Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sometimes less is more

As spring cleaning has taken a front seat in my life right now, I've definitely been doing a lot of reflecting. Some of the cleaning I've done over the past two or three weeks involved going through boxes from when we moved into our house over two years ago. While it was dirty, dusty and cumbersome, it was also a tad bit fun. I found love notes from my hubby from our high school days, pictures of my oldest when he was just born and some good books that I've never read before.

Cleaning has also reminded me that sometimes less is more! I love trinkets, I love collections (I used to collect chapstick-- a la Bonne Bell-- when I was a kid) and I love pretty stuff. But I also know that stuff requires money and space and sure does collect a lot of dust! Think of how much less cleaning I'd have to do if I didn't have to dust memorabilia or how much less wash I'd have to fold if I owned a few less shirts.

I'm also seeing that the "sometimes less is more" concept is applicable for rearing children as well. We parents tend to think our children have to have particular toys, clothing, experiences or else they somehow will miss out in life. And, let's be honest with one another, that simply is not true. How many times have you given your child an expensive toy with all the bells and whistles and she preferred to play with a cardboard box? And how about that perfectly matched Easter outfit you spent good money on and he insisted on wearing his favorite Spiderman t-shirt (you know, the one with the hole in the armpit) instead?

What our kids cherish the most is our time. And, again, the "sometimes less is more" concept holds true here as well. You don't need to shell out big bucks to take him to a major league game when he'll love a day spent at the baseball fields catching with dad just as much. Don't get me wrong, occasional outings can be fun and special but on most days quality time doing normal, everyday things is what children crave.

So next time you're laden with the guilt associated with trying to measure up to the world's standards, remember that simple is good, less can be more.

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