Look, I get it.
I grew up with one of those refrigerators that is so full that there’s a wall of food that you have NO chance of getting through to see what’s being stored behind it.
Last year, my closet was so over-capacity that the sheer weight of my clothes was so heavy for my hanging rack that it ripped the entire thing right out of the wall.
And, I, literally, carry more food than my kids could ever possibly eat during the course of one of Maya’s 90 minute athletic contests in a plain canvas bag that says in big black letters, “Too. Much. Stuff.”
Talk about throwing yourself under the bus.
Unfortunately, I sometimes feel like I wrote the book for those of us who are trying to make a claim that “more is better.”
But, what I am coming to realize more and more with every passing day is this: more stuff is more than just more stuff.
More stuff is actually just more work.
Never in my adult life can I remember a time when I’ve been so willing and desperate for ways to make my life more simple than now.
For those of you who “know” me (and, yes, that includes those of you who have never met me in person but read this blog religiously…I LOVE you, btw), you know that a year ago I used to pride myself on my growing list of things in my morning routine including writing in my Gratitude Journal, writing my daily ‘Good Thing’, weighing and measuring out my macros for at least the morning and afternoon, meditating with Headspace, writing up my chalkboard of daily to-do’s, etc. That list, no joke, grew every other day. And, I was in the mindset that “more is better”.
It’s funny how I know that’s one of my biggest character flaws, I’m all or nothing…more is better…tell me something is ‘good’ and I do it so much that I somehow make it ‘not good’, but I never “know” all of this enough to be willing to change and do things at the rate at which keeps them “good”.
Over the course of the last month or so, I’ve slowly, yet totally intentionally, started chopping down that list.
I’ve just started really embracing the idea that “less is better”. I know that doesn’t make sense for everyone, but for people like me that have a tendency to overdo things, it makes total sense.
I’m that Mom that brings 2-3 huge bags of stuff to Maya’s games so the little kids have 5 different options for snacks, their own individual bags full of drawing supplies, toys in case they want to play and now draw, and about 3 different drinks for myself. True story: we even brought two sleeping bags to Maya’s game on Friday because it didn’t start until 7:15pm and we were worried that one of the kids would need to go to sleep during the game. They did not. But, if they had, we’d be ready. It’s ridiculous. SLEEPING. BAGS.
Sure, it’s great that I have food for them if they get hungry, toys in case they get bored, and a bed in case they want to lay down…but, isn’t all of that adding up to my kids being too catered to and likely to grow up expecting that all of their needs will be met by someone. They’ll never have to be unprepared, or even mildly uncomfortable?
And, do I want my kids to grow up with those sorts of expectations of the world around them?
No, of course not.
But, on top of that, do you see that I’m just making life that much harder on myself? Because, couldn’t the kids just eat before they leave for the game? It’s a 2 HOUR COMMITMENT. It’s not like they’re going to starve if they don’t eat for 2-3 hours.
If they don’t have their own journals and a full array of markers, don’t you think they’ll just go run around with the other kids on the track during the game?
And, if they are really that exhausted, they can lay their heads on my lap and close their eyes. If they’re that tired, they won’t need a furry pillow and sleeping bag to close their eyes.
Because what all of that packing up, organizing and cleaning up at the game, and having to unpack it all again when I get home does is just overwhelm me, make me late to leave because I’ve got too much to “get ready”, and make getting home from a late game and having to undo it all that much more stressful.
Simplifying and becoming more minimalist is more than just going through your closet and donating clothes. There are areas of our lives that we can all simplify, beyond the obvious.