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Staying Content.  This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot since spring.

When Christian first started his residency, we both thought he would be finished in 5 years.  In year three he decided he was interested in an additional one-year fellowship, and I encouraged him to follow his interests. After all, it’s just one more year and I wouldn’t want him to look back and say “what if?”  He interviewed and matched in year 4 (more about that here).

I joke with Christian that I was the super supportive wife during years 1-3, then I started to get less patient in year 4 but still encouraging… to now, year 5, when I’ve mostly been like, “is this school thing over yet!?”

We had a long talk on the beach one Sunday after a sermon about being content (hello – God’s perfect timing per usual). I told Christian that if he had asked me about interviewing for a fellowship in year 4 rather than 3… I probably would have discouraged it. Christian has been training to become a doctor for all eleven years of our relationship. All five years of our marriage. I am tired… and Lord knows he’s tired. I want him to have the freedom to take a vacation longer than a week. To be able to go home for Christmas, maybe even Thanksgiving (I literally can’t even imagine us going home for a holiday at this point). To have more flexibility to travel with me and make plans more than eight weeks in advance. To have some voice in his schedule and our future.

Another year of school means another year of putting off the big decisions we’re longing for like determining where we want to plant roots, buy our first home, start a family, get to know our neighbors. Another year of sacrificing a lot of the things I’ve been looking forward to… before inevitably moving and starting all over again.

I realized that I really was discontent with my own life.  I wanted what everyone else around me seems to have – stability, security, roots, a foundation, a support system, a family.

I told Christian at the beach that day that I knew I needed to reshift my focus on all of the positive things ahead of us on this journey, because I could only seem to harp on the negatives.  Regardless of how I feel now, I did encourage him to dream big and he did… it brought us to California in the first place. Then he asked me what I thought about a fellowship and I encouraged it. I always tell him to dream big, and he does… so I can’t start dragging my feet now. I have to think big picture and follow through.  He needs my support to get through his career challenges, just as I rely on him to get through mine.

In church that day, our minister said something so powerful that I started taking notes (and I’m not a church note-taker unless I’m really moved).

Discontentment robs the heart of joy.  It leaves us jealous of the people we love, and it tells God what He is providing is not enough.  It’s an issue of the heart.  What’s the secret of being content?  A habit of the heart.

 

Depending on God is the secret to being content.  To think that I’m telling God that what He has blessed me with is not enough… it’s really upsetting.  We all have so much to be thankful for.  If you step outside of your thoughts and reflect on what really has you feeling like what you have isn’t enough (and let’s think big picture here)… it becomes a little embarrassing, doesn’t it?

Last Sunday Christian surprised me with a little red box. He thanked me for all the sacrifices I’ve made for his training. He told me how he knows that I don’t get to experience a lot of the perks that his job gives him – the satisfaction of helping and healing people.  In the box was a Cartier Love Bracelet to symbolize my support of his journey of the past 5 years.  Heart melted –

I’ve been making a conscious effort to focus on all the exciting things about this next year. Christian can’t wait to develop his skills as a facial plastic surgeon.  He is so excited to live in an urban city for the first time.  I’m looking forward to the cooler weather, the chance to get rid of some of the junk around our house during the move, and to have a new canvas to decorate.  In 10 years, I know I’ll look back at this year of our marriage, no kids, and think, “now that was some kind of fun.”

I never want to tell God that the adventures He sends me on aren’t enough. They’re actually going to be some of my life’s greatest memories, so I’m ready for the ride.

 

How do you get through feeling discontent? I’d love to hear any more strategies for eliminating all the comparison, “grass is greener” thoughts! Thanks so much for reading and sharing. You can find more personal posts in the “personal” category of this site and marriage chat in the “marriage” category. XO –

PS – A sweet CBL girl sent me this and I was so moved:

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time to still be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.” – Alfred D. Souza

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78 thoughts on “Staying Content

  1. I keep telling myself Gratitude fosters Joy ( not the other way around ).
    I am grateful for your timely post in my life as well. xoxo

  2. There’s a quote I like to remind myself of often: “comparison is the thief of joy!” Like you said, we are ALL so very blessed if we just take a minute to step back and notice! I’m excited to see what’s next for you cute people. It’s gonna be good! Because God is good all the time!

