Welcome to Day 8 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be…  Or…simply: Be…
Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin”
and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you’d like
to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.

 

31 Extraordinary Days to Be... AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

I was getting ready to write this post when I started scrolling through my inbox.

As I deleted this e-mail and that, I was thinking about how important it is to choose to be content.  And then there was an e-mail from Pottery Barn.

It’s been several years since I’ve lived near a Pottery Barn.  But, because I see so many people finding inspiration from Pottery Barn and doing knock-offs, I thought that I’d allow Pottery Barn to visit my inbox. What’s interesting…I rarely open their e-mails.  But for some reason, I did today.

As I glanced through their online catalog I thought to myself, “If I were able to purchase this…and that…and oh yes, that too…I could create a lovely autumn vignette.  If only….”

Actually, I didn’t keep that thought very long.  But, I must tell you that sometimes when I see the loveliness that many bloggers create with things recently purchased from their favorite shops I have a twinge of jealousy. I sometimes wish I could do that too.

Wouldn’t it be fun to decorate with some mercury glass pumpkins, or vases, or votive candleholders?

 

Choosing to be content :: Pottery Barn Mercury Glass ::  AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 Images: Pottery Barn

 

Maybe these wooden candlesticks or vintage styled wine jugs would make a stunning moment?

 

Pottery Barn Lovelies :: Choosing to Be Content  :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Images: Pottery Barn

 

What if I could get it all?  I could create something fabulous and add in some fresh natural branches and leaves and pods and gourds. And yes…it would be fun…and yes…all that goodness would create a stunning moment.

But, that’s not my reality.  And that is okay.  Absolutely okay.

You see, it’s so easy to look around and see all the pretty, shiny, new things displayed in stores, or even here on the web, and want every one.  We can quickly think our house, full of stuff, doesn’t measure up for any number of reasons.

 

I’m here to let you in on a little secret.

One of the best ways for me to not want the latest pretty is to stay home, or go for a nature walk.   Sure at first it can be a little hard to avoid stores, but it doesn’t take long to get used to not shopping for fun or entertainment.    Eventually you’ll have the opportunity to shop, with or without money to spend, and when you go back into the marketplace you will be totally overwhelmed with all the doodads and whatnots displayed under lights.

We now live in an area with lots of shopping close by.  I thought I’d cruise through a few stores for fun, since I hadn’t done it for a long time.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t all that fun.  All that stuff tired my brain….the worst was Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I can’t say I have achieved contentment.  But, I am much more content when it comes to stuff than I have ever been.  And yes, sometimes I get a little green with envy when I see something amazing someone has done with purchased items.  Mostly, I’m excited for them and what they have been able to accomplish.  That really does feel good.

 

#31Days-Day 8 :: Choose to Be Content ~ My Little Secret :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Just as I said yesterday, there’s freedom in being.

When we choose to be content we find freedom.

If we choose to be content, we also find rest.  And rest is one of the most needed things in our lives.  We doers are moving and thinking continuously.  We need to rest our weary minds and bodies.  We need to choose to be content.  Believe me, I know this too well.

Day 8 Challenge:  Do you struggle with stuff envy?  Have you ever thought about or taken a shopping sabbatical?   We have about a month before the holiday season kicks in.  This would be a good time to take a vacation from shopping.  If you choose to be content and choose to step back from shopping, share it in the comments below, or on Facebook here.

 

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Be Content…

Diane

Please consider visiting each day during this #31Day series.

All the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October.
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What a wonderful adventure this will be as we journey together to Be…

If you’re a writer, you too can take part with the 31 dayers (until October 8).

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Sharing at these Extraordinary Spots:
We are THAT family + Happy Hour Projects + Craftberry Bush + Create. Craft. Love. + The Answer is Chocolate + Tidy Mom + My Romantic Home + The Thriftiness Miss + Shabby Nest + Thirty Handmade Days + Shakin Together Life + In the Studio + Tatertots & JelloCheerios & Lattes + It’s Overflowing + Between Naps on the Porch +  Mod Vintage Life

 

Comments

  1. Hi Diane, loved this post. My friend frequently tells me that when you buy something new it has charm. You put it in your house and find yourself happy and staring at it all the time. And then days and even months go by and it becomes integrated into your everyday life and even though you still like it you find the newness has worn off. I find she is right. I have slowed down my shopping considerably. I still like to see pretty things but now I take a step back before buying and say to myself…do you really want it? Usually the answer is no. I just enjoy looking at it, but I have plenty of other pretties to see at home. ……but. There is always that one item once in a while that just has to come home with me…will I ever be cured?

