The winter of our content – your choice

Kathy Krugercontentment, happiness, perspective25 Comments

Not to rub it in or anything, but it’s hard to believe it’s winter right now where I live on the Gold Coast.

Sure there have been a few nights where the mercury has dipped and it feels pretty cold (Ok – just because I wrote this last night was bloody freezing, brrrr), but the warmth of sunny days surely makes the overnight chill factor worthwhile.

Ask a four-year-old if he thinks it’s too cold for a swim and his face tells it all – the face of contentment.

This is winter - 6 July, 2014

This is winter – 6 July, 2014

It’s funny how as we age our version of what constitutes cold changes even when the temperature doesn’t. We become scared in our shivering, rather than daring in our swimming. And I think we lose something in the process of narrowing our perspective.

After all – someone’s winter is always another’s summer (as we discovered living in Squamish, Canada, when Gold Coast winter temps would often top Squamish hot days).

The same goes for contentment/discontentment.

Now is the winter of our discontent’ is the famous opening line of Shakespeare’s Richard III – the disgruntled King lamenting the ‘unfair’ state of his world.

But he continues: ‘made glorious summer by the sun of York’ – so perhaps there is always hope for the sun to shine even in the midst of winter.

John Steinbeck, the Nobel Prize winning US novelist, pinched the phrase as the title for his final novel, in which the chief protagonist makes himself discontented by not being content, trading his morality for the sake of wealth and power.

I don’t profess to be a literary critic, but the message of these great wordsmith’s seems to be that contentment is always a choice, or not.

It does not have to be a winter of discontent, whether the weather is beautiful or much less so (sorry poor Melbourne/Perth/Squamish etc).

This was boating, complete with Sunday brunch at a favourite café Bumbles, in a beautiful spot along the Nerang River called Budds Beach, on a perfect day for it, even if we had to make two trips in the tinnie with the cousins, passing boats and mansions we could never afford. This was contentment.

 

We watched the Gold Coast Marathon runners cross the Sundale bridge from underneath it, and watched a dogged dog run his own marathon back and forth along the beach (like 20+ times, he was one determined canine).

I lay back on the warmish sand, closed my eyes and soaked in the sunshine while the others fished (they didn’t catch anything, but who’s complaining – nobody).

On days like these contentment is hardly a choice.

But sometimes it is a challenge of monumental proportions.

It was for the gorgeous Sarah Rosborg from Castle Designs and the charity Rafiki Mwema – one of the speakers at the recent Creative Business Women’s High Tea event organized by the lovely Zanni – My Sunshine House.

Sarah spoke of a heartbreakingly inspiring trip to Kenya, followed barely a week later by a devastating car accident in the US. As tears stung her eyes and ours, we heard an amazing story of how she has devoted the life she almost lost to helping young girls deeply scarred by sexual abuse in Kenya.

On her long journey to recovery, Sarah threw her remaining energies into charity work, eventually forming Rafiki Mwema (which means loyal friend) – a safe house offering play therapy to rehabilitate broken lives.

Through her business Sarah covers the charity administration costs, plus she offers a fifty percent discount for genuine not-for-profits requiring her amazing, self-taught graphic and web design skills.

It is a beautiful, worthy charity to support if you can.

We can choose to help others and in doing so we choose contentment.

We can choose to prioritize relationships, passion and purpose in our lives and in doing so we choose contentment.

We can choose to forgive ourselves and others and so heal ourselves, and that is a choice to be content.

We can choose to accept sorrow and joy and when we do we have chosen contentment.

We can choose to be positive and grateful and so manifest what we want in our lives, as Emily – Have a Laugh on Me will attest happened to me when I won (ie manifested on that cold day) a beautiful hand-crocheted blanket, lovingly made by Sarah’s (surely beautiful) Mum.

It is warming me now through the winter of my content.

Linking up for another Tuesday with Jess for IBOT.

Do you agree that we choose contentment? How do you choose it in your life?

Cheers

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Kathy KrugerThe winter of our content – your choice

25 Comments on “The winter of our content – your choice”

  1. Zanni Arnot

    How lovely. I am glad I read this today Kathy. And funny that we were both talking about contentment on our blog today. Sarah is truly amazing. The more I learn about her, and have to do with her, the more I appreciate her. One of those people. So inspiring, and so much heart. Lucky you winning that lovely warm blanket! xx

  2. Sally@Toddlers on Tour

    I’m in Perth. Outside it’s blowing a gale – really our neighbours fence blew down last night – it it’s pouring. But inside the heater is on, I’m wearing my ugg boots and when my son goes to sleep tonight I can cozy up on the couch with my husband and catch up on the final of “Elementary”.

