Live Authentic

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”~Oscar Wilde

This is one of my favorite quotes by the often misunderstood Mr. Wilde. I’m working hard to live an authentic life. Do you struggle with this? We live in a time when so many shiny, pretty distractions are trying to rob us of our quality of life & contentment. Is this the fault of ADHD, technology, boredom or all the above? I keep telling myself I’m going to take my life back; unplug from technology, social media, read more books, write more note cards/letters rather than a convenient text or email. So what should we do, move to Machu Picchu, become a monk? Well let’s not get carried away yet. Here are a few thoughts my little crocodiles.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Shop Smart When Decorating

Many of us are obsessively looking at home furnishings online. This is terrific for an initial lookyloo, but making a big purchase sight unseen is another story altogether. It’s time to think of the global impact we are making buying everything online. Yes, it’s convenient-but so many people purchase things they don’t even need. Yes, I’m looking at you West Elm, Williams Sonoma Home and Pottery Barn. Insider Tip For Budget Hunters: There are incredible things for sale that are better made for less at estate sales, resale/consignment/vintage shops. There are also great finds at auctions and on e-commerce sites: Viyet, Charish, 1stDibs. I love a great hunt, how about you?

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Buy Locally

Try as hard as you can to support local businesses and restaurants in your area. If you don’t support these businesses they will go under. Big Box Stores are good for some things. What are you going to do when the local coffee shop, restaurant, friendly book or hardware store closes once and for all? I do my utmost to purchase as much as I can locally. I would be lost without my local dry cleaner and pharmacy, they are the kindest people and deliver. I would call that a win-win!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Eat Right/Keep Moving

Think of your body as a fine machine. Take time to eat properly. We are all in such a hurry, we could learn a thing or two from our friends in Europe. Yes, I recognize healthy food costs more money and actually takes time to prepare. I need to slow down, how about you? I’m hoping the prices at Whole Foods will drop with the recent acquisition by Amazon-perhaps this is a good thing. Join a gym, make a date with yourself to run, lift weights, go to yoga/dance class…whatever. I don’t care what you do, just do it, I’m tired of my sorry-ass excuses. We are worth it!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Make Time For You

Consider what you really want out of life. If you are single and wish to meet Ms. or Mr. Right you have to get out there. Do your best to put yourself in social situations where you can actually meet someone. Staying home on social media or binging on Netflix will not keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Talk To People/Show Consideration

When was the last time you actually picked up the phone and had a real conversation? Heartfelt texting during the day/middle of the night doesn’t count. Call your parents, sibling, old friend from college/prior job you haven’t spoken to in ages. Talk to the old lady or man in front of you at the grocery store or pharmacy. You may be the best thing that happens to them today!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Cross Your Comfort Zone

Full Disclosure: The last few years I’m pushing myself to say/do things I couldn’t bring myself to do previously. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. Get out there and really life your F****** Life! This isn’t meant to be preachy or a chapter in a self-help book. Don’t waste another minute, day or week doing things you aren’t excited about. Embrace your inner child, get out there and have fun my little crocodile!

Big hugs~

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    July 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm 

    I recognise so much about myself here. Staying in my comfort zone, neglecting friends, not socialising enough and definitely too much time on social media. But one thing at a time. I love doing yoga each day, work as much as possible in the garden and am managing to read more these days. Always new goals to set though so thank you for the inspiration Kenneth. You have a wonderful way of writing.

    • kennethfawalter
      July 5, 2017 at 3:49 pm 

      Dear Emily, your words warm my heart. I love your thoughts on this post. I’ve been living my life as though I’m a bystander. I’m trying to change this. I’m a work in progress, as we all are I suppose. Thanks for your sweet support. Have a beautiful week, xx

  • Shawn
    July 3, 2017 at 1:40 am 

    Keen observations and great advice… Crossing my comfort zone is still a work in progress for me, but I’m getting better at it. Love the Wilde quote! Thanks for being you, Ken, and sharing yourself with all of us.
    With gratitude and best wishes from a fellow traveler on the path,

    • kennethfawalter
      July 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm 

      Thank you so much for your comments. They mean more than you know. I have lived my life as a bystander for too long, I’m trying to mend these ways. I’m grateful that you are on the path too, perhaps we will stumble together and find bliss, cheers my friend.
      PS Do I know you from Instagram?

  • kennethfawalter
    July 8, 2017 at 4:05 pm 

    You are too kind Shawn. Thanks again, have a fantastic weekend and great new week ahead!

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