Nearly all the work I’ve done so far has been related to external things- donating the things cluttering up my house, reorganizing the things we need, building better home-keeping habits. But I haven’t really done a lot to try and change my thinking about when something is good enough. I tend to go overboard a lot, and one consequence is a lot of unneeded items in my house, which I’m now trying to get rid of.
Easter was my first attempt to curb this tendency since starting my Simple Year project. Holidays are definitely the time when I go overboard the most, especially Christmas. This Easter I made Emma a nice, but minimal basket. But then I felt like I needed more so I ran out at the last minute and got more candy, most of which I’m going to throw out tomorrow because it’s still sitting in a cabinet, untouched.
Now that summer’s coming, I’m falling into a similar pattern where I’m in danger of going overboard again. I promised myself we’d have a simple, relaxing summer, with just one week of camp. Last summer Emma spent four weeks in art camp, which was too long for her. But the following dialogue has been playing on a loop lately:
Emma: Can you find my guitar? I’d like to play it.
Me: Ok, would you like to go to guitar camp this summer?
Emma: You know, I don’t really like sports, but I do like to run.
Me: Ok, would you like to go to track camp this summer?
You can insert a few other things into the above (art and swim, and a couple others). Never mind that she made her choice over a month ago, deciding to spend a week at a camp which offers both art and science activities. Never mind that my idea of a great summer involves watching her swim in at the lake, not sitting in the car, driving her to camps.
A couple weeks ago I filled out the paperwork for the camp she chose, and felt glad to have it resolved and settled. I promised myself I wouldn’t think about it again. But I have to fight this tendency to feel like we have to do more, because I don’t want her to be deprived, to miss out. Like the way I had to buy another damn package of Peeps at Easter.
So my attempt to simplify needs to apply to how I think as well. I want to recognize I can’t give her everything, and she can’t and probably shouldn’t do everything under the sun, and accept that I’m not really doing right by her when I go overboard.