This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Guest Blog Post - Defining Contentment

Following on from my recent blog post about me Finding Contentment,  a caravanning friend decided to expand on the theme and take a look at how we define contentment with this great piece.  It’s a great read I think and I’m delighted that they have agreed to let me share it with you. It pretty much mirrors what I think and is certainly food for thought as you will see. Anyway, here it is:

Contentment is a word which is often banded about but I wonder how many people actually stop to think what the word means and perhaps more importantly what it means to them?

Let’s start this exploration with a back to basics look at what meaning the dictionary uses...

‘Contentment’, “A state of happiness and satisfaction“ noun ....

The dictionary calls it a noun but I would go further and suggest it is a subjective noun, as to ask the question of a range of people will elicit a range of responses, all as valid as each other.

In today’s era of consumerism and ever growing acquisition of ‘stuff’, it is all too often seen as the way by which an individual acquires contentment. The drive to be evermore successful is yet another means by which contentment is judged and there are many others. But are they or should they be the major focuses? Is that the way for achieving happiness and satisfaction and therefore, as the dictionary puts forward, contentment?

What, or how then, might an individual obtain contentment in a more broader sense? How might we know we have achieved contentment? Is that the end or is it a continually moving stage in our lives? What might be viewed as contentment by a small child will, of course, differ widely from a teenager, adult or older person.

Yes, we can all acknowledge the basics, food, water, shelter and safety but what of the things that we cannot so easily see, touch, taste, hear for example. What of friendships, relationships, love that has been foregone or lost through competing commitments or bereavement? All to often, contentment is realised afterwards, perhaps when it is sadly too late to acknowledge.

Perhaps then, the skill(s) we need to acquire or, possibly nurture is the ability to recognise contentment in ourselves and the part of the world in which we are at any given time. For to do that can bring a quality to our and others lives and an acceptance of ‘what is’ and may be, just may be, a kind of peacefulness which can all to often be missing in today’s lifestyle.

In today’s hectic and often seemingly chaotic world, taking the time out to reflect and acknowledge things in our own little piece of the world can seem like a big ask. Maybe the question we might need to ask is can we afford not to?

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