On Money and Being Content

Wojo’s recent post on Americans and money, mentioned that “…the best peace of mind comes from the feeling of having enough—enough to buy, but not having to; enough to cover emergencies, but not having to; enough to enjoy almost any luxury in life because we’ve saved diligently for it.”

I love that.

Having enough to do things but not having to do them (or even necessarily wanting to do them) is so where it’s at.

You feel content. And when you’re content, life is just good. A contented person is a happy person. (The reverse isn’t necessarily true.)

However, I think that it’s often hard to identify what makes you happy, especially in such a busy world. And so we go about things backward. We often believe that spending money (or rather, buying things) will make us happy.

And it does, for a little bit.

But it’s kind of like eating sugar. There’s the sweet taste and the rush, and then…there’s the crash. You end up feeling worse than you did originally.

So you go in search of more sugar (more things to buy or do) instead of taking the time to enjoy the present moment, your surroundings, and the people you are with. We all need a little downtime on a regular basis to allow ourselves to appreciate our lives, and to just be. (Good thing that the downtime can be as simple as sitting outside for a few minutes, because I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do what Mrs. Accountability did: she tried out a personal sensory deprivation tank.)

Of course, we also need a little of the good kind of excitement in our lives too, but that doesn’t have to cost us a bundle. In fact, we may enjoy things more when we pay little or nothing for them, because there are fewer expectations. Fewer expectations equals little or no stress about”getting our money’s worth”. We can just find something to enjoy.

So this weekend, take a few moments to think about the times when you’ve been to content — times when you’ve had enough and recognized it. Then go experience some more of those kinds of times.

Maybe one of those times could even be right now.

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8 comments

  • Plus if you are doing what you love, it won’t bother you that you are making millions of dollars. But hopefully your passion will be able to grow your money through your passion.

  • I definitely have been the most content when Im out on a boat, our on the lake, preferrably both. Now I just need to buy a house on the lake and get a boat…oooppss there goes the point of the exercise LOL. What can I say, I’m a victim of lifestyle inflation… I love your article though.

  • I’ve personally had alot of ups and downs with money in the past few years. The thing that i’ve found that makes me happy is not having to worry about bills. I feel like i don’t need alot of expensive things, but having to worry about where the money is going to come from to pay my mortgage made me completely crazy.
    Things are much better now, but it made me realize that i couldn’t care less about driving a nice car. I just don’t want to worry when the end of the month is coming up.

  • *smile* Oh, Jackie, it was soooo fantastic! But you’re right, it doesn’t take a sensory deprivation tank to relax… I actually have a very pleasant time in my very own bathtub full of hot water. :-) Thank you for the link to my post!