    That’s me choosing to be contented rather than whining that the weather is so awful you can barely get outside to dash to the car.

  3. Have A Laugh On Me

    Such a lovely post, and yes to Budd’s Beach and all the awesomeness we live in and around! That blanket was MEANT to be yours, quite uncanny how that happened. Love the swimming shots, my 4yo would love to be doing that, shame he has a cold (a mum that worries he might get a cold)

  4. Lydia C. Lee

    I get so cold now – the kids always go on about it…
    I think to an extent we can choose contentment, or at least aim for it – but life can make it difficult and pull the rug out from time to time…
    (and you know Richard was having a bitchy stab at the SON of York…so best to avoid those of his type, if you want a winter of content. He was BIG trouble!)

  5. Denise

    I’m in freezing cold Melbourne where it’s blowing a gale right now, so I’m a little jealous. But it was sunny all day today and I took my little one for a walk to the park. So winters in Australia are not too shabby! Lots of contentment to be had. Thanks for a lovely post. Visiting from #IBOT x

  6. Alicia

    My brother and his wife have just returned from the warmth of QLD. I cannot fathom why we are going to the snow in a few weeks! It is cold enough here and we are going to colder? Madness. lol
    We had a beautiful sunny day here on Sunday though, it was lovely.

  7. Tegan Churchill

    I think you absolutely choose your contentment. There are a lot of things in life that we can’t control, but I do think we can control whether we are secure with our lot in life or not. Mr 4 wanted to go swimming on the weekend but mean mummy put a stop to that! I have a cold and I wasn’t keen on sitting at the windy, cold beach.

  8. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)

    I wish I was in QLD right now. It’s been the most horribly, dull, cold June and being school holidays we’ve been stuck in doors. I said to hubby the other day, next June/July holidays we are heading north!
    But you are absolutely right, we are in control of our contentment. So despite the yucky weather it has been board game central here and the kids have been loving it. And today we went to see Rio 2. A very content day indeed. x

  9. coloursofsunset

    We sure are having a spectacular winter at the moment aren’t we? I don’t mind cold nights and warm days, love snuggling up under the doona but being able to wear shorts and a T Shirt during the days!

  10. Grace

    I LOVE this post, Kathy! It is all about choice! I don’t know if you saw the post that was floating around FB about a blind elderly lady who was moving into a nursing home. The person who brought her in told her it wasn’t much and the facilities were basic but she said, “I will love it here. I will choose to love it here”
    And there is so much out there in this big beautiful world that can easily keep us content rather than asking for more or dissatisfied with what we already have.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Love that story Grace – swore I’d replied to your comment but can’t see it here now. There is a lot in this beautiful world to appreciate, especially also when you see the bad in the world.

  11. Sarah Rosborg

    Hi Kathy! What a lovely post.. Thank you for your nice words and I am glad you won my mama’s blanket! they are the best and made with pure love. Love Sarah xx

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Hi Sara – I so thought I’d replied to your comment but maybe it disappeared into the ether. I love your Mama’s blanket and love what you are doing. You are a special person.

  12. EssentiallyJess

    I absolutely believe contentment is a choice, and one of the best ones we can make.
    But it’s not easy you’re right, and some days, I’m finding recently, it’s harder than others.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      It’s a wake up every day kinda choice Jess – but we get to do it again tomorrow. Choosing contentment after a busy/sick time, all put in perspective by the air plane tragedy today.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Sorry to be sooo late in responding – school holidays, birthdays and the flu are to blame, but I’m content with that! Thanks for reminding me that we can be content while journeying and when we arrive.

  13. mummywifeme

    Yes I completely agree we choose contentment. I find it so much easier to be happy and content than negative. This weather we are having is just gorgeous. I love that pic of Mr 4. Soooo happy. We are lucky to live in this part of the world.

  14. Sarah Barrett

    I think we can choose contentment. But it is not always easy for everyone. I think it is a skill that needs to be practiced. I think that we need to practice seeing the beauty within and around so that it becomes a more instinctual thought.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Hi Sarah – love swapping thoughts on contentment with you – and I love your premise of creating it. Not only do we choose it in any given moment, but we go out of our way to feel it with gratitude, forgiveness etc. X

  15. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad)

    I like your thoughts about “Choice” and choosing. Lately I have been sayings “I chose to be happy” – not sure why or where I picked up the saying but i have been feeling it deep in my bones.
    Gosh I miss sunny QLD winter weather, its freezing cold down here in NSW.
    But I do love seeing the good in every situation.
    That blanket looks so good, and it was meant for you 🙂

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I reckon when we verbalise our hopes in such a way it can ‘make us happy’, even in cold and bleak weather. You’ll have to get yourself back on the road and head north again one of these days.x

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