Recently, the pastor of our church, St. Rose of Lima, passed on three important ideas from Pope Francis as a certain way of ensuring a healthy family life. He simply advised us to say “Please,” “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” more often to each other.
My husband and I took those words to heart. And they extend far beyond family. Everyone responds positively to those few simple comments. And as a result, especially where the family is concerned, they bring on a feeling of happiness and contentment.
Yes, we get upset and discouraged with things that happen in our lives but keeping a positive attitude is the best way of bringing us out of the doldrums. Take a look at the good things in your life and before you know it you’ll feel more contented.
Keeping busy is another sure way of snapping out of feeling sorry for ourselves. I remember as youngsters, our mother didn’t want to hear us so much as mention we were bored. She could always find something useful for us to do and in the process, we didn’t have time to think about being bored. She kept us too busy.
Too much time on your hands? Volunteer to help out somewhere in the community -- the hospital, bookstore, soup kitchen, mentoring young people, working on any number of service projects.
Or if you’re homebound, get started on a creative project: put together a scrapbook, organize a photo album, knit, crochet or sew something. Just don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. You’ll live longer and enjoy life more.
Just the other day, I was thinking about all the ordinary things that make me feel contented, even though at this age, physical prowess starts to wane.
I feel contentment when I come home from the grocery store and comfortably restock our cupboards and fridge.
I feel contentment when I put together one of my husband’s favorite meals and he appreciates it.
I feel contentment on stormy days when we can’t go anywhere that I can sit cozily and start to read a new book.
I feel contentment when the cats are in for the night, snoozing at our feet and not roaming around in the wild.
I feel contentment when I can find a certain book at the bookstore that a customer is looking for, or better yet, recommend another author they will enjoy as well.
I feel contentment that we have such a wide network of friends in this area that anywhere we go we meet someone to chat and share ideas with and that there is no shortage of local places to go and things to do.
In large part, our contentment stems from a sense of belonging whether to a family or community. And we can broaden this positive sense of self by simply reaching out to others and letting them know they’re appreciated. Reinforcing friendships is one of the best ways to ensure contentment. Thank you all for that!