Contentment Pause

I have been thinking about contentment.

con·tent·ment  kənˈtentmənt/noun: a state of happiness and satisfaction.
Synonyms: satisfaction, gratification, fulfillment, happiness, pleasure, cheerfulness
I think contentment gets a bum rap because it sounds boring, but I think it may be the true goal of life, to look about you and think, “I built this life for myself and I am happy with it, not exhilarated or excited or enthralled, but just bone deep content with who I am and where I am.”  Or as Douglas Adams said, ” I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  This could be because I am old, since I do believe you have to grow into contentment because you have to learn what gives you peace before you can find it.  If so, then growing old is a small price to pay for contentment.
 
What made you happy this week?

81 thoughts on “Contentment Pause

  1. Thanks everyone for the encouraging words last week about my 5k. I walked and ran. I was very happy with my time *and* my body didn’t hate me like it would have if I ran ten miles.

    This week I’m happy we’ve had several real spring days in a row and I’ve managed to be outside for them.

    10+

  2. We’ve been house-hunting recently because the house we live in at the moment has become much too large after my mother died and the kids moved out one by one. As many of you know from own experience, this can be a tedious and sometimes frustrating endeavour. After looking at one of the ugliest pieces of real estate ever last week, we have now found one that might be THE ONE. We’ll go and look at it tomorrow. Wish me luck – I’m very optimistic right now!

    Talking about ugly houses, did you ever come across this? http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com/
    Whenever you’re depressed about the place you live in, this will cheer you up.

    8+

    1. I keep looking at houses nearer to my daughter and saying, “Nope, nope, nope.” She lives in an urban area and I need trees and light so the vast majority of houses for sale are just automatic no’s. Then there’s the fact that houses in her neighborhood cost twice as much as houses where I live (with no trees and light) and I see a lot of houses that grossly overpriced and awful. Of course, that just makes me more content with where I live. So that’s good.

      10+

    2. We have been Thinking about down sizing too. Found a house with a work shop and a little separate out the door and down the walk office two years ago. Of corse when it came down to it he was dragging his feet. He wasn’t ready and now he is making noises about it. Will keep chucking, donating, and organizing for the move. I hope we will find the one too.

      1+

  3. Ride my bike to work one day this week – I worked late enough to miss the rain on the way home. More flowers up in my garden but they may get beaten up by the snow/freezing rain expected later today. My SIL and I went out of town to a Scrapbook event – a few goodies coming home with me.

    1+

  4. My boyfriend, new roommate, and I went to a friend’s birthday party and then a friend’s book signing. It was a lot for me because of my health, but I dosed myself ahead of time and made it through. Bf and I don’t go out much because of my health issues/time constraints/priorities, so that was a new experience for us.

    10+

  5. A neighbor saw a piece I’m into the finishing stages of, and said when he opens his office eventually, he’d like to commission a piece from me. It was such an unexpected compliment, especially since I’m not that wild about how the piece turned out. It made me happy to hear, but more than that, made me realize that even if I’m not happy with a piece, someone somewhere will still be pleased.

    15+

    1. As the artist, I think you will always look with a too critical eye on your own work, because the perfect version is in your head. This is while other people are admiring your work, because they think the version you made is wonderful.

      3+

  6. I enjoyed yesterday, going to a comedy festival (and all the shows were good!) and knitting. Also, at least I get two days a week to be myself without anyone being mad at me. And while the folks I share an office with hate me, one of them took Friday off and the other is hardly ever in the office any more so I had the place to myself for most of the day except when my assistant is in, and I love her so we could chat about The Sorting Hat Chats without anyone bitching at us.

    So yay there.

    I do have to remind myself that this is as good as it gets. I at least have the money to live my life as is, go buy $50 worth of books I wasn’t planning on because I found some really good ones (I’ll get back to you on book day there) and have lunch and dinner out and own a car.

    7+

    1. It’s not as a good as it gets, many things could be ahead. I have great hope for the future, yours included.
      You never know what’s coming around the corner.

      11+

      1. That’s very sweet of you.

        Short of finding a bear witch and asking her to change my fate (hah!) or getting a fate changer (from Starless, that reference will make more sense in a few months), right now I can’t see myself getting from where I am to where I want to be. At this point it feels like divine intervention is the only way that is gonna fly because nothing else I try is working. And I’m afraid of that divine intervention being a firing because I don’t think I can come back from that. (I know others have, but I’ve been job hunting for six years and I qualify for nothing any more.) Unless something comes up to change the track I’m on, I’m gonna be on this track until I die, or get fired. I’d like it to be some miraculous positive development, but… I gotta live with reality in the meantime. And I don’t play the lottery.

