Processing – Contentment

Contentment means different things to different people.  It is very subjective.  So as I was talking with my husband this week, we discovered some things that had changed in us over the last year and, as a result, we still feel content.

Notice I said that we still feel content.  Before we embarked on this risk of coming to Canada, without a job, but with the finances to support us for a year, we had great jobs back in the UK which allowed us to live off one salary and save the other.  Financially we were content.  We had family and friends living very closely nearby and we regularly met with them and enjoyed their company.  We had a new car, a roof over our head (rented accommodation) and had ‘things’.  We grew our own food and enjoyed the results of our labours.  We were very content.

Having said all that, there was incredible pressure to conform to buying the latest car or gadget.  We lived in the South East of England, just outside London.  Anxiety, pressure, stress, temptation to live like “The Jones'” never stopped.  Subliminal messages suggested that I could not be content because I didn’t have everything that the world said I should have to be content.

So what has changed?  Well, we didn’t know where we were going to be living when we arrived in Canada but we have been provided with a basement suite which is simply furnished and provides everything we need, for a very good monthly rent.  We don’t have TV, a Hi-Fi, bookcases of books, ‘knick-knacks’ and lots of possessions, yet we find we don’t miss our ‘stuff’, and we are very content.  Our car was a gift from another English emigrant.  It’s old, tatty, a bit rusty, but it runs well and has kept taking us from A to B without breaking down.

And we have made such wonderful friends that we are never lonely.  I’m not saying that we don’t miss our family and friends from the UK, but we have good relationships that ensure we are not alone.

So my contentment is not dependant upon the amount of ‘things’ I have.  If anything, I have learned to be content with less.  My contentment doesn’t depend on having the latest gadgets or cars, but as long as what I have is functional, then I’ve learned it is a blessing.  I have everything I NEED which is so different from having everything that I want.

I have found that contentment is an attitude of the heart and mind.  We can choose.

This is my realisation.

What is your understanding of contentment?  Are you content?  What do you believe will make you content?

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About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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15 Responses to Processing – Contentment

  1. i just learned this lesson somewhat in getting this place in GP. it is not what i had hoped for, and it comes with a stigma. i realized i had an attitude i needed to change for one. two, my attitude will determine, my experience. if i go in with a negative attitude, that will be the experience i have. if i go in with a positive attitude, excited about making the new place home,and asking how i can be used up there, that is the experience i will have! i am excited!

  2. Sonel says:

    I’ve never worried much about material things either and I am grateful for what I have. To me love is the most important of all and then there’s health and happiness. I am truly content in all of that. 🙂

    • katehobbs says:

      I am so pleased for you Sonel. Funny how we seem to think that material things will make us happy and content. That’s a lie, and the marketing and advertising industry are very good at subtly finding their way into our subconscious and leveraging our thinking. We have to be mindful of that.

      • Sonel says:

        Oh, that is a fact Kate and that is why I hardly watch TV, if ever. It’s because of all that that people can’t love themselves anymore and what is more important? When I look around me I see everyone scurrying around trying to be better than the other… better car, better house, etc. It’s actually sad. Everything we have is old but paid and we don’t care what people think or say where that is concerned. We don’t buy stuff and put ourselves in debt just to impress others. That’s really stupid. If people who come here don’t like what they see, they can go out the way they came in. That is our philosophy. 🙂

      • katehobbs says:

        I am loving your attitude Sonel. Good one.

  3. Jude says:

    I could almost repeat your words Kate, only we retired permanently to France on two very small pensions. What makes me more content than anything is that I’m a time-millionaire!

    • katehobbs says:

      It has been interesting how people have resonated with what I have written. More and more people are realising that things don’t make contentment. Funny how we find this out later on in life.

  4. Well said Kate, It’s all about being satisfied with what you have, doesn’t mean you can’t have dreams or goals, as long as they don’t interfere with you well-being…

    • katehobbs says:

      Dreams and goals are good, and they all add to our contentment if we are able to pursue them. I agree that being healthy helps increase our contentment. Thanks for adding your thoughts here Joanna.

  5. urbancurator says:

    Wow, today I posted about how I need to “plan” things because I feel so busy lately. I don’t have a cell phone and so far, I find that I don’t need one. That makes me happy, I’ll hold off on that technology for as long as I can! Now if I could only learn to work to live instead of living to work!

    Thanks for the very inspiring words!

    • katehobbs says:

      Thanks for the encouragement here. I sometimes wish I had never found mobile phones too. Now, because we have no TV we don’t have an home phone package either so my mobile is actually quite vital, especially if my kids in the UK want to contact me in Canada. ~But it can take over sometimes. Thankfully there is an off button. Some people haven’t found that one yet!!!!
      Thanks for visiting.

  6. I enjoyed every bit of this post. It’s like reading a piece of my thought. Contentment is an attitude of mind and heart. Beautiful. Thanks

  7. Kate, I’ve tagged you for a game of Blog Tag. No pressure to participate. Here is the link if your choose to join in – http://printsensephotography.com/2012/04/05/ive-been-tagged/

  8. fiztrainer says:

    I am finding myself more content as of late. I think priorities have a lot to do with contentment. When your priorities are set on tangible earthly physical things, you contentment is not sustainable or lasting. But, when your priorities are set on God, on your relationships, on things that really matter, you find joy. And in joy is great contentment. 😀

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