“We’ve paid for our speeded-up lives with a loss in the quality of our time. Our chronic lack of time has robbed us of the ability to understand that the truth of living is found in the experience of being, and that life cannot be put on hold while we’re trying to produce more.”
–Alexandra Stoddard, Gracious Living in a New World
I started The Inspired Room in 2007 to share my love of decorating and home, but even back then more important to me than decorating ideas or new projects or buying more things was the idea of living authentically. With Thanksgiving here in the U.S. right around the corner, it’s the season we are encouraged to slow down long enough count to our blessings.
But living authentically with gratitude for what I already have at home is something I want to be mindful of all year round.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying our homes. I love decorating because it is something that is so fun for me. It’s a hobby and my job. There is nothing wrong with wanting a pretty home, a clean home, an organized home or a home with new furniture.
But when the wanting, doing or getting starts to overshadow simply being, I start to feel out of balance. While I might feel compelled or even expected to do more, when I slow down long enough to think about what matters most to me, I have a greater desire to just BE intentional with the time I invest in the people IN my home and life. And that is what living authentically is about for me.
With the world spinning around us faster and faster, it can be so easy to lose sight of what really matters. We can even convince ourselves we need things we don’t, or that we will finally be content when we get just a little more of what we want and less of what we don’t want. But what if we were just simply grateful for what we already have?
The internet can be a breeding ground for wanting MORE: for wanting the world to LOOK AT US MORE!, to give us MORE affirmation, MORE likes, MORE stuff, and offering us MORE to DO or MORE to BUY or MORE ideas we don’t even need. It’s all about getting something more we think we need in order to be happy, content, popular, or successful. But in the process, we forget to really live.
I think ultimately none of the things we chase will ever really satisfy. Whether we desire more, or less, or this, or that, we will likely never be content if we are frantically trying to arrive somewhere we perceive to be somehow better than where we already are right now. Being fully alive in the moment requires deliberately growing an attitude of gratitude.
I love sitting down to dinner at our table with the family. It’s a deliberate choice to slow down and appreciate blessings rather than continuing the frantic pace of the day. When I clean, instead of muttering about what a mess everyone makes, I focus on being grateful I have a home and a family to clean up after. When I dream of new ideas for my home that are within my creative ability or budget and time I have available, I begin to cultivate contentment and gratitude right where I am. When I turn off the computer or phone or iPad and walk away from the internet world, I’m intentionally shutting out all the noise and distractions so I can be fully present in the moment with the people I’m thankful for.
It’s a daily discipline to be thankful at home!
– From my New York Times Bestselling Book Love the Home You Have
I was invited to be a part of a Thankful at Home blog tour this week, with 25 blogs reflecting on various ways we celebrate Thanksgiving or how we are thankful at home. Please enjoy their posts and blogs via the schedule below!