I once had a boyfriend who said to me “I’m happy, but I’m not content.”
Huh? “Isn’t happy better than content?” I asked him. I forget what he said, but I didn’t understand it. We broke up. (Not, in case you are wondering, just because of that comment.)
Today, I finally got it. I’d had one of those days with both highs and lows in it. I realized I was content with the day. To me, “content” stems from an internal sense of balance. Whatever the world throws at me, I get to choose how to respond. “Happy” seems to be more externally or situationally driven. It can be more fleeting, depending on what is happening in my life.
Then it hit me…I’d rather be content than happy.