    Laurel
    http://www.thehiveblog.com

  3. Kathleen, I just love your heart and soul. I’m old enough to be your mother and I really enjoy reading your blog. I know life appears to be perfect in your blog, and it’s not, but your career as been able to blossom while Christian continues his. Your head and heart are in the right place. God’s hand is on your life and what better direction then the one he’s directing you towards. Just follow his lead and all will work more beautifully than you’d ever imagine. You both are in my prayers. Hugs, Peggy

  4. This is such a great post! I almost want to call it a sermon because it’ll preach!! I too Struggle with being content with where I am. I am A go getter by nature and right now God has me in a place of sitting and staying and nurturing and pouring into my husband and kids rather than myself and my career. Sometimes I feel like by staying home I am missing out on professional development opportunities and advancement but God has revealed to me lately that raising strong, kind, respectful boys is just as important if not more so than any career accomplishment I can achieve Your post is a great reminder of that as well! Thanks for sharing! I think It’s awesome that you are supporting your husband but also that you are willing to share that it’s not always easy.

  5. Wow Kathleen. That was deep! It was just what I needed today. I have been thinking a lot about life and death lately. The passing of two people I admired, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade along with a former work colleague..all by suicide..all in the same week..have left me feeling really despondent. How sad and helpless they must have felt. It’s truly heartbreaking.
    A few years back, I fell into a deep depression. I was unhappy at work, learned that I would not be able to have children, and really disliked where I lived (a sacrifice I made for my husband to be closer to his job. I alienated myself from friends and family. I felt I had become a drag to be around. During this period of my life, I did a lot of soul searching. The first thing I realized is that no one is happy 100% of the time. That social media perpetuates this fake reality In which every one feels pressure to be perfect. Perfect clothes, perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect body, perfect family, perfect life. I realized that I needed to worry less about my appearance and people’s perception of me (don’t get me wrong, I’ll never give up on Fashion and Cosmetics!) and do some serious thinking about what was really bothering me. It truly is about attitude. I try to make time to nurture myself when I need it. I’ll take a sick day from work, take a drive with my husband, play with my child (my Chihuahua named Pearl). I do what I can to count my blessings. When something truly upsets me I ask myself “what can I do to change this?” For me, changing careers was the start of changing my life for the better. Every thing else thereafter started falling into place. I still get sad sometimes..I still wonder why I wasn’t blessed with children.. But I do trust in God. I know he has a plan. I know things will always be OK if I put my trust and faith in him. Thank You for sharing this beautiful sentiment.

  6. This same issue as been on my heart in regards to my budding business: http://www.jordanprindledesigns.com

    I’m a brand and web designer and everywhere I look there are fabulous women who are more successful than me, in one way or another. Each time I feel jealousy or insecurity, I also feel guilt for not loving and accepting the blessings in my life. I appreciate another small business owner sharing her struggles, even if they are different from my own.

    As always, thank you for your honesty and sharing your life. It’s not done nearly enough!

  7. This post definitely made me self-reflect a bit, so thank you for that! I recently started meditating, and I have found it incredibly refreshing to take just 10 minutes a day to practice self-awareness. Our thoughts can easily bring us down–and keep us down–so something I wanted to improve was to better control how I feel. I’m still a meditation newbie, so I use an app that has guided meditations. (I use Calm; my sister uses Headspace.) It’s amazing how easily our minds get distracted and our thoughts take us elsewhere. Meditating has enabled me to redirect my thoughts and resist negativity, which can be difficult not to focus on. I would recommend giving it a try, even if it’s just 5 minutes. At the very least, I am sure you will feel at peace afterward. I always do 🙂

    One other thing that has helped me is communication with people who I know have my back. I always feel better after a phone call with my sister. And although I sometimes love a night in, I find that spending time with close friends is another way I remind myself that I am blessed to have some really wonderful people in my life. I agree with Lea wholeheartedly that this feeling of gratitude truly fosters happiness.

    Thanks for sharing, Kathleen. I hope some of these thoughts help!

  8. This post brought me to tears…this is exactly what I needed to read today. My husband and I have been trying to start a family for a while and are currently in the stage of “literally everyone around us is having a baby”. It’s hard not to compare our lives with theirs. I’m going to print off your sermon notes so I can take them with me everywhere I go and re-read them as needed. I just finished reading Wait and See by Wendy Pope and cannot recommend it enough, “Waiting well looks forward to the future while staying present in the present. Waiting well means I remain open to God and allow Him to move me toward the future He has planned, in His time.”

