Thursday, February 7, 2013

Enough For Now

Enough for now

Over the past year my to- do list had been extra long and for a good reason, as a busy mother of six children we had just moved to a new state, in a new neighborhood and a brand new home.  I had gotten bids for landscaping, had new blinds installed, and completed several decorating projects.  Even with all the things that I had accomplished I did not feel satisfied.  There was always one more project that would make the house look even better.

One day I opened a parenting magazine and was surprised to find an article that was filled with words of wisdom.  The article was titled, "Enough Is Enough."    The article explored the realization that when it comes to stuff we can never be completely satisfied.  We live in a world that teaches that happiness is found in a new outfit, the latest technology, new furniture, or a nice car.  The author taught that we have to determine our own "enough."

 “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.” (Sarah Ban Breathnach, in John Cook, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. (2007), 342.)

As I looked around I realized the lack of satisfaction came because I was measuring my accomplishments in my home to the amazing images that I see on blogs and Pinterest.  The truth is I could spent a lifetime trying to chasing after the perfect home.

As I looked around I decided that my house was "Enough For Now."  I wanted to spend my efforts in areas where I could actually feel satisfied and achieve results that would reap eternal rewards.

I reevaluated my life and prioritized my family.  My husband and I took the approach that happiness can't be bought with things.  I decided to be content with our yard sale TV and enjoy time and experiences together.  One priceless thanksgiving we traveled to visit friends.  I never want to forget what it is like to try to get six excited kids to sleep in a hotel room suite late at night while the two year old sings the ABCs from the pack and play.

We even altered our plans for Christmas.  Rather than buy more toys we didn't need.  We suggested to our kids that we could give them experiences, memories that would last a lifetime rather than another doll that would eventually be tossed to the back of the closet or Lego’s that would loose essential pieces.  We planned a date to the Christmas carol play, dressed our daughters in their best dresses and took them to the nutcracker.  My husband took the boys to a local college basketball game. Christmas gifts were small and simple and less of a focus.

Not all of our memories cost money a simple walk around the block is a favorite memory at our house.  Playing tennis at a local park or joining a pool for the summer.

I am sure that I will do several more house projects in the future, but they will not remain the source of my satisfaction.  I am choosing to accept decorating at a slower pace and focusing on creating memories to last a lifetime.  

After all, when all is said and done it is the memories that last.  


Steph said...

After spending the past few days on house projects of my own, I couldn't agree with this more! Thanks for sharing, you are always full of wisdom.
(By the way though I think your house is gorgeous... I was telling my mom about it just this afternoon!)

Anonymous said...

Giving gifts of "time" is something Peter Walsh suggests in his book "It's All Too Much." This is a fabulous idea. I usually make our kids go through all their toys before Christmas and give away enough to make room for new Christmas toys, but I bet they would really enjoy doing this at times too. Abigail is turning into such a beautiful young lady! Beautiful, all of you!!!


Jessica Smith said...

I just found your blog and I have been enjoying going through your recent posts! I love the idea of giving "experiences" to kids instead of things. Thank you for the great reminders!

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