    • Your friend had an interesting, but true, take on purchases, Peggy. My financial planner says that unnecessary purchases should be placed on hold for 24 hours. Generally, if I walk away, I don’t end up going back. Isn’t that interesting?
      Thanks for popping over with your thoughtful remarks. 🙂
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!
      ~Diane

  2. I can relate to this. I use to like to walk through stores and look through fashion magazines at all the pretty things. It was hard giving those things up. But as I’ve grown older i enjoy staying home, or being outside. I know longer enjoy shopping, in fact I dread it. I prefer now to just be thankful for the things I already own & try to make do with what I have and try to avoid spending money when I don’t have too.

  3. Instead of buying new made-in-china stuff which enslaves their people and ruins our trade balance, instead of buying new then having to store stuff when out of season, I treat blogworld as my buying, displaying, storing unit. I let others spend their money buying, cleaning, storing all those seasonal doo dads.
    On an addition thought, I agree with you whole heartedly about CHOOSING to be content.
    Thanks for,sharing your thoughts.

    • Your comment made me smile, Gail. There is really a lot to our trade balance issue. And wow…you are right…we have to ‘take care’ of our stuff. Yikes.
      Blessings, my friend!

  4. Oh, yes, it’s sooo easy to fall into the trap of commercialism! As someone who has lived in less privileged cultures, abroad back in the day, I do feel conflicted about “all the stuff” we seem to think is normal & even necessary to live & keep house.
    I just love to make my home a haven, a safe retreat for us & a welcoming place for visitors, whether family or friends.
    I’m a creative soul & I love to have special little vignettes here & there to highlight the season. But the more we accumulate, the more we have to dust, upkeep, & then store away until one year we dread getting the “holiday stuff” down out of the attic or up from the basement or wherever.
    I think I’m entering the “just enough” stage of life. I want “just enough seasonal décor to give highlights here & there. And preferably not made from cheap plastic stuff.
    Yes, it’s fun to window shop, even on Pinterest or elsewhere, but we need to be real, don’t we? Not everybody can or should afford so much décor or excess as what we sometimes see out there.
    You are sooo right about being content–it is MY CHOICE!
    And I put myself on a bit of a spending freeze, due to your influence, Diane! I don’t want to live in excess! “Just Enough!”

    • Carolyn…I kind of opened a Pandora’s box with this post. It was originally designed to be something very simple, sharing my “secret.” But, as women…most of us do care greatly about our homes. You know I do. And I believe creating that haven and welcoming place is so very important. Truly. And yet, it is so easy to focus more on the things of our homes than the hearts of our homes. [sigh] I have been out of balance on the wrong side too many times. When I’m finally back in my own home after this time of living “inbetween” I’m guessing there will be a re-evaluation of all this.
      “I don’t want to live in excess! “Just Enough”” I like how you said that.
      I really appreciate your thoughtful remarks… 🙂
      Blessings!!
      ~Diane

  5. Oh man…lots to run through my brain….excellent point from you and others. I detest shopping. But I do like pretties…and I’ve been that “seasonal decorator”….and boy do I have boxes in the storage room to prove it!! The good news is there’s people to pass the stuff on to. I had the daughter ‘shop’ from the storage room and she left with bags and a happy excitement. LOL. I’ve probably just created a monster, but it gets to be used instead of taking up space, yes? 😉
    We had a shopless holiday season last year. I was kinda hoping that wouldn’t be the case this year!! But I could do it twice!!(probably gonna haffta anyway!)
    (Oh, but grandad already has a stash started for his favorite granddaughter ….but only cuz she’s an only!)

    • You know….this wasn’t written to be a guilt trip for everyone. I know in our culture we all struggle with too much ‘stuff.’ The issue really comes down to “needing” stuff in order to feel better, or to measure up, or to have what the neighbor has, or even the next blogger, etc. Shopping as therapy is really not very good therapy, either. I like pretties too. A lot. But, I think you just might know that. Over the past few years I’ve had to learn to choose to be content. It’s a constant thing, but I’m winning. And I really like the way this feels. I hope when my situation changes I’m able to hang on to the lessons. That might be the bigger challenge….yes?

  6. I’m one of those shoppers who sees a really good buy, you know, quality, great value for a low price. And, suddenly, I have to have it. Ebay, estate sales, even Amazon are killers for my will power and to be content with what I have. I do have a store of “stuff” in my basement, but who wants to drag up all the boxes, (first, you have to find the right boxes), unpack, put stuff that is out away, and then put it all together, which you realize if you only had a “this or that”, it would be perfect, which leads to more shopping. WHEW!

    I know one day, my daughter will have to get rid of all this stuff. Thankfully, her husband is good at selling on ebay.

    It does get ridiculous, especially, when I do it as a kind of therapy. Then I see all the money I’ve spend on my “special bargains”, and i get depressed because I didn’t practice self-control.

    Sometimes, I do well with contentment, but I do need more control, “God control” and to be content. I am very blessed in so many ways with things that last, and that’s what counts, isn’t it?

