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?