The problem with too muchPosted: June 20, 2012
First let me acknowledge, this is a lucky problem to have, the problem of having too much. The fact that I sit here, blogging on my Mac, in my comfortable home, my healthy children quietly engaged, I’m a member of the lucky few…..chances are that you , dear reader, are as well.
So we, with our freedom, money, health and safety, tend to create problems. One of these is the problem of having too much. Let’s look at the example of clothes, we typically buy enough for every member of the family to wear something once a week and then into the laundry basket it goes. For now, with my younger children, I’ll concede the benefits of abundant underwear, BUT otherwise it’s kind of silly. It creates mess, it necessitates storage, which necessitates more consumption, plastic hangers anyone? It creates more laundry, necessitating more water usage, more soaps, more energy consumption.
During our two weeks on the road I did laundry once, twice if you count my hotel room sink load with Camping Suds, we each had about 3 changes of clothes, so we chose hardy, darker items that could withstand multiple wears, a bit of dirt and still look “presentable”. Let me tell you when I think about being out from the burden of daily laundry, the question of what am I going to wear, the simplicity of packing, freedom and peace are the feelings that come to mind.
Many of you may have already figured this out, and obviously I see the benefits of this concept in spades, but it still gets tricky. I’m thinking beyond clothes and into relationships. Great people in my life that tell me about a soccer team they are putting together – do we want to sign up, a lovely CSA opportunity – do we want to participate, a birthday party invitation taking our only “free” weekend – will we accept? It all seems harmless, part of being in a community that I cherish, but in the end, the result is the same, it’s too much. I end up creating more problems, over tired children, not enough time to run the business of our life, wasted food that I didn’t have the energy to cook so we ate out instead.
Let me reiterate again, I am lucky that I can even count these trivial matters among my “problems”. The question is whether I will continue to perpetuate these problems or find more comfort in my own self-imposed limits?