Since deciding to head off road for the summer, Jaime and I have been scrambling around a bit trying to pull plans together, tie up 6 people worth of loose ends, prepare the house and yard for a summer full of showings, line up help with the house for the summer… wow! I guess we could have given ourselves a little bit more runway.
The truth is I don’t think it really matters how much time you give yourself leading up to big changes or big new adventures, you will likely find a way to nervously fill it with whatever tasks you can think of that will make you fill more prepared. If we’re not careful, we can easily find ourselves busy enough with the tasks we think will prepare us that we lose sight of the questions and challenges motivating us in the first place. I know in the last few days and weeks I’ve had to take a breath and remind myself why we’re taking this family detour in the first place.
As a way of exercising my thinker a little bit and trying to stay connected to the questions I want to focus on over the next few months , I am going to occasionally pick a question to ponder with my entry and just write out some of my thoughts… tonight’s question: How much is enough?
My wife and I often laugh at ourselves when we leave a restaurant feeling almost sick because we ordered and ate so much more than we really wanted or needed. In that sober moment we usually vow to order one salad and one main course to split on our next outing. Of course, that only lasts for one or two dinners before we (I) begin thinking that might not be enough. I have to order too much, spend too much, and eat too much again before I remember the lesson I’d already learned. It’s really quite ridiculous.
I’m not sure if it’s an American thing or just a human thing, but our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs in more ways than one. We acquire so much stuff we need to pay for storage. We spend so much money we indenture ourselves to jobs we’re not sure we even enjoy (and even then, the more we make the more we spend). We consume so much media we lose our creativity and forget how to think. Sometimes I find myself up way later than I intended at night trying to find just one more show I can watch. How much is enough?
Maybe all we need is to learn to ask ourselves this question more often. I don’t think it’s bad to have good things… even lots of good things. I just think there is a better way to live than the way I’ve been living. I want to learn to appreciate what I have and recognize the opportunity I have each day to be truly content. More than that, I want to have an impact and connect the way I live to something more meaningful.
How about you… do you ever find yourself taking more than enough? Does this kind of living give anyone else a stomach ache?