    1. Wow – what a beautiful quote. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Amanda. My heart goes out to you as I know that’s not easy. You have a great attitude! Big hugs your way xoxo –

  9. Thank you so much for your post! I may not be married but I recently just finished my masters, and I am making my first big job move after school. I am moving from the east coast to the west coast. To say I’m not scared would be a lie and even though I negotiated a great first job out school I’ve been second guessing or questioning why I pushed so hard for this position. I moved completely the opposite way of most friends and family! I have felt alone most of my drive to Oregon. Your post reminded me that this wouldn’t have been brought to my attention if it wasn’t an experience I am ready or meant to take a chance on. It means long distance with a boyfriend, finding new friends, and again getting to know a new city. Thank you for sharing the sermon and always having posts that either make me smile or share a part of your life!

    1. Hi Beka,

      I know this is so random, but I loved the post too and I feel like a common theme here to appreciate each stage in life is to surround yourself with supportive people (like this blog does for us readers!). I wanted to respond to your comment because I live in Oregon I don’t want you to feel alone! If you want to get in touch send me an email (thethingsshelikes@gmail.com) and congratulations on the job!

    2. CONGRATULATIONS Beka! Making big moves and changes takes a lot of courage… but it’s scary as hell. I am so proud of you for taking a leap of faith. Dreaming big requires taking risks, and I have no doubt you’ll look back at this experience and be so proud of yourself. YOU CAN DO THIS!!

  10. I cannot even tell you how bad I needed this today. This morning I was feeling so low about my life and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself and then I came to your blog and this was your post. This past weekend we had a gender reveal family get to together for my little sister. She is younger than me, about to have a baby, about to get married and I am recently divorced. I’d been with my ex for 12 years and it just felt like my life would never be the same and while I’m so happy for everyone around me and especially my sister, it’s hard not to feel down. I have a wonderful life- a great job, beautiful home, loving family and friends, and I am truly thankful for it, but sometimes it’s easy to feel discontent. I need to switch my focus and really appreciate the things that are going RIGHT in my life and not the things that have gone wrong because I am blessed, but your words really struck a chord today so thank you for sharing this.

    You’ve been really strong and I’ve been reading your blog since before you were both married so I sort of feel like I know you haha (over the internet at least) and I’ve always been so impressed with how supportive you are as a wife and how supportive Christian has been with you too. Y’all are great, you’re in the home stretch, and what a fun adventure that lies ahead for you two! SF is my favorite city in the U.S. and you’re going to have the best time exploring it together- and being close to wine country is a plus of course as well 🙂

    1. Blaire – I wish I could reach through this computer screen and hug your neck! We all go through seasons that are more challenging than others, and perspective is NOT always easy. It’s only natural to focus on the pieces that aren’t going right. Making a conscious effort to reshift your focus is hard BUT necessary in order for us to keep our chins up (or at least it is to me!). Thank you so much for sharing your story. Big big hugs to you!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. This touched my heart, and knowing that God always gives us what we need during the right time.

  12. What a beautiful message Kathleen. Last week on our family vacation, the one where our discontentment about you and Christian not being with us was mentioned daily, I had a quiet moment to myself. Our last afternoon, I arrived at the beach before the rest of the crew and for ten minutes it was just God, the beach and me. As I looked ahead at the open expanse, I had a gratitude session with God, thanking Him for the many blessings in my life, including YOU. I also prayed for all who are suffering…… physically or emotionally, because they are always on my heart. Your staying content message is is a beautiful reminder for all of us. Being content shows us just how full our lives really are and helps us realize that what we have is enough. I once read that being grateful and content can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home and a stranger into a friend. Thank you again for your insightful message.

  13. This was a great post! When are you moving to San Fran? I’m looking forward to seeing you shoot in new locations and share the city with us!