        My work situation has gotten better. I don’t serve the public directly every single day any more, my bully has been told to shut it and they have, my work enemies just don’t speak to me at all and that’s a vast improvement than what could be happening, and I didn’t get fired when “someone” “anonymously” tried to get me fired. My boss likes me. I get shit done. I have lost most of my fucks regarding all the shit at work that will never get fixed or improved, I do what I have to and then I leave. At this point, it really is as good as it gets. So…look, positive thinking!

        11+

        1. Sounds like you’ve survived a lot. I am now picturing you as an action hero– Bruce Willis 3/4 of the way through Die Hard, limping and bloody but fighting off everything the bad guys throw at him, unstoppable because he’s just too stubborn to quit. 🙂

          1+

  7. Sitting on my couch in the morning, able to sleep in because I don’t have to be at work until 12 most days, having the delicious Italian Roast coffee my Aunt gets for me, in one of the coffee mugs my friends and family bought for me, with the comfy faux fur blanket from restoration hardware my sister bought for me. And my rescue cats on my lap and next to me.

    10+

  8. I led the memorial service for my brother-in-law yesterday, which went pretty well. Nice to see family, even on a sad occasion. I’m content with that.

    I’ve checked things off my to-do before deadlines and feel better with it shorter.

    And I played with some fused glass; I’m pretty happy with how the pieces turned out, so now I want to make a suncatcher with them.

    7+

  9. I’m content that the pregnant stray cat is now meowing at me (a sign she is truly a stray with good chance of socialization, rather than a feral) every time I visit. What would make me happy is if she were no longer afraid of me, but I’m content with baby steps. Another two-plus weeks (I hope, so it won’t be while I’m out of town!) until she has kittens, so there’s time to work with her some more.

    And I just took care of a two-year-long-procrastinated project that had been weighing on me, and that makes me content. The absence of irritant = contentment.

    12+

    1. *cheers finally completed project* Always reassuring to know it’s (almost) never too late to stop procrastinating. 😀

      Good luck with the stray cat! I’m glad you’re willing to give her the patience she needs to trust you, and I hope she comes around sooner rather than later. =^.^=

      0

  10. I went to a Central Ohio Fiction Writers meeting yesterday. Maddie James talked to us about writing series and everyone at the meeting interacted, chatting with each other during the networking. So many RWA chapters are struggling and it felt good to see us bopping along, holding it together.

    7+

  11. Husband’s home and toddler’s napping; laundry being done by the machines, cooking soup and stew for next week, and most of the ants seem to be dead or disappeared (it’s possible we stomped the colony into oblivion last night, but more likely they finally found all the poison traps). I’m enjoying a quick comment to reflect on this of contentment before I get back to my mountain of overdue grading.

    5+

    1. It’s a gravatar. I did mine ages ago, so can’t remember the details, but if you Google it, you should get there. You just set it up, and then your photo will pop up any time you comment on a website (well, on most of them, anyway). I’m always disconcerted the rare occasions zi post a query somewhere like the Adobe forums, and my photo pops up without my doing anything.

      2+

  12. Ahhh, contentment. I am definitely Team Contentment. But, I am old, so there’s that.

    I had a Moment that I will never forget. I had realized my lifelong dream of visiting Pompeii and was sitting in a restaurant on a beach in Amalfi enjoying the sunshine. My husband and I were watching watching some guys moving rocks around on the beach and talking about nothing. And I realized I was completely content at that moment. Not ‘happy’ or elated or filled with joy, but just completely at peace and satisfied, wanting absolutely nothing more in life, at that moment. It was rare and precious and I knew that for that moment, I was one of the most contented people of the billions on the planet.

    And then my husband (who does not appreciate the Romans enough) said – Are we done with Italy now? And it brought me back to earth and made me laugh so hard. But that was a good part of the moment, too.

    10+

  13. I am happy that my cataract surgery is behind me, and beyond happy at the results. While I am still recuperating, eyedrops and such, I am processing the fact that I can now see better than I have in literally 60 years. Miracles do happen.

    9+

    1. I’m really happy to hear that because my new surgery-happy eye doctor is convinced that surgery is the answer to all things . I’ve always heard that cataracts let you know when they are ready to come out. Was that your experience or did you schedule the surgery solely on your doctor’s advice?

      0

      1. I’m in the UK, so treated by the NHS. It was my right eye that developed cataract: I went to my optician (= optometrist) because I suddenly couldn’t read menus in cafes. She referred me to a specialist, who diagnosed cataract but said it might be a couple of years before I needed surgery – i.e. before it was really incapacitating, because all surgery is a risk so you don’t want to have it until it’s necessary. But my optician knew there was a long wait once they decided on surgery, so I kept going to her to be tested.

        In the end I had surgery just over a year after diagnosis. By then I couldn’t even read the top letter on the chart with that eye. My left eye had no cataract, but luckily they agreed to do both eyes, a couple of months apart, in order to be able to put in a replacement lens corrected for distance, so I don’t need glasses for walking around. My eyes were extremely short-sighted, so if they’d only done one they’d have had to put in a reading lens, since your brain can’t cope if each eye is seeing the world at a radically different magnification, and I couldn’t tolerate contact lenses, which is the other option to balance them.

