I’ve been thinking much lately about how much is enough. Years ago, Real Simple’s magazine tagline was “Do less/have more”. They’ve since changed it (holy crashing economy), but it has never left my mind that:

it should be backwards.

Do more. Have less.

Isn’t this at the heart of sustainability? At the heart of conscious, practical, holistic living? This thought has moved me (us, familywise) into making choices differently than we have before. How can we do more: for our kids, for our neighborhood, for ourselves? How can I do more for the people immediately surrounding me? And, tangentally, how can we make do with less? How much do I really need? How much…is enough? This question moves us to rethink, replan, reassess, and weigh the ups and downs.

Here are the latelythoughts:

I don’t want to be a consumer, using to use, eating because it’s there, creating more waste than I recycle.

I don’t want my kids to be raised by TV, asking for things that have been marketed to them, quoting a cartoon character instead of A. A. Milne or Madeleine L’Engle.

I want to buy things because I need them, not want them. Sometimes it’s hard to convince myself that no, I really don’t need those Louboutins. No, really.

Less is more. Less junk mail, less Diet Coke, fewer times filling up at the gas station, less processed foods, less computer time.

More is more. More meals for recently-delivered moms. More sharing: food, clothing, dishes, diapers. More walks, more dirt under the fingernails.

I don’t want to just be, but I’d like to live heroically, passionately, thoroughly. I want to use up this life like the gift it is, not missing the scraped knees and the empty bottle of Tylenol and the morning with no coffee.

And I want to own it.

And so I do. Scraping the knees on the way down, dashing away the sea of insecurities, rising to meet the day.

What are some of your “enough”s?

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4 Responses to Enough

  1. feMOMhist says:

    well while I highly doubt I’ll be giving up coke zero, and my kids have sadly now been introduced to commercial tv this summer, my sabbatical at half pay is causing me to carefully evaluate exactly what I can live with less of. So far no new clothes is all I’ve committed to.

  2. Ink says:

    Everything you said! Wow.

  3. faemom says:

    Dude. Yes. I’m trying. Now that I’m running my own household by myself, I’ve been wondering what can I do without, so that I have to take care of less. Now that I need new furniture (because you always need *something* when you move), I’m committed to use good furniture that I don’t have to replace in a couple of years.

  4. erin says:

    Time for you to change your tagline. You’re not normal. But maybe normal will get more “conscious.”

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