I got jealous of a friend last week. This guy seems to have it all: rich parents who are still together, money seemingly thrown at him all his life, lots of opportunities to travel when he was in his 20s, a beautiful wife, and (what I was really jealous of) he’s the co-founder of an up-and-coming software company, meaning that when it finally sells out or goes public, he could make tens of millions easily, maybe much, much more. It seems to be a great life for him. He can, I’m assuming, afford a nice, big house for him and his wife, provide for their children, the first of which is due in January, and save for retirement or, quite possibly, retire before he’s 40.
I was stewing in my jealousy a little until I found that the husband of a woman I’d met in my tax class last year had died. She was probably a few years older than me, but by no means elderly, so I’m assuming her husband was around her age. She was devastated by the loss and moved across country to be with family. I can’t imagine losing Leah. I don’t even want to think about the immense pain that would bring.
Since realizing that my life could be so much worse than it is, I’ve been a lot happier overall. Contentment isn’t about having everything, it’s about not needing more than you have. And when I strip away my ego, I still have a desire to retire early and travel, but I don’t need those things. I don’t need a big house or loaded checking account. I need God, I need her. And I have both. I can be content with those.