This week's #Friday Reflection was to choose a quote that has touched me this week" and I thought of the one above about contentment - such an overlooked emotion in today's "give me give me" world of discontent. It seems everyone is looking for the next big promotion, the next big holiday, the next big romance or the next big crisis to keep things exciting. People constantly complain about the cost of living and how much they need to earn to live a life that they think is satisfactory. Contentment gets lost in the process.
Many, many years ago Henry David Thoreau wrote this quote:
Perhaps we can take a page out of his book and appreciate what we already have without the need to constantly add to our possessions or our travel itinerary. By all means lets work if we like working, lets keep the wheels of commerce turning......but if you're like me, you might be getting a little tired of going to that thankless job to earn money to spend on things that maybe you don't really need.
Reducing my work days by half has made no discernible difference to our quality of life. We still have all the food we need, we still have enough to go out and enjoy ourselves and we can still pay our bills with a bit left over. My motto has always been to spend less than you earn - and to pay off the mortgage as the first priority. This has been our salvation in so many ways, to be debt free is such an amazing achievement and to stay that way is even more pleasant. I'm prepared to sacrifice a few luxuries if it means I am not at the 9-5 grind every day - and the contentment that comes with having more time to myself outweighs any loss of income.
Another quote from even longer ago (from Timothy in the bible) sums up a lot of our approach to life:
In saying that though, I have to remember not to envy the lifestyle of others. I need to step back from facebook if I start to feel discontent when I compare my life to my wealthier friends. Life is all about choices and consequences. Making good choices that suit my mindset and free up my time is what my midlife is all about.