Listen to Episode 6 of the Legacy Living Today podcast HERE 


Hey friends! 
Have you ever wondered, "Can I Work Hard & Still Be Content?

Listen in to this episode or read the show notes below for some insight in the difference between the discipline of contentment which can help us avoid over-striving and burnout, and the dangerous condition of apathy that we want to avoid.  

But first, as promised, I want to give you the opportunity to Get your Checklist - 7 Tips for Mental Clarity - mentioned in this episode.

Welcome to the Legacy Living Today podcast! (Show notes below)

I'm Dawn and I am so excited to have you join me here today. Together we can explore ways in which we can intentionally choose to break free from the tyranny of the urgent and apathy of the everyday.  Let's decide to live legacy every day -- one day at a time!


This week's topic:
Contentment vs Apathy


God tells us "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
(1 Timothy 6:7-8)

But he also teaches in Romans 12:11-12 "Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying."

Driving through my new little town, little historic town of Talladega, Alabama, it is definitely spring! The little town is just coming to life with beautiful blooms and trees and other signs of life: people working on projects outdoors;  kids playing outdoors; and as this is our first spring in our new house (really an old new house) it’s all fresh and new!

I had really wanted a historical old house that I had spotted months before we found this one.  I could imagine so much potential!  I had planned out the rooms and dreamed of things to do with that old house!  Ours is not quite as old and much better suited to our present needs and resources.  It is in a neighborhood with an interesting history I might share another day.  

Driving around seeing them, you know these old houses, some of them, can be pretty dilapidated and neglected. Others are in various states of disrepair versus restoration. And you do have to be careful not to just get into a sinkhole of a situation where the money goes in  and in and the value is never really brought up to the place where you get your money’s worth out of it.  And then there’s the time and effort!  We opted for one that has some projects we’d like to get done but it’s in good shape and not (hopefully) a money pit.  Maintenance and projects yes, money pit no.  

If you’re one who wants everything to be brand new and everything perfect as is with no repairs, no maintenance, no anything needed  -- well it’s definitely not going to appeal to you  to move into an older house and do restoration of any type. Especially one that takes extensive renovation. (If you do I applaud you but we realized at our age and stage of life it’s not for us)

Our house is kind of in between. 

There are some projects that we want to have done but it’s not so extensive that it’s overwhelming. Even in a newer house you still have maintenance; you still have repairs; and you still have surprises that pop up. So you must be willing to do what needs to be done as a home-owner; regular maintenance and making repairs that pop up. 

All of this to say that whether it’s your house or using this as an analogy for our entire lives -- there’s a difference between contentment and apathy. 

Apathy says “let it go, don’t worry about it, don’t don’t lift a finger to fix or repair it or maintain it; just don’t do anything about it.”

While contentment says “OK let’s do what we need to do but let’s not be overwhelmed and over-stressed or get all worked up and have a lot of anxiety that everything is not perfect or that everything’s not done yet -- because it’s a process.Most things are; a lot of things are; and you generally cannot have it all all at once.  

So there’s some patience, some contentment, that needs to be involved but then there again there’s that other extreme where you’re just overwhelmed, over-stressed, over bothered that things are not just so immediately and aren’t perfect, not just how you want it, and  you want to have everything already done -- whether it’s a house; whether it’s your life; whether it’s your business; with your family; your relationships; whatever! 

Contentment is not the same thing as just throwing up your hands and saying “I give up!” It’s not apathy. I think a lot of times we get those confused and it’s hard sometimes to fight against the culture of hustle, hustle, hustle and more, more, more to arrive at a place of contentment without feeling like you or whoever it is is being lazy or apathetic.

Long Range View
This life is a process, a journey.  And sometimes we’ll be overwhelmed.  

Sometimes we’ll feel like giving in and giving up.  

But to live out your legacy life on purpose take a moment to step back and take a longer range view of the process.  We don’t know all the surprises in store.  Our under ground sewer line collapsed a few months back and it was a situation that had to be dealt with right away.  But it wasn’t a total surprise for an older house.  

Life is going to have surprises but if we take a wider view, some things may be less surprising than if we stuck our heads in the sand.  Things we can at least have some margin for.  

Margin
Margin can help us build contentment and avoid overwhelm at life’s surprises.  

Margin is having a little something saved up and put back for a rainy day.  
Margin is the white space on the notebook paper along the edges.  
Margin is your unscheduled time, buffers in your day. 
Margin may be keeping a little extra cash tucked away.  
Margin may be a few minutes of rest before the kids come home from school.  

Margin may be that extra roll of toilet paper you have hidden in the back of the cabinet or cans of beans in the pantry.  It may be filling up the car with gas whether you need it or not.  There’s all sorts of ways to build margin into your life.  

The biggest way I build contentment is to spend time getting closer to God.  This helps my perspective on life and my circumstances more than anything.  

What ways can you build margin in your life today?  

How can you develop a practice of contentment in contrast to apathy?
 
Is there a particular area in which you are overwhelmed?

Feel like giving up?
 
Send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!  

Thanks for listening to this episode of Legacy Living Today. Legacy Living Today is a new podcast for women like you with a vision and desire to make a long-lasting impact with your most valuable asset -- your one precious life -- to explore together how we can live legacy — one day at a time.
Share this podcast with other legacy ladies and leave me a message. I'd be delighted to hear from you!

I hope you got some good value from this podcast episode.  Are there other ways you’ve found to help you cultivate and nurture your own contentment?  
Hit reply or send me a message and let me know!

I like to offer my blog readers & email subscribers a little extra: I put together a list of seven tips for you to help with mental clarity.  But first, you need to know about my fruity energy drink that helps with brain fogginess as well!  A lack of energy and clear thinking can make it seem like apathy when it’s really inability because you’re tired and can’t think straight!!  

Get my list of seven other tips to boost your mental clarity below.