain about. He has to go potty again? That last ten pounds isn’t enough. The kids are quiet, but now I have to do the dishes. I’ve gotten good reviews, but I’m not a bestselling author.
Like most issues in life, I think contentment comes with discipline and maturity. Kids are whiny because they lack the ability to be content in their present circumstances. In contrast, adults are whiny about their circumstances, but we do have the ability, if we practice it.
Pardon me now, while I preach to myself by addressing you. Though it’s often hard, the only way to reach contentedness is to count the blessings we have and take on an attitude of thankfulness. Take a look around the world, and you’ll soon see how good we have it. With the terrible earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and the recent tornado outbreaks here in the U.S., we can be thankful if we still have a roof over our heads and all our loved ones are accounted for. Everything we have—the spouse, the kids, the job, the home, the food in our bellies—it could all be taken in a heartbeat. Be thankful you have it.
In A Ranger’s Tale, dear Caliphany was quite disgruntled with her life, and in one poignant moment, her mother reminded her that being content is what she should strive for:
A soft hand rested on my arm. Mother sat down beside me. Even four centuries of life had not diminished her youthful appearance, compared to the line-furrowed face of my father. We could have passed for twins, Mother and I, with beautiful golden locks, blue eyes, high cheeks, and petite noses. She leaned over to look on the street scene below.
“If you spend all your time wishing you were somewhere else, my daughter, you will only find heartbreak and disappointment.”
I studied my mother’s face, which was always so unreadable. She had become a master of hiding her emotions. Only on rare occasions, had she spoken from her heart or shared stories of her past with me. My mother was the king’s sister, one of the few who still carried the noble blood of the ancient Vaeloria name. I knew very little of her childhood, her hopes, her dreams.
“Have you been happy with Father?”
Mother’s eyes registered a momentary surprise, and then her face softened again to its previous, blank expression. “Happiness is a fleeting state of mind. I have been content with your father, and I want the same for you.” (from A Ranger’s Tale, Chapter 4)
Now, with that, I jump to the flipside and state that a certain level of discontentment can spur us on to better things. It can be just as bad to turn complacent—never desiring to better oneself or one’s situation. You can imagine if Caliphany had decided to turn complacent and marry her betrothed and work in the Mage Academy. Then we’d have a whole book full of lectures and dinner parties. No rangers or harrowing adventures in sight.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case in Caliphany’s story, and her discontentment led her to wander along the dock, where a near-kidnapping led her into the arms of Galadin Trudeaux. The rest, as they say, is history.
For today’s questions to ponder: Where are you in your journey now? Leaning toward discontentment or complacency? Do you think one state of mind is worse than the other? Feel free to answer in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!
Mysti Parker is a full-time wife, mom of three, and a writer. Born and raised in Kentucky, writing has always been her first love. After many years of pursuing other things, she began her writing career in earnest in 2009. Look for more romantic tales from her fantasy world of Tallenmere, where magic, passion, murder, and mayhem are a part of everyday life.
Author page at Melange Books (includes photo, bio, and interview):
Thanks so much for visiting today Mysti! That was a great post and you've posed some great questions to my followers. I also want to say thanks to Roxanne Rhoads from Bewitching book Tours for letting me bring this satisfying read to you. And now for the contest....
Here's what you can win...
Official blurb from back cover:
Set in the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf Caliphany Aranea longs to explore the world and escape from her controlling father. Her dreams are fulfilled when she meets ranger and ship captain Galadin Trudeaux. But, when secrets from the past bring tragedy to those she loves, Caliphany must fight to hold on to the life she's always wanted.
This is an international contest, so everyone can enter! The winner will be chosen via Random.org and will receive a digital copy of Mysti's book A Ranger's Tale. Entry is easy peasy. Just become a follower of my blog and answer the questions Mysti asked in her post to be entered. Please include your e-mail address in your comment to make it easier to contact the winner. The contest will end at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, May 10 and the winner will have 48 hours after I contact them to respond or a new winner will be chosen. So go forth and comment and good luck to everyone!