    Just a little crazy,
    Sue

    • Haha! Sue, you are far from crazy!! 😉 And you are far from being alone in this struggle. We all love bargains so much that even JC Penny almost went under when they switched from the coupon program to the low price program. 🙂
      I know exactly what you mean about boxing and unboxing and storing the seasonal goods. It is a lot. This long uncomfortable season I have been in has challenged me to see my things in new ways. It’s been the silver lining in the cloud. Seriously though, I would like very much to purchase items…but when I am finally able to…it will be for far different reasons than it was before. I’m so grateful for the lesson.
      Oh yeah…self control. We each have different areas…for some it’s food, for others it’s clothes, for others it’s ______. That’s why we have grace and that’s why HIS mercies are new every morning. We need more of Him so we need less of us and finally we have all the fruits of the spirit, including self control. I’m just grateful for God’s patience with us and that He is faithful, even when we’re not.
      And you’re so right, Sue…eternal blessings are “priceless.”
      [hugs]
      ~Diane

      • Thank you, Diane. I just needed some encouragement to get hold of self control. I know my weaknesses, and spending, using the excuse for bargains, is used when I’m stressed, sad or feeling sorry for myself. This will be a rough couple of months, with Delainey’s Angelversary next Wed. 10/16 and her birthday 11/15. We’re still in our first year of grieving and missing our precious girl. Thanks for your help. Today, I am deleting lots of email subscriptions to places where I’m tempted to spend money. 😉

        • Praying for you. May you lean hard on Jesus in the days ahead and may you know His loving comfort in new and fresh ways.
          p.s. Have you ever heard of Grief Share? See if a local church might be offering the program. I think you will find it very helpful. I know several who have taken the course and a friend who facilitated it. Please check to see. [hugs]

  7. Awesome post on choosing to be content. Thanks for keeping things in perspective. Visiting from BNOTP.

  8. Great post! And I think we all share this feeling from time to time. When I first started blogging I got so overwhelmed and began redecorating and redecorating until I realized I had about 10 different styles going on! LOL. I’ve learned to develop my own style and surprisingly almost nothing I have is new. I prefer old stuff that’s used and worn and I enjoy making it work in my home. And I can’t even step in Home Goods without a strong cup of coffee. I definitely makes my head spin!!!

    • 10 different styles!! Oh girl! I get it!! I’m glad you’ve found your style…what a great place to be.
      Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts, Kim!
      Blessings!!

  9. I’m with you about choosing to be content with what one has, making do and being creative with it. So what did I do this year? I ran out to the Family Dollar and bought $20 worth of autumnal decorations, LOL! Up until a few years ago, I didn’t seasonally decorate except for Christmas. I do not go hog wild like decorating every room, but I enjoy decorating the fireplace mantel using things I’ve had for years, and the occasional purchase now and then. The Family Dollar excursion yielded enough decorative items for autumn that I’ll be able to make new looks on the mantle for years. I’m not a shopper, haven’t been since I grew out of my 20’s. What has often struck me as I look at many decorating blogs is that some of those bloggers are constantly buying things – like every single day! And they’re never seem to be satisfied with their surroundings. No sooner do they repaint and re-outfit the master bedroom and bath than they’re redoing the kitchen and family room or installing $60,000 worth of landscaping in their already lux backyards, and then it’s back to the master bedroom again. It just amazes me, but it’s sad too, because it seems to me that some of these bloggers are trying to find happiness and contentment in thinking that if only they can achieve the perfect house, the perfect look, they will be happy. But they never achieve the perfect house, the perfect look. They think they may be getting close and they’re so eager to press forward, but it never lasts. They get dissatisfied after awhile and change things all over, again and again and again. The things around them, the constantly making oneself busy with these “projects”, that’s not where happiness and contentment lie. You are so right that balance is the key to contentment. Don’t we all have twinges of envy sometimes — a beautiful person, a beautiful home, a beautiful outfit, seeing extraordinary talent exhibited, yep, any one of them can trigger a little envy and wistfulness (why can’t I be like that? why can’t I have that?) in me from time to time. I think that’s just part of the human condition. But compared to millions of people in the U.S., I know I have an abundance of riches. It’s important that I step back from time to time, and look at my life in comparison to those less fortunate. That instantly banishes any sense of somehow being deprived because I cannot afford hardwood floors in my front room or a $2500 sofa!

    • Jan, thank you so much for taking time to stop by and leave your thoughts.
      You are so right…compared to much of the world…even the humblest of us have an abundance of riches. I appreciate your perspective.
      Blessings!!

  10. Diane, I’m right there with you. Envy is quick to creep up in all of us! I try to spend more time looking at what I have and enjoying my little sweets in life then dreaming about what could be! Pretty things are exciting, but all of us are incredibly blessed!!! Thanks for your great perspective and reminder! Love your series sweet friend! XO, Aimee

    • You are so kind Aimee! Thank you for your encouraging that thoughtful words.
      It is so easy for us to forget how blessed we are. What is it that they say, we have first world problems.
      Hope our weekend overflows with blessings.
      ~Diane

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