How I Live a Life of Contentment After 50
I have learned we choose to be contented women over 50 or discontented. We have that choice. Choice is one of the positive spices of life. Contentment is many things: comfort, love, satisfaction, pleasure, fulfillment, tranquility, happiness, and gladness. If you ache to live a life of contentment but feel as though there is always something in your way, you’ll want to read How I Removed Roadblocks to Enjoy Success, and also What DNA Tells a Woman Over 50 (hint: positivity is in your genes but it is also a choice!).
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” —Cicero
How many of you are content with your life?
I asked myself this question last evening as I stood over the stove, mincing fresh garlic and adding it into the pasta sauce. As I began to stir the sauce, I glanced up at my Ultimate Concierge staring at me. He was sitting at the kitchen table and smiling. Soft music flowed through our home, which has become ‘the norm,’ our norm. “What are you thinking?”
He answered, “I am just thinking how content I am watching you make dinner.” I felt a double wave of physical and emotional contentment sweep over me because he was content. Already, I was in rhythm with everything in my kitchen and enjoying the experience.
A Number of Factors for Contentment
I have come to understand that happiness is influenced by a number of factors. Contentment is at the head of my list. It means you are satisfied. I also know that happiness is just a part of life.
It is now 5:29 a.m. the next morning. My laptop is open. The sun is rising in the east, and I am happy. I decide to focus on what defines contentment. Naturally, I think of myself and the people I know and conclude there is a difference between happiness and contentment. Happiness is a frequent state of mind when a person feels joyful over an incident. Contentment is a long-lasting state of mind when a person is satisfied with their accomplishment(s) and their life and not always wishing for more. As women over 50, this would be a good lesson for your grandchildren.
Thinking Back on Old Memories
I leaned back into my chair and thought further about the word and remembered a time in my life when my situation could have put me in the depths of despair. Darlings, I had every reason to be genuinely unhappy and could have been very discontent with my life. But … I wasn’t!
When I was a young married woman, I was faced with a very long-lasting and difficult time in my life. So, I decided, at a young age, that the way to combat the problem was to be grateful and content with what I had and not let the situation stop me from living a fruitful life of contentment. I made a conscious choice.
“It is not the unhappy situations that steal away contentment but rather the choice of how you meet your challenges. Remember, your attitude is your latitude.” — Honey Good
In a way, I was wise beyond my years. It was part wisdom, I suppose, and part of my inherited gene pool of positivity. I knew I would make lemonade out of lemons and not let anything stop me from being content.
I made a conscious choice to join a specific group of women who had the same calling I had and eventually I became the chairman of the group for four years. My effort gave me lasting contentment because I derived self-satisfaction, gladness, gratification, serenity and a feeling of pride and a spurt in intellectual and spiritual growth. And now, I feel the same happiness when I join in conversations in my private Facebook group, Celebrate Life.
Later, when my life normalized, I was the Queen of Gratitude and am to this day. It does not take much for me to be a content woman.
My Key to Contentment After 50: I Am Loved & I Love
Back to my story…
I never discussed the problem and focused on enjoying the group. And because I made a conscious choice to find contentment, I was happy.
Am I always happy? Of course not. Am I always content? No. But on a scale of 1-10 in this difficult period of life, I have to give myself an honest 7 (my lucky number!).
Why? Because I am loved, and I love. Because one of my favorite words is simplicity, and though I lead an extraordinary life, my mind thinks of simplicity. Little things make me happy and content.
I know many women over 50 are not happy with their life ‘situation’ and for good reason. There are family matters, financial situations, health worries, loneliness, adult children stressing you out big time and the feeling of invisibility after the age of 50 (and before).
It is not the unhappy situations that steal away contentment but rather the choice of how you meet your challenges. Remember, your attitude is your latitude.
Why not sit alone with your thoughts in your library, your garden, your kitchen or bedroom and reflect on how you are living your life. Remember, no one is going to create a utopia for you. It is up to you to create one for yourself. Everyone has the ability to harness personal contentment.
How to Choose Contentment
As Gandhi said, “Man’s happiness really lies in contentment. He who is discontented, however much he possesses, becomes a slave to his desires.”
So, think about your gifts, your family, your relationships, your friends and the roof over your head, and the food on your table and let yourself breathe the fresh air of contentment into your life.
I mentioned that at this time I am a 7 in the contentment department. I have problems, too. Sometimes it is hard for me to cope with everything. I tell myself, “I am being tested. I ask myself,” What do I do?
My answer is: I stay in the game no matter how tough my plight. I dare myself to dare. Like you fall, I fall, multiple times. I have self-doubts but where many women over 50 give up and choose an easy path because it is comfortable and safe, I am able to persevere. Thankfully, I have always been resilient. I learned the importance of having resiliency as a child. Fortunately for me.
