One of my goals in recent years has been to not live in excess, but to live a rich life.
What does this mean? I imagine it would mean different things to different people, but for me, right now, it means living life with an awareness of the present moment. Taking the time to notice and enjoy the seemingly small everyday things. Paying attention to the natural world and enjoying its rhythms. Spending time outdoors, enjoying the sunlight, rain, storms, flowers, snow, animals, the night sky, and all those things that are free that most of us ignore at a great cost to our spirits.
With this awareness of the moment, comes the need for an understanding that a whole life is made up of moments. Experiences, loves, learning opportunities, bad days and good... We are all being sculpted by these experiences and what we do with them is building character!
Living richly also, for me, means ridding myself of anything unnecessary, not beautiful, or which could be put to better use by somebody else. This can mean material possessions, but easily extends into the rest of life (my entertainment, my character traits, my attitudes). Ask, How does this enhance my life or the lives around me? A cluttered life full of "stuff" can cause you to miss the beauty around you.
To live richly, you don't have to be rich! As a stay at home mom and our family CFO, this is extremely important. I don't bring in any money. My job is to spend Brandon's hard earned money wisely. Insuring we have enough for today's needs (are they truly needs?) and buying experiences (quality ingredients for a delicious meal, flowers to plant in the yard, entertaining family and friends) rather than things (clothes, shoes, purses, appliances) has become important. I work to fill my days (our family's days) with good company, real food, great music.
As a mama in the midst of raising little ones, often I don't have the luxury of alone time. Living richly, though requires a little bit of it. It is important for me to enjoy my own company. I am the only person I know for a fact that will be with me from now until I die. Learning, being, accomplishing, and experiencing rather than getting, buying, and taking will go far to help me be a person I want to spend time with. Would you be your own friend? Sometimes I think I wouldn't like me very much.
Are you moving toward living richly? What does this mean to you?