        1+

        1. PS. To clarify: my eye got that bad because the rate of deterioration is unpredictable, and because while I was referred for surgery in August, nine months after diagnosis, I had to wait another four months for the first operation. I could have done with it being a couple of months sooner.

          1+

    2. This is on me because I either don’t ask the right questions or the medical people didn’t tell me exactly what they were going to do in that surgery. In my mind all I could see was a scalpel coming at my eye so I put off having surgery until I had no other choice, when it could have been just as easily explained that I was going to go into twilight land and all I would be able to see was a haze. Another time over the course of a few years I’ve had four colonoscopies for various reasons. the last time I was told to drink Gatorade the day before and I practically waltzed in the center. It must have been the electrolytes in the drink that kept me from dragging myself in for the procedure. Electrolytes , what you give babies that have been sick, well it works for adults too. So lesson learned even if it sounds like a dumb question ask, ask, ask.

      2+

  14. Attended an all-day master class presented by Damon Suede at New Jersey Romance Writers. Fantastic! I may actually be able to get past my current writing inertia.

    I also am old. I believe contentment is seriously under-rated. IMO I think this has a lot to do with advertising — “More!” “Bigger!” “Faster!” — and “air-brushed” social media feeds making us think that everyone else is doing much more/better than we are. Seriously, count YOUR blessings and be content. (I will now relinquish the soap box :). )

    5+

    1. Damon is a hoot, isn’t he? I’ve never taken a class from he, but we’ve been at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach together for the last few years and he’s just lovely and fun.

      1+

  15. My 2-year-old daughter was in bad need of an after-lunch nap. And she wanted nothing but to share it with me.
    So, there I was, lying with her on top of me, my arms around her, watching the utmost expression of peace in her little face.
    I can’t imagine me defining my state of mind as content, after this. But I would enjoy the competition!

    6+

    1. The boy and I watch some TV in bed before going to bed proper. The other night we watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail and I have heard nothing but “I fart in your general direction!” and “It’s just a flesh wound!” out of him since. He is 9. It’s adorable.

      0

      1. Then there’s “I’m not dead yet” (I must have used that a million times) and “strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’
        swords is no basis for a system of government” (I agreed with that until Brexit and Trump; now I’m thinking moistened bints might be a step up).

        2+

  16. Found the perfect color of binding tape for mending the fraying cuffs of a much loved plaid shirt. Strawberries are on sale so I’m planning on cutting up a full carton to stir into my yogurt for breakfast this week. Two long awaited library books came up on my hold list, so I’ll be sitting back and wallowing in them until the return date. Yep, sounds like a recipe for contentment for me.

    4+

  17. Eating maple cotton candy and reading a good book. Laundry already done and put away, mostly packed for business trip next week, boss called multiple times and I was able to make her happy quickly. All good.

    3+

  18. I’ve been mindful of Jenny’s comment (last week, maybe) about me saying to myself, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” And now when I do it, I catch myself and add, “Nothing but good times ahead.” So that’s something.

    I got a contract to do an oracle deck for Llewellyn with Elisabeth Alba, who illustrated the Everyday Witch Tarot deck when we did that. Having a contract is nice, of course (especially since I’m out of contract with the fiction), but mostly I am happy because we had so much fun working on the tarot deck, and she is fabulous to collaborate with (a rare thing), so we’ve been hoping to find something else we could work on together. The tarot was really well received, too, and people sounded excited about the oracle cards when we announced the project, so that was happy too.

    And I was chatting with author Tamora Pierce via Facebook messenger (we adore each other’s work and became friends a couple of years ago when we were at the same small con) and she’s probably coming to visit me for the day next week or the week after. Very big happy there, because she’s just lovely and I haven’t seen her for a year and a half.

    11+

  19. Canoeing with my sister on Saturday. Not going anywhere; just a beautiful day in the sunshine. ☀️

    Margaritas and guacamole with a dear friend and on Friday after work. 🥑

    Getting the gift of hyacinths pulled from the garden of one of my students. Lovingly wrapped with tinfoil on the bottom.

    It was a good week. 🌸🌼🌸🌼

    7+

  20. The last 2 weeks I’ve quadrupled my physical and mental activity levels, not without paying a bit of a price, but also without any backslide in my symptoms; AND found out that my glaucoma meds are working and my optic nerves are stable, so today I am both grateful and content.

    16+

  21. I actually went out to a concert at a local pub last night (Misbehavin’ Maidens, I feel like a lot of Cherries would enjoy their music) with a friend and it was so good to see people I hadn’t seen in months. I even met a friend’s adorable baby and was feeling good enough to hold him without feeling like I was in danger of dropping him. Today, I’m exhausted, but I still managed to write a first draft of an article due tomorrow for a favorite freelance client (Halo Pets for Freekibble.com, set to publish Tuesday).

