How Do You Know Contentment?

"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have."
Doris Mortman

One of my earliest memories of "contentment" was a time when I was hanging out with my best friend, her boyfriend and a few other "friends".  My bestie was not a person with a fantastic vocabulary and I remember her boyfriend asking her if she was content (in their relationship).  She was nearly furious, shouting, "No, I'm not!" 

To this day I will always remember the hurt-puppy look on her boyfriend's face until he realized she might not have understood him and said, "do you know what content means?" and she looked around at all of our surprised faces (at her reaction) and said, "I guess not."

That memory sticks with me to this day.  Not because I like to remember my friend's misunderstanding of her boyfriend's question, but because I often wonder, philosophically, if any of us know what contentment means.  We run through life, looking to meet the goals we set, marking our achievements in our scrapbooks and often we compare our lives and selves to others (much of the time where we come out on the negative side).  When do we just stop, sit and ask ourselves if we are content?  Today, I have been thinking on just that.

Contentment means to me...
  • hanging up the phone with a member of my family after a really good conversation, when we've both stopped to listen to what the other is saying.
  • receiving the perfect romantic Easter card from my husband and really grasping the message of love and happiness from him (rather than running through the standard, every-day, habitual hello/goodbye kisses and "I love you"s).
  • a lazy Saturday morning where I can roll out of bed before anyone else is awake, make a nice hot cup of tea and sit back in bed sipping on it while reading, or surfing the Internet or just dozing with my cats lazing around me.
  • knowing that I'm so much more comfortable in my own skin (although when that contentment fades, I always feel I have so much more to do/feel/go).
  • being satisfied with doing what I believe is right, and not following the crowd (even if it's just a crowd of one).  Every time I achieve this, I let myself sit down and be content with my decisions/actions.
This month's topic is very interesting to me because I have been lax in feeling content.  On my drive home tonight, I was pondering this, and a wave of contentedness washed over me.   And, at 70-miles per hour, while listening to an ancient song by Nirvana on the car radio, on a 36-degree day with the heat blaring in my car, after a hard, sweaty work-out and an hour long conversation with a friend who is struggling with life...

... I was content with... myself.

How do you know when you're content?  Do you ever stop, and really think about it?

1 comment:

thriftycrafter said...

Loving that last part of your blog entry, sometime we just forget to be content, ggod stuff.