Saturday, April 26, 2014

Content with Enough

Gazing into an overflowing walk-in closet, I realize I have enough clothing, purses, and shoes for a small army of petite women. Cleaning out the fridge of old and unused food, my family certainly is not starving. Picking my way through the family room scattered with X-Box and Playstation controllers, laptops and their trail of cords, and bins of Legos, we are certainly not lacking for entertainment. Half a dozen pairs of Nikes, a stray winter boot, three dog leashes for one dog clutter the mud room floor. You get the idea. Stuff.

This family has enough stuff, but can we be content with enough and not want more? Being content with what we have is difficult. The temptation lurks—buying the newest model iPhone, having that top-of-the-line computer, or ordering the most decadent piece of chocolate layer cake. I'm guilty. I do like new stuff.

When will we realize that the empty calories and material stuff doesn't really matter? Enough of all the stuff that just clutters up our lives. We work hard all day every day. Some people won't even relent, letting their work and stuff bury them. There is more to life than just working endlessly to accumulate more stuff.

In the end will it really matter if you worked hard enough to buy that new Coach purse or that new gaming system for your kids? No. Donate the money for the purse to charity and take your kids on an outing instead of plopping them in front of yet another screen game.

And time. There is just never enough time is there? Time gets sucked away in temporary tasks that don't really matter much except to ourselves.

In this life there is never enough time with those you love. The clutter of stuff, care of your stuff, and accumulation of more stuff just gets in the way. Life is more than just the material stuff. What matters is what we do with our time to make this world a better place and how we treat those around us.

Be content with enough. You might just enjoy it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

From my family to yours, wishing you a very happy Easter and happy Spring!

Easter mornings are changing. Gone are the days of coloring a couple dozen eggs. 12 sufficed this year. No more trails of jelly beans leading from the kids rooms down to their Easter baskets. Gone are the Easter Sundays of rising at the crack of dawn to hide the Easter eggs, falling back asleep for a few minutes only to be woken up by a small face looking at you, wondering if the Easter bunny had arrived. All happy memories from Easter when the kids were small.

This Easter the adults rose, by choice, before the children. One teenager was sadly forced from bed to hunt for the remaining eggs his siblings left for him. One Easter basket is already void of all of the Peeps, marshmallow bunnies, and chocolate rabbits. Maybe some things will never change.

Today I wish you all of the joy and renewal of this glorious Easter morning!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A New Choice: Stroller vs. Leash

Do you ever have one of those moments when you look around and all you see are pregnant women? They've been out in force this week, making me feel like I'm no longer a member of that very exclusive club. But perhaps this was a sign.

This week brought the joyful news of three new and healthy pregnancies in my circle of family and friends. Ultrasound pictures were posted on Facebook and alongside a tray of celebratory cookies.

Given my happy baby news, I was a bit surprised by new data released by the US Centers for Disease Control indicating that young women are choosing owning a puppy over having a baby. A substantial dip in the number of babies born to women ages 15-29 corresponds with a noticeable rise in the number of tiny dogs owned by young American women.

The federal report shows"over the past seven years, the number of live births per 1000 women between ages 15 and 29 in America has plunged 9 percent." During this same seven years, the American Pet Products Associations reports"the number of small dogs (under 25 pounds) has skyrocketed from 34.1 million to 40.8 million."

Young women find that owning a tiny dog is "just easier" than having a child. True it is much easier to have a social life with a dog than a baby. Dogs are cheaper and certainly less permanent in your life than a child. You don't have to get married and settle down to own a toy poodle, effectively eliminating any lifelong commitments. And yes, you can dress your Yorkie like a baby. Just seems like a narcissistic lifestyle choice.

Perhaps I'm lucky that I have it all—three kids and a dog. I'd never give up the joy and sheer exhilaration of watching three babies grow up into amazing young adults. No matter how you dress it up, a chihuahua is just not a replacement for a baby.