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Less is More

Monday, December 3, 2018



Doesn't it feel like, sometimes, the holiday season is actually the season of MORE? More calories. More toys. More scarves, candles, Bath and Body gift sets. Certainly this isn't what good ole St. Nick had in mind?
Back in college, many many years ago when texting was a new thing and before- GASP- the use of Facebook (yes, I'm that old), I took a semester long seminar called The Cost of Time. I was 18 years old so we're going way back, but I still recall learning how all the things you buy have a time cost. Say you have a wall full of DVDs. It takes time to organize those DVDs. To store them. The more shoes and clothes you have, to sort them, to search through them when you need something to wear. I am not saying have the pendulum swing to the other side and become a full fledge minimalist. However, I have a few ways to simplify your life that might just make it better:

  • Less toys for your kids. Have your kids ever dumped out their toy bins and seemed completely overwhelmed by the massive amount of things in their room? There is research that says too many toys are distracting. My mom used to cycle out our toys. Keep a few favorites (by a few, I mean less than 10) and put the rest away in a bin. After a few months, she would trade the "old" toys for "new" toys. This wasn't just about cost. Too many toys and things can be overwhelming for children. It is hard to concentrate and have purposeful play when the kids don't know where to start. Does your kid really need 100 of anything? This is something I struggle with. There are so many baby dolls, action figures, blocks, legos and miscellaneous trinkets. Stuffed animals. And for every baby doll there are 50 accessories. My challenge to you is to get a large bin- a garbage bag- whatever- and go through alllllll the things. Start with one room. The toys don't have to be thrown away. They can just be sorted, organized, and when appropriate- stored away for a later date. We are fortunate to be blessed with all these things. If you so choose, the extra things can be given to charity. The point is to simplify and organize so your kids actually have more fun. In terms of creativity and development, less toys is better. Here is an article from Psychology Today explaining why: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/singletons/201712/new-study-underscores-why-fewer-toys-is-the-better-option
  • Less clothes: A few years ago I read something that said every season you need three items of clothing to fit with the trends and stay current. I have definitely fallen into the social media trap- raise your hand if you've gotten all excited about Nordstrom anniversary sale- and overbought. It's fine to shop...but understand when you scroll through these feeds, for many of these influencers their job is to sell clothes. When I was a kid we flipped through magazines and catalogs and bought things that caught our eye. Social media is the new catalog. I only buy items of clothing I really love. If it doesn't fit me well, even if its a great cut or color, I donate it.
  • Less talk: Ok, this is misleading. Not necessarily LESS TALK. But less chit chat and more talk about REAL things- goals, fears, struggles, triumphs. I think it is really hard to women to connect and talk about the big issues of life. I have written about this in other posts, being a new mom can be very isolating. Correction: being a mom can be isolating, not just new. Maybe you're sitting at work and your four year old was up all night sick and no one at work relates. Maybe your single friends are all about that nightlife and just don't understand why you're crying because your baby won't nurse. Here is my advice- form connections that matter. Enjoy the water cooler talk but also, seek more.
  • Less opinions: Opinions aren't facts. What's that saying about opinions? Everybody has one? It's really nice when everyone loves your outfit, your car, your kid, your house. But chances are, there is someone that doesn't. So what? Maybe you're starting a blog and trying to build a community (cough....cough) and people roll their eyes. So what? Not everyone in life is going to get you. Be true to yourself. And find your confidence. I wasted so much time in my life trying to impress the boy that just didn't like me. The girl that just didn't want to be my friend. Praying for the job that just wasn't meant to be mine. And if you want to get really deep, I was trying to win the love of parents that just didn't always love me. So what? Yes, rejection stinks. Learn to deal with it and process it. If you don't, you will carry it with you. 
  • Lower your standards: Make a list of all the things you love in life......did you mention yourself? Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop focusing on all the things you AREN'T. Appreciate all the things you are. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone is enough.  Rejection is part of life, it builds humility. No one is immune. But we are supposed to love ourselves. Forgive our mistakes. Treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. I said this once and I will say it again- when I became a mother I decided to love my daughter unconditionally. She will make mistakes. She will fall down. She will cry and fuss and do the opposite of what I tell her or what I want. But she will know that no matter what she is loved. What would happen if I treated myself the same way?
Please let me know your thoughts and opinions. Feedback is welcome, but be kind. I am so excited to share these thoughts with you and I am even more excited to hear yours. 

3 comments:

  1. So funny.. I just finished cleaning out my sons toys minutes before opening this! I have been really trying to focus on this. Clutter gives me anxiety! I have found myself putting out bags of clothes and toys just about every other month and I still feel like I am drowning! Last christmas I asked family to give my kids experiences rather than a toy that will sit in the playroom. A gift certificate to a play place, my SIL took the kids to Medieval times, My MIL got us a family gift certificate to Camel Back. Same plan this year :-)

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    1. No such thing as coincidences! Have you seen Tidying up on Netflix? It's a show with Marie Kondo- she's a tidying expert with a bestselling book. Anyway- I love your Christmas plan and I think experiences make the best gifts. Sometimes too many options and too many choices actually make life more difficult. :)

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