This is a guest post by Pamela Neferkara, currently an expat living in Amsterdam. She is technically “just barely” a baby boomer. I decided to include a photo of her scuba-diving. She gave herself the birthday gift of learning to swim AND going scuba-diving in the Bahamas. This piece was written by her poolside off the coast of Africa in the Canary Islands. Â Wizdom is truly ageless.
A week on an island off the coast of Africa gives you plenty of time for soul searching….so I took advantage of that. I’ve often said that I am looking to find the balance between contentment and complacency. My military father drilled into us the virtues of hard work so deeply, I think I’ve spent most of my adult life worried that I wouldn’t live much of a remarkable life. Well, no more. I’ve chosen contentment and have decided to stop worrying about the balance.
What caused this? Well, I was sitting pool side at the Ritz Carlton hotel looking at all the other families who were there. My little brown kid was in the pool…his very presence defying a stereotype about black kids not being able to swim….and I was enjoying the sun on my face. And I thought instead of noting that we were the only brown people within sight, it dawned on me that the fact that we were there was remarkable. I’ve managed to give my son an opportunity that so few kids will ever have in their lifetime. So perhaps we were apparently the onlyÂ single parent family there and maybe we were the only brown people splashing around, but the bottom line is that weÂ were there. In that moment I decided to feel content with that.
From there it was an easy stroll to feel content with so much of my life. I’ve decided it is so much more enjoyable to feel content and confident that if I’ve managed to come this far, I’ll be okay. That no matter what happens, no matter who may be thinking this or that or planning that or the other, I can handle it. It dawned on me that the strength of my contentment is never needing to be complacent because I’m confident that I will be able to take that next step, whatever it is.
So, I laid back, exhaled and smiled at the sun.
What are your fears about taking the next step? Please share in the comments and retweet if you found this interesting.