It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bigger Isn't Always Better

The joy of simplicity is a new lesson for me. In the past, I admit that I was a gluttonous consumer. I bought into the suburban ideal of bigger, better, fancier, and more expensive as the road to happiness.

I pushed my ex husband to buy bigger houses each time we had another child on the way. I was convinced we needed bigger cars, or better cars with more features. Somehow I thought if I lived in a "better" neighborhood, in a bigger house I would be happy. If I could have those cherry hardwood floors and granite counter tops I could feel satisfied. If I hosted Thanksgiving for 20 and bankrupted myself buying the perfect table ware and decorations then I would prove what a good wife and mother I was. I would be worthy... I would be lovable if I could be a cross between Martha Steward and Mary Poppins. I made napkin rings and place cards for goodness sake.

And you know what? I didn't feel more loved. I wasn't satisfied with my ginormous house that took forever to clean. I felt put out and exhausted, and mostly unappreciated.

This year I hosted a smaller dinner for my parents, Ethel's family, BLT, the kids and I. I used a table cloth and dishes I already had. I asked for help. I nixed the heels and fancy dress and chose instead to wear jeans and pulled my hair back in a pony tail. I laughed, I cried a little, I said a genuine prayer of gratitude for the people I love and for the blessings in my life. For the first time in longer than I can remember I felt HAPPY as I sat down to eat my Thanksgiving meal. I felt appreciated and loved.... and I didn't have to have a fancy house or new dishes, or handmade napkin rings to get it.

This lesson of simplicity and appreciation is a long time coming. I'm enjoying this new way of life.


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  2. Thank you for letting me and mine be part of your family. Reading this is powerful and hearing you say it was even more powerful. It is so easy and tempting to hide behind things and appearances. I know I've done it. What you are building is so beautiful.

    Love ya!

  3. I love this post. I was afraid of divorce for a long time because it would mean giving up my nice, comfortable, financially secure world. Now three years post-divorce, I live a lot more frugally and mindfully about my purchases and I am way happier.

    (PS Any chance you could add the option to leave a Name/URL as a commenter? It makes it much easier)

  4. When I was married I was constantly worried about money. Now I have less, but I worry less so I feel like I have more. I love it when divorce can alter our perceptions in a really good way.