Start Living

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I feel like my heart is in a new place lately. I like the place that I’ve found, a place of rest and peace. A place of true happiness.

I’ve discovered something during this Contentment Challenge:

Life is better lived when you actually start living.
When you start doing things.
When you take a deep breath in and live in the moment.
When you stay active.
When you replace stuff with experiences.

I think that’s what we all look for when we walk into Target or a beautiful store like Anthropologie – we are looking for that experience of beauty around us.  But I’ve realized it’s so fleeting – even the things we end up purchasing because they look pretty in that moment – even their beauty is fleeting. Pretty soon it will be a retired article of clothing in your closet along with the rest of it.

Gaining this perspective has been literally life changing. We are almost halfway through, and I already feel like a new person! Yes, there have been things I’ve wanted, but because I realize I do not need it, I simply focus on what I do have and move on with my life.

So how have I started living, you ask?

For starters, I rode my bike 8 miles this morning, then I ran 2. I’ve watched movies with Will and spent more quality time with him. I’ve read more books than I ever thought I would be able to this year. I’ve eliminated online shopping from my life, thus freeing up more meaningful time for myself. I’ve taken more bubble baths. I’ve journaled more. And I’m picking strawberries this weekend!

Living life > Shopping. Period.

What are some things that you have done to make your life more meaningful? How have you replaced the time you used to spend shopping?

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  • ANNIE said:

    Nancy, I count down until these Thursday posts. So inspiring. I'm failing a little bit at the moment. I haven't put a foot out of budget so far (although my budget is a little bit larger than yours at present), but I don't feel I'm fully in the "start living" zone as yet. (Which may also be because I am inching towards winter/hibernation). This post is such lovely encouragement. I certainly have had days where the distractions are turned off, and subsequently it is amazing what you can fit into 24 hours. I'm so pleased the challenge is going well for you. All the best x

  • Mariya said:

    I am really loving your posts! You are so inspiring and encouraging in your daily living. I didn't join the challenge, but I am seeing myself shop less and less nowadays. I am just tired of the mall and browsing through clothes. I am grateful for what I have and I have enough. So, I also wanna go through my closet and donate my clothes that I don't wear. God bless you! :)

  • Breanna said:

    These posts are so refreshing! I have struggled with simply living a lot lately. I am a full time student, and I often get caught up in dreaming about my future. The fact is I am married to an amazing guy, this spring has been beautiful, and I have plenty to be thankful for. This is always such a great reminder for the start of my weekend. No shopping, no social media, just living the good life!

  • Megan said:

    I am right there with you! We have turned the noise off. Detached from our phones, computer, and TV. Now when we sit down, it's to watch a movie together. Quality over quantity. The rain has finally cleared up and we are spending more time outside, and I take a bubble bath every. single. day. It has been a great way to focus & take care of me with no distractions!

  • Meredith said:

    This is a great post. Very eye opening and fulfilling!

  • Erika Tracy said:

    Thank you for sharing and being a real life example. I admit I went into this half-hearted, but I've stuck with it and it has saved me a lot of Stress and agravatuon, not to mention elmiminating the need to run around getting "stuff." I'm clocking those hours playing outside with my little boy instead. What could make a mom feel better than that? Thank you!

  • Bianca Valentim said:

    LOOOOOOVE this!
    I'm with you :)