It is never too late to gain an understanding of what it takes to be a contented woman. It is not the smartest woman who wins the game in the contentment arena, it is the most resilient woman. She will find a positive path to living a life filled with contentment.
My advice to find contentment:
1. Be around resilient women. Learn from them.
2. Read positive material.
3. Listen to podcasts and watch videos.
4. Keep a journal and record your authentic feelings.
5. Remember, you cannot materialize anything by wishing.
6. So, be precise with your desires.
7. Record your intentions because this will help you focus.
8. Have a vision. What areas of your life give you the feeling of contentment?
My Number One Tool
Life will reward you when you do your homework, not instantly, but definitely. I have tested the waters and learned.
Out of the list of 8, journaling has been my tool. It may not be yours because it takes months and years to lean into your answers.
When you journal, you become your own truth seeker. It is the most reliable form of learning to understand your needs on how to balance life and feel content. Your words are your intention.
Please consider combining journaling and listening to podcasts on the subject of contentment. You will gain instant gratification to start the process and long-lasting gratification through your own voice.
The end goal: None of us want a bucket filled with regret. We would all prefer our bucket to be filled with contentment.
I know a woman who wears a tattoo on the inside of her wrist. It says, ‘Simply Be.’ Without a doubt, this is a good place to start on your journey, to find what triggers contentment from within. Simply be, darlings. Simply be.
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I like so much of what you have to say. I do not, however, want to be called "darling." I am a woman of worth and substance. There is such a disengenuous and faux-ness about it. I will ultimately cease reading you if you must call strangers darling.
I am sorry you do not like my referring to my readers as darlings. I appreciate your honesty. I know we are women of worth and substance. We have earned our Phd in life. I do want you to know I do not write the word, darling, to seem disingenuous or fake. The word does conotate endearment. As a group, women do have a bond of endearment toward one another. I use the word darling to express that feeling. I will weigh your opinion and take it very seriously. Thank you so much for sharing.
I cooked Shabbat dinner for my family.*)-♡♡♡
I lit the candles!!!!
I love your amazing site. Just what I need, please keep up the good work.
I will try my very best. And, thank you for writing to me, Diane.
just found your site … adored your "comfortable with anger" concept … just what this soul needed for tonight … just me – judy
So happy you found me. I am smiling. Happy Sunday! Warmly, Honey
Great advise!!!! Thanks for sharing you wonderful family with us!!!!
Donna Lee Perkins
You are so welcome. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. Stay safe and well with sprinkles of daily positivity. Warmly, Honey
You are a wonderful woman with a true zest for life!!!!
Thank you! I do have a zest for life even in these trying times. We have to keep our heads above water and do our best to protect ourselves and our families. Stay safe and well. Warmly, Honey
Loved this! Thank you for putting those wise words out there for all to read. May everyone become content; what a wonderful world we would live in!
We can only account for ourselves but I wish we could wave a magic wand over all the peoples of the world and say, “be content.’ You are so right. If only… Warmly, Honey
This was an excellent reminder of the choices we make in life regarding our happiness and contentment. I find your use of the word darlings to be completely a term of endearment and when I received an email from you regarding joining your new FB group, you addressed it Darling and my name. I found that very sweet and sincere. It seems to be your way Honey.
I am sincere and sweet with a bit of spice to add to the recipe of Honey Good, my grandmother name.The word darling is meant as a term of endearment and a bit of feminine tongue-in-cheek. If you are a group type woman please join the private group. It is already full of engagement and over 300 in just a few days. Warmly, Honey
Thank you so much for this article. Please keep doing what you do. Stay healthy !!
You stay healthy and safe. I am glad you enjoyed my article. Your comment makes me happy. Warmly, Honey
You and your Ultimate Concierge are so adorable. I love the way you look at each other! Contented and grateful here in the Midwest.
We Midwestern girls are in the center of Amwerica; the Heart-Land of America. We are a resilient group of women, down to earth contented and grateful so I can understand why we are both contented and grateful women. Stay safe. Stay well and stay…you. Warmly, Honey
Oh my sweet Honey G! Please add “mind reader” to the list of your many gifts and talents. I needed this very article to reel me back to my own belief system. Tears of gratitude rolled down my cheeks after reading it. Have a blessed day and thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!
Oh, Lauren T! Your words warm my heart. I am so glad my article arrived when you needed it. I want you to live blessed days and I want you to know I am grateful for your words. Please stay safe, well and positive even in these frightening days the entire world population is feeling. God Bless. Warmly, Honey
I, too, am content. I’ve been enjoying planning and cooking meals to make the most of what we have here in the house. But I along with the contentment is a sense of anxiety about the future. Granted, the trick is to concentrate on the now but I am too realistic to avoid thinking about and planning for the future.
