Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's called a funk

I've been in a little bit of a writing funk (I've been in a personal funk too--oh hey still not back to pre-pregnancy weight and a husband who is gone for 12 hours every day.  Oh....and I have two kids who seem to have missed the memo that we only get up at 5 if there is a fire).

I think about this blog pretty regularly.  I think of things that I want to talk about and hear about and inspiration that I receive and I want to share it.  But then I think, "who wants to hear that from me?" or "who am I to talk about _____?"

On Sunday I read this article by C. Jane and I was thrilled because she gave me a new way to talk about what I was feeling.  The article is titled "Do you feel like you are casting your pearls before swine when you write personally?" and it opens up with this definition from Wikipedia

"Pearls before swine" and "casting pearls" refer to a quotation from Matthew 7:6 in Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, implying that you should not put what is valuable in front of those who will reject the notion that it has value and furthermore that they will seek to diminish or destroy what you offer.
Her basic thought is that you have to define what are swine and what are pearls.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like your thoughts are pearls.  Sometimes you are a swine.  So there it is...lately, I have been my own swine.

Who am I to talk about _____?  Who am I not to?

So here it goes. I've been thinking a lot about stuff lately.  Claire is obsessed with stuff.  Before we go anywhere she tries to pack all of her purses full of tiny little objects--all of the utensils from her play kitchen, all of the pieces of board games, all of the little chew toys that Noah has.  You name it and she'll put it in a purse and try to bring it with us.  It drives me crazy and every time it happens I'm embarrassed that we have enough stuff for her to fill 4-5 purses.

But then I fall into the trap of wanting to buy her more stuff.  The other day a friend gave us a Dora Doll House.  Claire was thrilled (Noah loves it too because it talks when he pushes the buttons). I came home and immediately went about searching Amazon so we could have dolls and furniture.  You'll be please to know that I caught myself just before I ordered $40 worth of dolls and furniture.  Instead we scrounged up all the little doll-like things we had that fit in the house and made furniture out of egg cartons.  She was thrilled.  And today, when I found the bed and couch we made crammed into one of her purses I just threw it away.

Here's to less stuff.

What do you do to keep yourself from acquiring too much stuff?


  1. I hear you, on all fronts! I've been having a hard time with the beginning of garage sale season around here. It is so hard to pass things up when they are so cheap. I am trying to train myself to think critically before buying stuff and also to save toys for xmas or birthdays.

  2. Oh my gosh, we are (hopefully!) moving closer to our respective jobs late this summer, and therefore I'm spending my academic's summer break cleaning out our current house. STUFF. Everywhere. Overwhelmingly everywhere. Years and years worth. Kelcey is a hoarder even more I am, and I can hoard with the best of them. He moved 12 dead computers out of the basement last weekend and I can't even tell where they were at.
    What's funny is that Arys (who at 14 also likes her Stuff a whole lot) has been very proactive about getting things cleared out and organized. She sees it as making room for better things, both material and otherwise. She is my inspiration right now.

  3. I feel like this is a topic I can actually weigh in on...since I'm in the process of making my life fit into three suitcases.

    Several years ago I had a major flood in my apartment and a lot of my stuff was ruined. Things I'd been carrying around from place to place and that felt very important to me. When I had to sort through all my stuff and toss out 3/4 of it it was hard, but I loved how clean and new everything felt.

    I like having a carefully curated selection of things in my home. From time to time I'll go through and get rid of things. I give myself a rule that for every one thing I bring in I have to get rid of three. So if I can't think of three things I can get rid of then I don't really need this new thing. It works for me because I don't have kids. I can't image how much more I would own if I had kids. Children in general come with a lot of accessories and those are just the basics.

    When I was growing up my mom used to give me one penny for every thing I would throw away when we had our clean up days. I liked money, but I do remember at some point thinking one penny is not that much...ha ha.

    I guess I don't have any suggestions really. But feel free to put me to work on cleaning out the toy box when I'm there. I'm ruthless.