  14. My husband is finishing a one year fellowship that took us from our friends, families and hom in the south to NYC and it has been a TOUGH year. But when either of us feels overwhelmed or negative about the city or where we are in life, we try to look at each stage (med school, residency, fellowship, dating, marriage, etc) and note how each brought us to an even better place. I am guilty of exactly what you wrote about and framing our experiences differently is so helpful! And if all else fails, we say “if we can make it through this without divorce or killing, we can do anything!” 🙂

  15. LOVE THIS!

    Girl just think… the grass is not greener!
    I still have these thoughts, I’m in a similar situation (marrying a doc) but I made a decision based on the grass being greener for my career (move from Texas to Florida). IT WASN’T! Haha I learned a not so fun way and it made me even more hurt, empty, lonely and frustrated. My man stood by to watch this all play out and was there to tell me. Alright you done? I think what helps me (you’ve helped too) is understand that although it seems like forever now 1yr or even 5 yrs compared to God willing a lifetime will feel like nothing. Even if it seems like the grass God provided you is a little yellow, has rocks or dirt, there’s a green patch somewhere go stand there! (Lol I promise I’m not a landscaper)

  16. Such an amazing and straight from the heart post Kathleen! I am a nurse (12 years this year) and I actually have a pretty good idea how you and your husband must feel at this point. The long hours, years of schooling not to mention the mounting bills for your hubby’s residency. And it doesn’t stop there, after he graduates/finishes his training/fellowship if we wanted to work in a hospital or have his own practice, he has to take days on call, come to the hospital during odd hours of the night/day and basically there is not much free personal time to go around. Schedules are hard, and vacations have to take a backseat. But it all depends on his desire to care for patients and become a full-fledged doctor. Wives usually take the hit since the docs are always away from home for the most part, missing important daily activities and family time. And that is the reality. He really needs to want this because there is a lot more at stake in the years ahead. You are an amazing support system for your hubby! Keep on rockin’ 🙂

    Carina
    http://theagelessmillennial.com/

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been feeling a lot like this lately as well. The constant comparison to others that it looks as though they have it all. I got married this past year, and instead of soaking in the first year in happiness, my mind has turned to constantly stressing about the next step. When will we be able to buy a home, when will we be ready to have kids etc. etc. As silly and cliche as it may sound, it helps me stop and realize everything I DO how, how fortunate I am to have a home, a family, a wonderful husband, healthy dogs, great friends…already my list is long! I always enjoy your posts, thank you thank you!

    xoxox,
    Juliana

  18. Kat,
    This is such a good timing as I find myself in a similar place of discontentment. It’s amazing how sometimes things come to you when you most need them. Know that you are not alone. In this social media age we tend to compare our lives instead of being greatfull and appreciative of all that we have. Thanks for your words and always being so real.

    To be depressed is to live in the past.
    To be anxious is to live in the future.
    To be at peace you must live in the present.

    I realize that by hoping and planning for what’s next I miss out on what’s happening now, ‘the good ole days’.

    Stay fearless!

    xoxo,
    MC

  19. I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I met while he was in the military and for the past 9 years he’s been in a government position (one of those 3 letter agencies) that moved us out to LA 8 years ago. I was excited at first and then realized I was lost.. no friends, he was gone a lot, and I worked remotely for my company back east, so it wasn’t easy to meet anyone. We couldn’t really plan trips in advance either (without the stress that something might come up) It was hard, a few years in particular were harder than others, but I had to keep looking forward and learning how to be happy in my life which really wasn’t like most of my friends.. there were times when I felt jealous of them. This post made me tear up, it’s not easy but hang in there.. it’s worth the wait.
    Just a few months ago we made a big move too, back east, back home. Oddly I felt myself missing Cali now. lol. I learned that I can’t compare my life to someone else’s and that I actually had a lot going on for myself to be happy about. You do too ☺️ I love your blog gurl! Keep on rollin, I know it sounds cliche but life truly is a journey not a destination ❤️

  20. This really hit home. Through most of med school my older brother was ill and I spent a lot of time in hospitals/worrying while most of my classmates were focused on studying and enjoying their free time- or so I thought. I’m not a naturally positive person and it became easy to feel sorry for myself and my family. It took some time to grow out of this and gradually I just felt so grateful that my brother was alive. It kept me motivated and content each day I got to spend with him.

    My brother passed away a year ago and discontentment has been a struggle. I’ve come to learn that it’s okay to not have inherent positivity- it’s so much more important to make a conscious effort to be positive. When I’m down, I think of how fortunate I am to have loving parents, a supportive partner, and ultimately my health. There are so many people my age whose one wish is to pursue a meaningful career, yet they’re not able to do so due to poor health. I can’t foresee if this attitude will sustain me in the future, but so far it has helped me be appreciative of my own circumstances and to work hard to make my brother proud.