I also want to weigh in on the subject of your addressing your readers as ‘darlings’. I am not a fan of anyone addressing me as honey or dear or whatever people use to speak to us. Very often it is demeaning as if we’re children or someone to be coddled over and it’s surprising you would use this in your blog. But I have understood that you use this as a sincere form of endearment to show that you care about your readers. As a group of women over the age of 50, we need to do all we can to be seen and be heard and garner the respect we deserve, so I would tend to agree that maybe the time has come to leave the ‘darlings’ behind.
I will take your advice and use Darling when I think it appropriate for a story. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I. too, am anxious for the future but I am not going to stop looking forward to brighter days ahead. I wake up every morning and think with positivity that I will hear good news. So far there has been a blend. I am trying to do what I can for myself, my husband, my pooch and my entire family. I text, call and email my huge group and hope.
Thank you for another musing that comes at a trying time in the world and in my life. I am taking this time to review, reflect, replentish and renew with my darling husband, the love of my life for over 40 years. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer on January 3rd. Those words still leave a lump in my throat. I am so very grateful for 40 years of his love, his gratitude and his never ending positive attitude that remains intact to this day. We are taking this time of quarentine and social distancing to count our blessings, reflecting on the beautiful life we’ve created and still creating new memories too. Oh, there are great days, and some not so great days that come with this disease. There are days that I am scared, fearful and angry . Honey your writing reminds me that I am normal and it’s okay to have those days. Thankyou for getting me through this time. Bless you and yours and stay safe.
Dear Connie, My heart goes out to you. The fear, the sadness, the anger. There are no words except to feel your feelings. You are very normal and I wish I could wave my magic wand over yours and your husband’s head and make this go away. Your love for one another is beautiful and they say love can conquer all. I am sending my friendship and blessings to you across the miles. Warmly, Honey
The tone of your writing is warm and You can call me Darling anytime!!
I am smiling!!!! Thank you dear and darling, Nettie. Stay safe and keep well. Warmly, Honey
Dear Honey, I enjoy as usual your muse, but you only answered to people that are in your universe. Of course you are content and I very happy for you, but to put your life as example are you really helping,? you are blessed but not everyone is, so really I think you should advise not always putting yourself as the model. And it is not jealousy, is just because I feel you are just showing off instead of helping as I know you cAN. I AM ALSO a very content person, easy to please, and I believe all your muse are correct, but like I am in my case, I am attacked by invisible forces, that doctors can’t help. I can write this now because now the world is finding out what it is being attacked by invisible forces, and I know for sure we must stay home, l00%. I am in pain for 24 hours, like being in labor with no stop. with not help, all alone . I had an accident in the shower were now i have with the help of a wALKER, GETTING better, (only was not an accident)ended in intensing care for two weeks. My reason for this letter is not asking for help, but I think your cater to certain readers, and where I am so happy for you, you really have the tools the knowledge and the beauty to help millions of people , Please do…….the only good thing for me about this, I would never have the courage to write a letter like this. Thank you for all the good you do.
I am so glad you opened up to me with your feelings. I try and be authentic and just write how I feel. I don’t mean to come across as Miss Content. Of course I am not always content and I have my ‘stuff’ too. I am fortunate that I see even my bad stuff with my glass half full. I have had Cancer three times.I am a survivor. I was widowed in my early 40’s. there was a suicide in our family and lots of others awful things. For some unexplained reasons I am able to take the bad, live through it and come out better than before.Maybe I am blessed? Maybe I am wise? I will think long and hard about what you wrote to me and perhaps think twice about what you wrote before penning my stories. Be well. Stay safe. Warmly, Honey
Thankyou for sending your positive words and thoughts in reply, Honey. I just saw this, it gave me the “pick me up” that I need this afternoon. You are a bright spot in my life and I look forward to your musings and columns each day. You are very diplomatic and honest. I too, agree that you may call me “darling” anytime!
Your words to me are a bright spot. Thank you. I am so glad I gave you the pick up you needed. Warmly, Honey
Honey, one way I find to practice contentment is what I call the “gift of an ordinary day”. If you wake up and are able to do throw in a load of wash, sweep
The kitchen floor, pull a few weeds, these simple tasks can be enough to bring contentment, especially when you consider that many people do not have the luxury of having an ordinary day. Maybe they are in poor health, or dealing with a financial issue. In any case, I think if we can focus on the simple things that give us a small sense of accomplishments, that in itself can lead to contentment. Thank you Honey, for all that you do!
I love writting poetry here is one for you I love reading your emails.The sun is shining through the windows. I have a coffee and a pkt of custard creams.I cannot afford sausage rolls but i have everything i need your words of love and of course a pkt of custard creams Dawn Foster
Thank you!!!! I am glad to have YOU! Warmly, Honey
I am pretty contented these days (even tho a kidney dialysis patient). Everything is about attitude & acceptance of other people, places, & things.
Happy, joyous & free alot of the time in spite of serious mental illness (meds & A.A. help alot!).
Sounds great! Even with adversity, you are a survivor. Warmly, Honey