I travel often with a colleague/friend who is from Romania. We have no end of things to talk about – from feeling like ‘little immigrant girls‘ posing as grown-ups, to citizenship, to parenting – our conversations are involved and interesting.
Mariuca has a little girl who is four years old. Dark haired with curls and beautiful eyes, she is the image of her mama. Since my children are now older and more complicated I delight in hearing some of the stories of her daughter.
One day as we were traveling and talking about raising contented kids, she talked about teaching her daughter early on that you accept what you are given, take it gratefully and don’t get upset. She taught her the phrase “You get what you get and you don’t get upset!”
I looked at her in happy astonishment as she told me. What a great phrase! Though it didn’t originate with my friend – it was the first time I heard it. It’s applicable to all of life from hearing that your favorite restaurant is out of your chosen entrée to finding out that you didn’t get the job you applied for — and so much more.
“You get what you get and you don’t get upset!”
It’s the perfect phrase for a spoiled society. A society that tends to want more and more, never quite satisfied with what is in front of it.
It’s the perfect phrase for the disgruntled, the discontent, the restless, the disappointed – you get what you get and you don’t get upset.
It’s the perfect phrase for this season, where discontent and addictions to ‘more’ color the white lights and frosted beauty that surrounds me.
It’s the perfect phrase for me when I veer toward wanting more; Not wanting the healthy sort of ‘more’ — more grace, more discipline, more passion that leads to doing more than I ever thought I could, but the unhealthy “I want more” that leads to discontent and dissatisfaction.
So today, with Thanksgiving but a memory and the Advent season in front of us, can I commit this quote to head and heart? That’s the big Monday question!
What about you? How have you learned to be content? How do you teach your children contentment?