Contented

‘We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without’ Immanuel Kant.

 

Comments on my posts always give me food for thought. SDCannon‘s comment on Clean made me think about happiness.

As I said in Light – my natural disposition is to be happy. I have never been one to wallow, sulk, or give in to gloomy moods.

Happy is such an overused word though, isn’t it? What does it really mean?

Now, as I said in my response to SDCannon, working through my past in order to build myself a stronger future is making me rethink or redefine what happy means.

When you think about the dictionary definitions, ‘happy’ is a moment. It is experienced for brief periods:

  • It’s been delighted, pleased or glad over a particular thing;
  • It’s characterised by or indicative of pleasure or joy;
  • favoured by good fortune or lucky;
  • Apt or felicitous, as actions, utterances or ideas;
  • Obsessed by or quick to use (ie trigger-happy).

So when I say I am a naturally happy person, that I had a happy marriage, that I was happy with my life, I suppose I do not really mean happy. What I mean is content.

Contentment – feeling satisfied with what one has and not wanting more or anything else, having ease of mind  – is the key. Feeling contented.

‘Contentment’ captures much more clearly what I mean than ‘happy’.

I was contented with my life. I didn’t want anything else. What I had was more than enough for me, both in terms of emotions and material things.

Emotionally, I knew there were areas where I comprised too much, sacrificed more. That there were issues of imbalance. But those did not matter. They didn’t outweigh the good and positive aspects. I felt loved, secure and needed. I felt satisfied. So I was content.

Materially, I felt blessed. Spoiled even. We would go out to expensive restaurants, buy expensive wine, go on luxury holidays. I have never been a materialistic person. I have never owned a credit card or had a bank loan (other than a mortgage). I do not really desire ‘things’. I am not into designer labels (although I do enjoy getting a TKMax bargain). I am not into jewellery, shoes, bags, makeup etc. I have a few nice things and I am satisfied with those. So I was content.

Over the last few months things have changed radically.

Emotionally, I have been rejected by the person who was my favourite and best in the whole world. I have been cut off, dead.

Materially, my disposable income has reduced to about 1/5th of what it used to be. I do not have the funds to go out, drink fine wine or go on lavish trips. I have to think before I purchase anything. I have to strictly budget to make ends meet.

But do you know what? Despite these changes, I still feel content.

Emotionally, I’m content because his loss does not negate the fact that I am still loved and cherished by so many. I am overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I’ve received. I placed too much emphasis on us, on loving him, when in reality, I have an abundance of love.

Materially, I am managing. I do not need or desire any of the frills and fripperies of my old life. And I’m rather glad the children have stopped being so spoiled.

I think all this means that fundamentally I am a person who finds it easy to be contented. I am satisfied with who I am and what I have.

Another revelation again. My ex was not content. He expressly said that I made him unhappy. That what we had was never enough. He was the spender. The one who desired things. The one who thought nothing of spending £1000s on clothes, wine, holidays. The one who chased, and still chases, a bigger salary.

But I shouldn’t have been the source of his happiness. And money isn’t going to bring him happiness. He needs to be happy – to be content – with himself. To be satisfied.

I may not be rich, in terms of money. And my future fortunes will be dramatically different now that I’m solo. But I am rich in the things that really matter. The things that will sustain me in my old age. I’m content and I’m glad I’m me!

10 thoughts on “Contented

  1. You are a richer person than that man will ever be. Money changes weak people, things are just things but people who love you are priceless❤️

  2. One of the greatest lessons I am learning through adulthood, marriage, and divorce has been beautifully painted by you. We are all responsible for our own happiness. People and things can add to our existing joy, but never replace it. The man that is forever seeking outside validation to ensure his happiness, will surely die a weary man. And sometimes, being tossed off the cliff of contentment is what leads us to seek our joy. Bless you and all of us on this journey.

  3. Well, lookit there. 🙂

    Yeah…this is a tough one. It takes all kinds when it comes to money. We just recently liquidated all our “us” things and Id gladly give it all up in the name of her being well again. Me and the girls don’t have to live like we once did…look how that ended after all. Sitting on it instead of being stretched far too thin is so much better. When I was a kid, and I will misquote it, Paul McCartney was written somewhere saying that he didn’t want to be the richest man in the world but “it’s nice to have money to do things….you know, if you ever want to”. Truth.

    • I think there’s a optimum level, where you’re comfortable, not having to worry about paying the bills etc, and have a nest egg for rainy days. But striving for more wealth, for the sake of being flash, is where it gets messy. I’m content, in that I’m not destitute. I’ve had a taste of what being ‘rich’ feels like and I’d prefer ‘normal’ any day. Family, love, relationships, health, integrity, respect – these are what matters. And it sounds to me like you have these in abundance too Sam😊

  4. here are the cold hard facts regardless of what mr i wanna be happy stbx thinks you and your children are entitled to live the life you lived with him whether or not he is with you – that’s what that handy dandy little marriage paper says period – of course he wants you to feel guilty, try to do on it your own – don’t – your kids deserve to cont to live the life they led while you were together if that infringes on his little midlife crisis party who the fuck cares fuck him

  5. Pingback: Costs – Divorce Changes Everything

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