    This isn’t how I imagined my thirties, but all things considered, it was a really good weekend and I’m content with it.

    6+

  22. I’m still a little focused on my work situation, so my happies about that are…

    I friends at work feeding me information about the hostile takeover by central I.T.

    I see the change coming as something that may land me in a better place, an opportunity.

    We got one person, an awesome fellow, hired before all this happened. If we hadn’t, he’d probably would have lost his job.

    3+

  23. Very little. My grandmother passed away (expected, she’d been suffering, so she’s finally free of that). But, it’s good to be with my family

    7+

  24. I really, really enjoyed travelling and visiting for two weeks. But man, I am so happy and content to be home!

    Also, I found some YouTube videos for self-massage and exercise that are really helping my ankles. Fingers crossed that I can make my achilles less painful and might even be able to do stuff like mow the lawn and dance across it again this summer.

    3+

  25. Just blew in the door from Sacramento to San Diego, eight hours, so content with zita Bolagnesa and red wine. Back seat contained 18 (!) great heritage roses. Pioneer Cemetery is in full luscious, gorgeous rose bloom, all with the Victoriana and the trees. Heard a speaker from Hollywood (VA) Cemetery, a good friend, and she was brilliant. Hugged and yacked with my pals I don’t see enough, and that is truly contentment.

    Content with energy gained by advocating on a local garden preservation issue.

    Content in anticipating the local Friends of the Library annual sale (I buy on Friday, cashier on Sunday) and Coronado Flower Show.

    3+

  26. I dropped my 11yo off at outdoor school with the rest of our fifth graders, with much mugging and fake sobbing and general mom-goofiness. I figured if I embarrassed her enough, she wouldn’t miss me all that much. But my true moment of happiness came when her little sister climbed into the front seat with her, and she wouldn’t let her go. I got this great picture of the big with her eyes closed leaning into the little, who had a huge smile on her face. Contentment, right there.

    8+

  27. I’m a day late, but yesterday was not a good day. Sun’s out again this morning, though, and that makes me happy. Due a lot more this week, which is excellent.

    An old friend brought a lovely bunch of extremely mixed daffodils from her father’s garden when she came to supper on Friday. Two more friends came for the night on Saturday, and we caught up after months of not seeing each other (they’ve had other commitments).

    3+

  28. I just had a laugh-til-it-hurts conversation with my 12-year-old son about modern acronym-speak (LOL, YOLO etc.) compared to things like rhyming slang and the 1990s Valley-speak in Clueless. I love the way that kid’s mind works.

    2+

  29. I made a snowgardener, complete with straw hat and armful of daffodils. It’ll give me something to smile at when I go out and shovel.

    4+

  30. I’m pretty content with the cupcakes I made last night: I tried infusing them with jasmine tea– it didn’t quite come through, but with the fresh blueberries from the local market, they’re still yummy. 🙂

    1+

  31. It’s Monday night already. I got a massage after work. That I can finally do this at least once a month is a big commitment to self-care and the fulfilmen of the old dream of being able to afford massages when I needed them.

    4+

  32. Slightly off topic: Jenny, on your recommendation I just watched Legion. Wow! It is mind-boggling and totally cool. Thanks so much!

    1+

      1. I only watched Season 1. There are more??? Really fun watching; I loved the 60s fashion. And the super cheesy dance numbers! And the funny science gadgets and special effects. But especially that it felt different and surprised me frequently.

        0

        1. The third episode of Season 2 airs tonight. Eight episodes in the first season, ten this year.
          The Aubrey Plaza role, Lenny, was originally an old man until they cast her. I thinkt that’s fascinating.

          0

  33. This entire thread makes me content.

    This morning, I read Heraclitus, and I remembered the joy I felt when I realized “You can never step in the same river twice” translated into “You can never read the same book twice.” I change, which makes the book change for me.

    Also, if I may brag, The Globe and Mail named my book, Human Remains, as one of the best Canadian suspense novels to bring to the cottage. It’s the first time one of my books has been recommended in our national newspaper. It feels especially good because I’m writing slowly and the day job is sucking all the energy I’d normally use to write the next novel. I need to harness that joy and finish book #6!

    2+

    1. Congrats! LOL, I think the Heraclitus quote goes especially for mysteries and suspense novels. Once you know whodunnit, you are reading for different things, and there are a whole bunch of mysteries that I’ve enjoyed more than once. A few Christies, Brother Cadfael was a favorite, and the Dorothy Sayers novels with Lord Peter. Sometimes I’m reading so fast the first time (to figure out the suspense part), I immediately go back and re-read to enjoy the characters and worldbuilding.

      1+

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