    Thank you for sharing and I’ll be thinking of you and Christian as a I start residency in a few weeks far from home.

  21. Kathleen-
    Absolutely love this post and how well it resonates with so many different situations. Too often, we daydream about what’s next and forget to truly enjoy the moment God has given us. Thank you for sharing your kind heart and allowing your readers the chance to stop and smell the roses 🙂

  22. Thank you for sharing! I definitely had my struggles comparing my life to others and feelings of discontent, especially as a single mom. I was sick for 6 months…very sick…in the hospital. During those 6 months, I was so scared of dying and leaving my daughter without a mother. I had a few healing blessings (something we do in my religion when sick) and I remember promising God that I would strive to be a better friend, mother, daughter, etc. if he helped me recover. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m just so grateful to wake up each morning, to raise my daughter and to be able to play with her and go to work. I’ll never take my health for granted. I’ll always be thankful for each day I have on this earth. I’ve learned to count my blessings. Although it was the worst time of my life being sick, I’m grateful for the trial. It really helped me to put things in perspective and to be grateful for what I have and to stop comparing my life to others.

  23. Great post! I love hearing these honest and raw posts of yours and what’s really going on. For us readers, we look at the life of these bloggers and think how perfect and fun there life must be, jetting off here and beach trips there, leaving us very discontent with our own plain lives. In reality, especially after reading your post, I see now that you have just as much stress and discouragement as well, discontentment and human emotions.

    I hope you find peace and contentment in every aspect of your life, even the not so easy parts. And I hope you continue to be honest with us and your emotions and feelings, knowing that we’re not alone.

    Tabitha
    https://shopsiloe.com

  24. wow! God is great. This hits home today for me as well. We mark the one year anniversary of moving to a remote city in Canada for my now fiances job as a lawyer (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories). A lot has happened in a year and I am very grateful, even when sometimes I was resentful of the things I was missing out on. Your time will come, I too am an MD – an ER Physician who finished her training only to have to wait for my partner to do the same! But the house and babies will come and like you said you will look back on this time together and be happy! Praying for you and thanks for sharing such a personal story. I love the quote from the sermon. xo

  25. THANK YOU for this today. Currently struggling with these things as well. My husband is in dental school and planning to go into oral surgery after this so I identify with all of it. God is so faithful.

  26. Oh how I relate to this struggle. Residency wife life is tough! It can feel like a pretty lonely and stagnant journey, especially without family support close by. We’re heading into 3rd year and sometimes it’s so hard to remember the bigger picture when you’re living in the moment and playing the comparison game. That’s when I usually have to take a step back from social media and focus on self reflection as well. We had our first baby while he was an intern and I was in grad school in another state (literally no one’s idea of perfect timing, but left it in His hands). Now I draw strength from being a mom and realize that my daughter was a blessing to help us through these difficult years. We all have highs and lows, but I try to remind myself that no one is meant to be on the exact same timeline in life and like you, I’ll hopefully reflect on these times fondly and with gratitude. Enjoy the journey and congrats on almost making it to the end of training. You deserve that Cartier! I’m telling my hubby to take note.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!

    Kristin

  27. Kathleen I loved reading this post. Appreciate you always being honest and keeping it real. One of the many reason why I enjoy following you.

  28. Love this post! Discontentment and jealousy is a stealer of your own joy and the things God has created for us individually. I also think it’s part of our culture these days where everyone’s lives are on display and it’s easy to say, “I want what they have!” I have to remind myself, that’s not the path God has led me down and he has something uniquely designed for me and the desires of my hearts are known by Him. It’s hard to take one day at a time when you see the big picture and just want to be there already! Enjoy the journey xo

  29. Literally just said to my husband yesterday after huff-puff tantrum about wanting a house we couldn’t afford – “I need to focus on being content”. I love the perspective that quote from the sermon just gave me when I really needed it. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Loved this post! And just like you said, God’s timing is always perfet – I needed to read this! My husband is finishing his last (unexpected) year of school, and I have been feeling exactly as you described. Everyone around me seems to have so much more stability than we do, and I’m tired of not being able to put down roots. Perspective is definitely the key, so thanks for this little reminder today!

