Thursday, February 23, 2017

Too Much

I read this article today about Simplifying Childhood. The book that that article is commenting on is titled Simplicity Parenting which "encourages parents to keep fewer toys so children can engage more deeply with the ones they have. Payne describes the four pillars of excess as having too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too much speed. When children are overwhelmed they lose the precious down time they need to explore, play and release tension. Too many choices erodes happiness, robbing kids of the gift of boredom which encourages creativity and self-directed learning. And most importantly “too much” steals precious time." (All the time I spend cleaning! Or more like the time I spend dreading cleaning)

Melodie just mentioned a film she watched that talked about how of two stores that sold ice cream, the one with less choices was more successful. People feel overwhelmed/stressed by too many choices! Again, the four pillars of excess:
  1. Too much stuff
  2. Too many choices
  3. Too much information
  4. Too much speed
This article is right in line with what I need to hear right now (again). I haven't done much more to clean out the basement since Angela and her girls have arrived, but I haven't needed to go down there to that mess to still be drowning in too much stuff on the main floors and up in the bedrooms. The clothes problem here at our house is my current kryptonite. I get it all washed, but it does not get folded. I put the clean clothes in laundry baskets in the kids rooms and my room and there it remains. Well, the boys toss everything out all over the floor as they look for the item they want so the rooms are just a mess of clothing on the floor. I get most of ours folded, but then hit a roadblock or get interrupted before I finish sorting through the kids clothes and socks that make it into our hamper. Maybe we need to have just one winter jumper too.

Too much is totally true. I was thinking back on our simple life in Brazil in 2007. We packed light, and the kids each brought a cape, a stuffed animal, and then we also brought some Knex toys and a mega blocks train. The toys fit in a small bin. The kids went deep with those toys, they "engaged deeply", and now I love those toys cause my kids loved those. The stuffed animals are currently are on a shelf in my bedroom closet cause they capture that simple time and those memories.
When we had to simplify again when we went to Costa Rica and Chile for 9 months, the kids went deep again with their one stuffed animal, even making furnished apartments for their toys out of paper. Joseph didn't take one that time, but the rest of them each had a Webkinz toy they liked. We went through stuffed animals and threw out quite a few two weeks ago. We kept more than I thought we should, so we might need to try again with this new article fresh in mind. We have a lot of Webkinz, but the kids remember their Costa Rica ones and their names: Mel had Kacey the bunny, Ethan had Lucas the Lion, Hyrum had the Gecko Ben, Wesley's dog's name was Matthew, and Abi's cat was Scarlet. Lily's bear was one she stole from the church nursery room in Chile there.
Our visitors, Angela and her girls, have been angels in how much they've been cleaning  this house, which gives me a grateful/guilty feeling... grateful for the help, Lord knows I need it, but guilty/embarrassed that we Wrides can't keep on top of it and I'm going to feel like a loser tomorrow when they clean it all again. Our current goal is not to live like pigs. So yeah, going to try to thin out the thick of all our toys and clothes and stuff around here again.

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