The older we get, the more we understand that life isn’t fair and in effect, to quote a favorite movie of mine «The Princess Bride», «life is pain, highness». While we continue to experience the ebbs and flows of life, we constantly seek out ways for our life to become easier. Some examples can be that instead of walking everywhere, we ride the bus or drive a car; we buy food that has already been prepared in lieu of cooking it ourselves; and for those of us with short attention spans, we can find that the most famous must-read novels, which could require several days or weeks of dedicated time, are many times transposed into a manageable 2 hours of visual stimulation. Two words in the English language are consistently confused when describing ways in which life can be made easier, more manageable and palatable: «convenient» and «comfortable».
Let’s start with convenient. Convenient is an adjective and can be defined as — fitting in well with a person’s needs, activities, and plans; involving little trouble or effort; or situated so as to allow easy access to. You will notice that each of these amounts to «making life easier» through activities being accessible and useful. It is more convenient to take food to go from a restaurant or kiosk, even though it might not be as healthy as a home-cooked meal.
Now we can discuss comfortable. Comfortable is also an adjective and is defined as — (especially of clothes or furnishings) providing physical ease and relaxation; (of a person) physically relaxed and free from constraint; (of a hospital patient) not in pain or in danger; free from stress or tension; or free from financial worry; having an adequate standard of living. Comfort is also concerned with a life of ease, but with feelings and not activities.
Imagine you are walking to the store near your apartment. You notice that a new shop has opened which is closer and larger than your intended destination. This new jaunt can be described as being more convenient than your original target.
You are sitting at home on a sofa which has been arranged to see the television without having to sit in an awkward position. This design is comfortable.