Are you content with the content of your life and knowing peace as the day winds down? Or are you left exhausted at the end of the day, wondering where it all went and feeling frustrated about what you didn’t have time for? We are likely somewhere in between these two on most days. My personal hope is to be closer to content and further from frustrated as I review my day and get ready to rest.

Contentment is a choice. Not always an easy one in the face of the images and promises that we see all over print, digital and social media. Empty promises for happiness guaranteed in the acquisition of more big ticket items or the perfect vacation destination. Instead of fostering contentment and abundance, such pursuits perpetuate a sense of scarcity and urgency. Peace and quiet go right out the window.

Abundance and contentment are already here. We don’t need to seek them, we can simply slow down and notice the gifts and blessings already present in our lives. Brother David Steindl-Rast says it well with these words: “By focusing on that for which we are grateful, by practicing gratitude every single day, by seeking out the beauty and positivity in every waking moment, we can create our very own … abundance.”

Appreciate nature. Listen, really listen, to your child’s excitement about the game they were playing. Slow down to give thanks for clean air, drinkable water, a job that helps pay the bills. Write a gratitude list. Send a note of thanks. Each of these actions will lead you to a place at least closer to contentment.

Join others at the next Rivertown Gratefulness Gathering as we discuss the theme of “Celebrating Contentment as Enough.” This month we will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Pleasant Hill Library. Gatherings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact local host Lisa Valentine at gratefulnessgatheringsmn@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Lisa Valentine

Hastings