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Saturday, 11 May 2019

Contentment is...

People often mistakenly strive for happiness. Happiness is a fleeting jubilation. Happiness is the by product of getting together with friends, laughing with the kids, indulging in a pleasure. Contentment is something more precious. To use the Wikipedia definition (kids, don't do that at home...or for homework!) 'Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one's situation, body and mind.' Contentment is the happiness of satisfaction. 


It's the easy smile in a crowd strangers.
It's the approving smile in the mirror when trying on clothes.
It's the involuntary smile at sunrise or sunset.
It's laughter in the eyes.
Grinning at a friendly text message.




Contentment is not after more. Contentment appreciates what is, no matter if it's not perfect, if it's not as good as someone else's. Contentment is focused, not comparing. 

Contentment seeks out small joys and pleasures daily, thoughout the obligations and routine of life. It may be the flowers on the street as you walk to school, it may be the blue sky out the window. It's acknowledgement of what you have and who you are.

As I pointed out in this post on happiness, contentment is the joy found in the inconsequetial moments of life. Of which their are so many more, than the extreme highs and lows. Satisfaction in the mundane and unimportant.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote of his Uncle Alex, who would stop the conversation when they were drinking lemonade under the tree on a sunny afternoons and muse "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is". And Vonnegut concludes, in A Man without a Country: "And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'"

Linking with  #KCACOLS

21 comments:

  1. I never used to appreciate contentment - it always felt like a settling and that felt like something I didn't want to do. Lately though, in the last year or so, contentment is something I'm embracing more - from a position of gratitude...and man that sounds pensive for a Monday morning. Next I'll be talking about journeys...

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    1. It's interesting we see settling as a negative not a positive. It really is quite a positive - to settle down, to settle with what you have, to be settled.

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  2. Hi Lydia, over the last couple of years there have definitely been many moments when I've felt content and thought 'can it get any better than this?'. Of course we get caught up in life but I agree that happiness isn't the key it is finding the contentment and joy. My daughter has just started writing each night 5 things she is grateful for. She is a busy Mum with a full on career so it is great to see her stop, think and appreciate. Have a great week, Lydia. x

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  3. I'm with Jo. I never appreciated contentment when I was younger and had seen less of the world. I'm actually striving for it now.

    SSG xxx

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  4. I love this statement Lydia: Contentment is the joy found in the inconsequential moments of life. I totally agree and love your post on contentment, you've summed it up perfectly . #Lifethisweek

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  5. hard to appreciate the moment sometimes when we stop to make ourselves appreciate it! Hehe. #GlobalBlogging

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  6. Totally agree. Contentment is being present in the here and now, and is lovely foundation for those happy moments when they arise.

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  7. This is such a beautiful post Lydia and thank YOU for getting the prompt right. I was avoiding writing about contentment because even though I know what it feels like, I just can't settle yet. Thanks for sharing on #lifethisweek and next week's optional prompt is 20/51 Share Your Snaps #4 20/5/19 so do join in! Denyse

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  8. Lovely read and simple things should be appreciated X #twinklytuesday

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  9. Appreciating the small things leads to contentment. #TwinklyTuesday

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  10. Definitely more important to feel content than happy. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

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  11. Lovely read and we should all take the time to notice the small, simple things. Thanks for linking up #twinklytuesday

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  12. I have been talking about this with my children this week as I think it will help their future mental health to be more content and not expect happiness. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

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  13. Contentment is so undervalued but a great state. I think it is easier for some people to reach than others, it depends how driven you are in many ways. #KCACOLS

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  14. I love that feeling of contentment, when you just want the world to stop so you can live in that moment forever. I must say I do feel more content now than ever, and get plenty of moments with my little one. #KCACOLS

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  15. I find moments of contentment daily. I seek it out because I know how precious life is for us. I also strive to make sure I don't get overly comfortable that way I can improve our life too. #KCACOLS

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  16. A very reflective post. I always used to be the type of person who was striving for more and never content in the moment, but I think having my son has made me stop and appreciate the now. #KCACOLS

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  17. Love this post. I'm a big believer in the idea that too many people spend too much time thinking that they would be happier "if only" #KCACOLS

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  18. My motto is “find joy in the little things, every day.” I loved your post, and I totally agree this. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again soon. :)

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  19. What a thoughtful post. I try to find things that make me happy and contented in the everyday. It amazes me how many of these little moments we take for granted instead of treasuring them.
    #KCACOLS

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  20. I do this kind of thing all the time! Stopping to notice the contentment (and/or happiness, when appropriate) that I feel in moments throughout the day. Most days there will be several moments of contentment to treasure. It's a coipng mechanism, in a way, isn't it..? x #KCACOLS

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