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.