  31. It’s as if you could read my mind (and heart). I’ve been struggling with this so much lately. I tell my students before they graduate that they need to remember that everyone is on a different path and some lead to certain destinations faster than others, but that they should never compare themselves to their peers because wherever they are on their path is where they are supposed to be. I need to take my own advice and learn to be content with where I am at any given time. I know that for me it has a lot to do with the fact that we haven’t been able to start a family. Here’s to hoping we all enjoy the ride and find contentment in the here and now.

  32. Thank you for sharing! I have been struggling recently with similar feelings. My boyfriend is currently applying to medical school and I am very nervous about the journey it will take us on. I worry that I will be away from family when I need their help most. Instead of focusing on the unknown your post reminds me to look at the bright side and enjoy the time we do have with our family now.

  33. Just a convicting post! Our Sunday School lesson yesterday was on comparison and how it turns our focus in on ourselves – robbing so much joy – when our focus needs to be on the Lord. Thanks for sharing!

  34. I really appreciate this post and your honesty! I have definitely been having a lot of the same feelings lately and need to refocus and focus on the positives instead. Isn’t it truly amazing how God sends you the exact message you need, when your need it? Blows me away every single time. I love it!

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

  35. So needed to read this today! I have been feeling the exact same way. Keep having faith and trusting God. Xoxo

  36. Your sweet post brings back alot of memories. Only it was the opposite for my husband and I. We met in college and married three years later, the summer before I started medical school. Ten years later I was finally finished with a pathology residency and specialty fellowship! To say those years were hard would be an understatement! I struggled and I know my sweet husband did too. I am so fortunate he loved me enough to weather the storms. We had our first child when I was 32 and our second at 35! Most of our friends had school aged children by then! Our life has been enchanting and I honestly owe that to our faith in a God whose timing is always perfect and whose grace and mercy are all encompassing!! You are gonna look back and be so thankful for these years you’ve had !! A stronger marriage it will make! Blessings!!

  37. Saving this!!! such a beautiful way to redirect thoughts and emotions of discontentment! I’m newer to follow along with you, but from the start your southern embrace to life charmed me beyond any other bloggers I follow And I felt So connected…then to see how selflessly you support your husband really resonated with me, as I’ve done the same with mine. We graduated LSU and moved to NYC for what I thought Would be 1 year away then back to NOLA where I’m from or somewhere closer, fast forward thru a year in nyc then 4.5 years in Boston and now we live in DUBAI, I dont think he can get me much further away from home lol! And I have Had LOTS of days on end full of discontent and sometimes anger toward our life and ‘why aren’t we settled with a house, yard, kids, friends/family and the life I envisioned For Us’. It can be so consuming that I dont Realize I live In one of the most amazing cities and am constantly traveling the world with him for work seeing things I’d only once dreamed of (currently in Tallinn Estonia)…for me it’s comparison – I see Friends back home doing X,Y and Z and I’m so far away…lots of tears and FOMO (occasional JOMO), but it was especially hard in the beginning and my husband said this to me that I want To specifically share,he said don’t think about it as ‘you have to live so far away’, but rather ‘we GET to. We are able to experience another part of the world and travel freely because we have less responsibility now…’ but the whole “we GET to” really stuck with me. And thinking about how temporary it is…how if we hadn’t moved to Boston I would Have missed out on SO much, including my soul sister/best friend and experiencing beautiful seasons…you and C are on such an adventure that the two of you will keep for the rest of your lives…if my husband has taught me anything it’s that the adventure should never end! And I think That I’d like my life a certain way, but honestly God knows better than me and where I am Is where I’m meant to be. Embracing and appreciating it for all it is now because I know It’s temporary. You’re living and seeing things a lot of people only dream of and you get to do it together – that’s the beauty! (I totally Get the long hours and nights solo tho, he works too damn much and I’ve just turned to Netflix and my cats for those nights and of course your stories to feel a little closer to my Southern roots) but it’s another gorgeous place to live, explore and to fall in love with. Life is too short and settling for anything less than what He’s planned for us isn’t living at all – getting comfortable being uncomfortable is where the joy is – beyond the discontent ♥️ Always easier said than done and harder when you’re IN it, but I hope it feels lighter as you begin to see it differently. Talking to myself too here haha i need all the mental tricks and redirects i can get! They deserve our support but we don’t have to be all day everyday and just the thought of “I’m ok with this, but I dont Have to ignore how I sometimes Feel about it” has really helped me too during the transition overseas one really hard week I went To the beach and randomly met a woman from my TINY LA hometown who went to my same high school! If that’s not a Sign I dont Know what is! Thank you for sharing and please continue to be honest about these things – especially with all that’s happening it makes people like me feel like I’m not alone in these situations – there’s always someone who can benefit and relate and you’re so eloquent, it’s like a breath of fresh air! also, I think You’d love dubai!

