Celebrating Contentment

Ever since we rearranged the house, I’ve been spending a lot of  time in our new sitting room.  I don’t know if it’s the quality of the light coming in the window, or the view of the road running past our house, but with a cup of tea and a good book, I’m happy to sit there for hours on end.

It Doesn’t Really Matter

And it’s not that the room is ‘finished’ or perfectly decorated.  It could really use a fresh coat of paint.  And most of the furniture is cast-offs from my parents’ house.  Not the sort of look that immediately springs to mind when you say the phrase “my favourite room”.

I don’t really know why it is, and it doesn’t really matter, I just know that I go in there and immediately start to feel good.  This sense of contentment wells up and I just soak it in.

I feel less and less like I need to do anything, less and less anxious to go shopping for those finishing touches or to do the sorts of things that used to nag at me in my quiet moments, the sorts of home-improvement, self-improvement, world-improvement projects that may or may not actually do anyone any good at all.

No, lately I’ve just been sitting quietly, feeling content.

And it strikes me that this, this feeling of contentment is what “they” really don’t want anyone to feel.

Because it takes away the urge to fix and  do and  buy.   The urge to consume.

It’s not just the marketers who want us not to know contentment.  Politicians, religious leaders, self-help gurus and financial advisors.  They all want to keep it a secret, this peaceful, happy, relaxed feeling.  This feeling of plenty, this feeling of contentment.

It Doesn’t Come From Perfection

Because, once you have it, once you’ve experienced it and you know that you can’t buy it or build it, that it doesn’t come from perfection or from fixing or doing or having.  Well, once you really know that, all bets are off.  All you really want is to go on being content.  And they, all those marketers and politicians and religious leaders have no more power over you because you know and they know that they have nothing that you want.

So my recommendation, if you want to lower your level of consumption, is to find ways to raise your level of contentment.  Drink your tea from your favourite mug.  Admire the late-afternoon sunshine on your kitchen table.  Snuggle up with someone you love and just soak it all in.

Be content.

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10 Responses to Celebrating Contentment

  1. Kim says:

    🙂 This is great.

    My only regret about the house we now live in is that I feel like there are no decent views. I do enjoy the views we have, but I wish there was a little bit more nature, or one view that involved an unadulterated view of nature.

    Of course this kind of wishing is the opposite of what you are getting at with your post!

  2. Mary says:

    Just what I needed to hear.
    I still can’t do much and have been getting frustrated when here I have been given days when I truly don’t have to and don’t need to do anything.
    I’ll be looking back a few weeks from now wishing for some of that time back to just sit contentedly.
    So maybe I’ll try to be more appreciative of the up side of my situation right now.
    Thanks, Barb.

    • Barb McMahon says:

      Glad I could help you see the up side.

      • एखादी गोष्ट मनाला खटकली की मग असा लेख तयार होतो.त्यांना मेल चा ऑप्शन देउन पण त्यांनी अजुन तरी पेपर बिल पाठवणं थांबवलेलं नाही…

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  5. Walker says:

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual
    effort to make a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and
    don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

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