Sunday Post 11: The Year of Discontentment

Posted by Danny

I wish I were more content with life.  I mean really, really content.

I remember contentment – I remember it well. 

I used to have a vivid image of what my life would be.  I remember one day, before Lisa and I had our first child, sitting at the base of our staircase waiting for her to get dressed.  We were going out to dinner, just the two of us.  I had a beer in hand and was listening to Eric Clapton.  When You Look Wonderful Tonight came on the stereo I literally teared up.  I had never felt such contentment in my life.  Lisa and I were having a conversation – she at the top of the staircase in our bedroom finishing up whatever women finish up the last thirty minutes before a date.  Me, ready to go but as happy as could be waiting for the woman I loved to come out of that room – anticipating what to me was the most beautiful woman in the world. 

At the time I was young.  I could see children – girls of course.  I was a “girl guy” I’d been told and I knew I’d be extremely happy with a house full of women.  I wanted four.  My argument for four stemmed around family trips to amusement parks.  With four children, everyone would have someone to ride with.  With one or three, someone would be left out.  And would that be?  Invariably, the dad. 

I do not like to ride rides by myself.  I do not like to do anything by myself.  Thus the need for four kids; all girls. 

Lisa said I was an idiot – that we couldn’t afford four kids and we certainly weren’t adding extras for a once in every ten-year trip to an amusement park.  She agreed to ride alone.  That appeased me for the moment.

I envisioned that the girls would all resemble their mother.  They would all be strong like her.  They’d all be a hell of a lot of fun, like me.

I was satisfied.  I was comfortable.

Now I sort of feel like there are pine cones in my pants. 

I might say there are parts of my life where I’ve grown over the past year, like in my willingness to more fully express myself to God – if He didn’t know me before, He does now!  However, that hasn’t calmed my soul. 

I envy those of you who do feel contentment.  I think there are people who have reason to be happy and they simply aren’t.  As I think about it, I have a whole lot to be grateful for.  Maybe I’m  the one who should spend more time realizing that with all I’ve lost, I still have more than most.

I’m going to make a concerted effort to work at least one pine cone out of my khakis this week.

Leave a comment


  1. Kim

     /  March 27, 2011

    Thanks for sharing. I think you reminded many of us that where we are in life whether we like it or not is a blessing (a similar message in church today wonder if God is trying to get my attention?). Thanks for taking the time to blog about life in general – it is so special to hear another person’s take on life…struggles, accomplishments, successes etc…. It is all good in one form or another.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 28, 2011

      YOU make our life a bit more happy! And I appreciate that.

  2. Mom

     /  March 27, 2011

    That’s as good a sermon as you get. Thanks, son, I needed that.

  3. Perhaps your contentment is just mixed in with other emotions that are getting in the way of your ability to view your contentment as clearly as before.
    Sometimes, I think our hearts get waylaid with whatever emotions have been taking up the most space lately so that we, almost, forget what some of the other feelings we were previously abundant in feel like anymore. Life happenings have a way of doing that to us. Be patient with yourself. Your heart just needs to swim through the mucky waters till it finds the clear ones again.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 28, 2011

      That’s an interesting way to look at it. I will say that my head has been more full this past year. Full of all sorts of things that can overtake my normal feelings. Maybe my space is being taken up by grief – and hopefully that will fade with time.

  4. runnersdelight

     /  March 29, 2011

    “Now I sort of feel like there are pine cones in my pants.” Brilliant. This is such an amazingly well written piece. Thank you.


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