Contentment…

How many chapters are there in a life time?  I feel like I am entering a new chapter right now and not just because I have recently moved to another country but also as my age ripens and my being changes, mentally and physically in subtle but developing ways.  I am also enjoying the first chapter of married life which is testing our commitment to the vows we made less than a year ago and challenging us to explore the depths of a harmonious and happy life together; as well as keeping our status quo as individuals!

Before you can make anyone else happy you need to be content within yourself and this is not always straight forward on a daily basis.   For example, at the moment I am feeling a little out of sorts and unsettled with moving to South Africa but I am trying to focus on not letting these feelings get the better of me or shrowd the bigger picture, for if they do, they will also come into my relationship in a negative way.  Instead I am trying to by all means share my feelings, a problem shared is a problem halved as they say, but also step back from them.  Keeping contentment in mind gives me a hugely satisfied feeling and appreciation for what I have in my life.

Contentment is not to be confused with ones desires, for desires just create cravings and the want for more.  Contentment is found in every day things, appreciating what you have in the very moment you are in.   Even if it is turning out to be a bad day find one of the thousand things around you that is giving you contentment.  For example,  walking in the great outdoors, eating some fresh fruit,  catching up for coffee with a friend, holding the hand of someone you love, watching the sun rise or set!  They exist every where, you just need to focus on them rather than the areas making you feel blue or frustrated.

Living in contentment takes some practice and it is most easily done in the joyous times but it can become very effective if you can equally embrace it during difficult moments.  When you learn how to be content during the challenging and tough times you become truly free.  Just as important is the ability to accept the people in our lives for who they truly are, and not what we want them to be.  This is also the secret to wedded bliss!

Cup of coffee with the shape of a heart in the milk.

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”    Buddha.

Adapting to new surroundings…

Re-locating, so I have done it all before but will that make it any easier?!   Making new friends is challenging and I have to say I think this can become harder as you get older.   Partly because most people have probably already got more friends than they can handle and many of these relationships run deep over time.  I know I struggle to keep in touch with all my glorious, wonderful friends scattered around the globe as it is.  Do I really need more?  Well, yes I do!  Especially when I just need to talk to someone in the same time zone and have a real live catch up rather than one on-line.  Although we now have many great mediums for communicating nothing can ever beat reality.

The other part to moving is suddenly feeling like you don’t belong.  You used to walk down the street and bump into some one you know, and even if you didn’t you at least knew where you were going!  You didn’t even have to request the type of coffee you wanted because your favourite barrister already knew, now suddenly everything is foreign!  You don’t know where the good coffee shop is and when you do eventually find it you are not sure how to ask for your favourite coffee anymore because maybe they call it something different in your new world…… and the question is what type of milk do they serve!  Phhfffffttt… I have been living in coffee heaven in Melbourne so I may have turned into a coffee snob!  At the end of the day none of this really matters, just enjoy the journey of finding out and you will probably make some new friends along the way….  and there is nothing better than chatting over coffee with a good friend!

Three cups of coffee with drawings in the milk.

10 TIPS FOR SETTLING IN TO A NEW DESTINATION:

1) Find your nearest conveniences.  ie. food stores, gym, doctor, coffee shop (essential to the daily routine….yes?!) and once you start frequenting these you will start to gain a sense of belonging and begin to recognise friendly faces.

2) Do some research on-line, find out what’s on, search via google maps and see what pops up nearby.

3) Chat to the local people, let them know you just moved to the area…..most people are usually only too keen to help.

4) Check out a new coffee shop and absorb the vibe. (Clearly I love coffee!!).

5) Take a walk in the nearest gardens or some place green for instant invigoration.

6) Go to a lecture…..there is always somebody talking about something!

7) Take up a new hobby or keep going with your previous hobbies. (This way you will meet some like-minded new friends).

8) Plan something to look forward to at the weekend.

9) Hook up with a friend and if you haven’t found any yet….. Work on it……or at least go out for coffee!

10) Most importantly smile and the world will smile with you. Go on… give it a go… and I bet you will get a smile back! (Plus smiling makes you live longer….honestly it does).

You get back what you put in and sometimes you don’t always get back, but an open heart I guarantee will find kindness and love in return so just go for it…. after all what have you got to lose!

Do please share your ways of settling into a new country with a comment below…….