  38. Such a great post! I realized a couple years into my training (total nine years of residency and fellowship for surgical oncology) that my attitude was in the wrong spot. After spending a lot of time saying “when this happens, it will be better…”, I realized I was wasting so much time not enjoying the present moments!! After I shifted my focus, it changed my perspective dramatically and also opened my eyes up to the opportunities I had not been taking full advantage of. I now look back on my training as some of the best times of my life, and the relationships I built there are ones I will have for a lifetime. Also, not to scare you….but while the flexibility of being an attending is great, the first year in practice is a bit rough too

  39. Goodness, I love your personal posts! God’s character is true and steady through all seasons and that’s how I make it through discontentment – His steadfastness. Wishing y’all the best of luck with your move and your year of adventure!xx

  40. Don’t you love when the right words come at the right time? Someone once told me that it is possible to hold two conflicting feelings at the same time and that is OK. You can be excited for, or yearn for, things in your personal and family life that you don’t have now – while still being tremendously proud and encouraging of Christian and choose to live in the moment.

    Good for you for reflecting to stay focused on the positive – but don’t give yourself too hard of a time for having feelings in the other direction at times. We are complex women and reserve that right. 🙂

  41. Thank you for sharing this experience. I can definitely relate, especially with recent life events. I’m currently reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and learning to be “the watcher” of my thoughts and realizing the importance of the present – not the past, not the future, just the present. It’s really powerful; highly recommend it! Another thing that I practice is writing down three things I am thankful for each morning, or at the end of the day, write down three good things that happened during my day! Truly helpful in staying grateful and joyful.

    Praying for a safe move! YOU GOT THIS!

    xo,
    Shirley

  42. Kathleen! This rings true for me so thank you for sharing. Devin and I often tell each other a few things that we’re grateful for out loud whenever I’m feeling more negative or discontented. It helps to speak it out loud and gets you back in that mind set. You’re a great writer. Xo

  43. Kathleen, what wonderful words. You are such a gifted writer and I loved this post…it was exactly what I needed after a long and grueling Monday. Thank you for sharing your heart and please do posts like this more often! Love the fashion but it’s always nice to read something deeper now and again. Xoxoxoxo.

  44. First time commenting, but I totally sympathize with you on a lot of these feelings! My husband is just about start year 4 of orthopedic surgery residency (5 years) and is definitely going fora one-year fellowship (but I was always prepared for this from the beginning as it is almost expected in his field). It’s really hard sometimes not having the flexibility that other couples/families have in terms of vacation, schedules, etc.t! I feel ya on that, but I’ve also come to place (especially after year two which was the worst) where I am also appreciative of the sense of adventure that it has allowed that any other normal job might not!!

  45. Beautifully said! I am sure it’s frustrating st times…. But take it from a 47 year old woman, when you look back on the next year, it will be a blip on the screen and you will be so glad you did it….don’t look at it as postponing anything…it’s part of the ride, enjoy every minute ute….!

  46. I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear someone in the same position as me share some of my same feelings. My husband is in year two (almost three! Can’t wait for July!) of a 5 year residency and is looking at a three year fellowship. While I will always support him pursuing this big dream of his, it’s hard not to wish we were just done already. It’s even harder now that med school friends are almost done with their training and we still have so far to go. While I too think sometimes about how nice it would be to know where we will be living in 5 years or to start a family or buy a house, I try to remind myself that this time in our lives is special and this will all be worth it in the end. Thank you so much for sharing your experience as a resident’s wife. its really nice and refreshing to know that other people feel the same way too. .

