How much is enough?

January 23, 2012

The seed of the idea for this blog was planted one spring day after school.  I was standing in the crowd of waiting parents outside the “first grade doors,” keeping one eye on my daughter and listening, with growing fascination, to two fathers talking nearby.  Well…one was talking; the other was mostly listening.

“We’re almost done!  The drywall’s finished and they’ve started painting today!” one said with excitement.  The other dad murmured his approval.  I remembered only a year earlier getting our basement finished, and I smiled as I thought of the thrill that things like framing, drywall, mudding and paint brought to me not all that long ago.

“And—get this!  We’re gonna have three TV’s down there!” Dad number one announced with a huge grin.  “It’s awesome!”  He then went on to describe the location and purpose of each.  Dad Number Two seemed even quieter now….or maybe that was just me reading into the situation.  The three TV comment, though, got my wheels to turning.  How much is enough?  Three TV’s in one space…..isn’t that too much?

The phrase “sour grapes” leaps to mind—but I have to admit that we, too, have three TV’s in our house.  (Dear 20-year-old Jen:  Many apologies for selling out so badly.  Love, 38-year-old Jen.)  One in the living room,  the “big screen” in the basement, and the old-school, almost twenty-year-old tube set in the far corner of the basement, hooked up to the Wii.  So it’s not so much that I wanted what I didn’t have.  It was more of a sudden, overwhelming awareness of how much we have.  How much is enough?  When does it become too much?  Where is the line drawn?

The other push to start this blog came from the search that question began.  As I began researching about the concept of simplifying your life and uncluttering, it seemed that there were only a handful of books and blogs on the subject.  I kept looking for a book that would meet me where I was at, “simplifying from a Christian perspective,” and eventually I found some excellent resources.  Most of the time, however, the idea of “decluttering” was noted and jumped over in favor of “organizing.”  In my experience, I’m realizing more and more that organization is not always the answer.  Getting rid of stuff is.  That led to me wanting to write down my own thoughts and experiences with simplifying.  Hopefully it will be a benefit to someone else.

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