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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


  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...

    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.

  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

  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

  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

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

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

  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

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

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

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

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

  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

  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