  47. I am on the other end of the spectrum. I was feeling too content. I have a steady job that I enjoy enough, and travel and have a great relationship. I was too content and was ignoring the call for more. I have for a year ignored and the Lord’s call for me to do more with my job, too stop being content in where I am and aim for a greater cause. Thank you for your candidness and I’ll be sad that I’ll never get the chance to run into you in Old Town (even though I am there often). Maybe befor you leave we share a margarita at El Ranchito!

  48. Thank you for this post, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling so much of the same lately as well! It’s very human…and easy to lose sight of all we have to be grateful for in today’s world. Your pastor’s words are something I will always refer back to now, and for that, I AM SO GRATEFUL! XXX

  49. I read some of the comments before writing my own and there is no doubt that God placed this topic on your heart to share with us. I don’t usually leave comments on anything because I like turning my brain off and looking at pictures when it comes to social media.. This, however, caught my attention when I looked at your Instagram post and caption. Without delving into detail, I’ve had a lot of yucky stuff happen in a short amount of time this year. Instagram is a precarious platform in which a lot people use as a ruler for their own happiness. The desire to want someone else’s highlight reel becomes the fuel for discontentment..

    I am in a season of stillness and obscurity. God took things away from me and I yelled, “Why are you doing THIS?! Why can I not have THAT?! Why do THEY get to have it?! ” It’s so easy to spiral downward. I started listening to sermons from my old church and talking to a close girlfriend. I learned to give thanks in my prayers. At first it was difficult because my heart didn’t want to be thankful for anything, but then, it started to become a little easier. I’ve learned some big lessons so far on God’s love and patience, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that where you’re being tested is often where God is preparing to bless you.

    11 years is a long time to be patient but I hope you find encouragement in that you’re still able to encourage others and recognize the blessings in your life.

    Women are amazingly strong, are we not? 🙂

    1. WOW. Joy. What a beautifully written and thought provoking message! I feel so blessed by your words. We are all constantly learning, aren’t we? Thank you so much for taking the time and I love your note of God testing you in preparation to bless you. What a beautiful, incredible reminder. Thank you so much XOXO

  50. The quote titled “Attitude” by Chuck Swindoll really helps me reframe when I’m in a negativity spiral. Also I find myself saying out loud (normally to my dog) that “I am going to practice an attitude of gratitude” and I’ve even said it to my fiancé when I’ve been in a real rut. But to practice you just have some things, small or large, people or things, any couple of key things that really anchor what you’re grateful for, mine is this smile/face my fiancé gets when he’s excited to tell me something because he really does care about sharing things and his life with me, and this little side wiggle my dog does when I get home from work, and you take some time to breathe and refocus on those things that make every thing else melt away! Hope this helps!

  51. Love this! It’s so true. I recently was reminded that sometimes the very things that have me feeling discontent are the same things I begged God to give me. My husband, my kids, my job… all things I asked God to give me. So I remind myself of what a blessing it is to live this life. Sounds like you are doing the same thing! Blessings on you & C as you transition again! Also, your captions give me life.

  52. This made my day! As a pre-med student, being content in my current season of life can be a challenge. This was a great reminder at just the right time. (Your personal posts are my fav!)

  53. This is perfect. We are starting year 5 of 6 in my husbands oral surgery residency and this is literally what I needed to read today. Not only that, it made me reflect about being content in my life and not wishing these years of struggle away. My mom always says the struggle in the early years is the glue that binds your marriage together. Thank you a million times over. I don’t typically post but wow- when I was moved to tears while reflecting I thought I must say thank you!!

  54. Loved reading this and thank you for sharing with us! I’ve had similar feelings as my husbands job has taken us to several cities far from where we want to end up long term. I related to so much of what you wrote here and agree this period of no kids and not settled down will be something we’ll look back on with fondness one day- it’s all about perspective!

  55. I absolutely loved this post! I can kind of relate to how you’re feeling. We’ve been moving for my husbands job the last and ended up in Las Vegas, not somewhere I was particularly excited about! He’s also on the road a lot traveling every week, and we know nobody, so it can definitely be tough. I’ve tried to make the best of the situation we’re in, but I definitely know the feeling of when will we settle and stay somewhere long enough to make a life and plant roots. Enjoy this next adventure though because like you said, one day when you have a family and a house you will look back on all of the memories you two made together! Hang in there love ❤️

  56. When I feel myself getting discontent, I start physically writing down all of the things I am thankful for. It helps me to remember to be grateful for the blessings the Lord has given me.

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