I cannot stand clutter. Because of this I throw out a lot of stuff. Because of this my eldest son seems to be turning into a hoarder. My youngest son seems to be following in his footsteps as he sticks half eaten suckers in his pockets and puts a death grip on broken Legos even as he naps. In turn, my daughter throws everything away, including cups and utensils that should go in the sink. But even though I can’t stand stuff everywhere, I love buying stuff. I love the way it makes me feel. I love holding something shiny and new. I love getting home, unpacking my bags and caressing all my acquired possessions. Pretty shallow. Eh?
As I sat in church this weekend I listened to the story of a man that bought and accumulated lots of “stuff” throughout his life. After all he was just following suit to fit into our consumer excess society where the amount of crap you can afford and purchase is taking more and more of an emphasis when discussing the meaning of life. I am not immune to this. I love shopping, love finding a good sale, love coupons, love nice things. But how much of this stuff loves me in return??? That’s right, none of it. Another shirt or another pair of shoes isn’t going to get me further in life nor will any item make me a better mommy or woman. And don’t confuse what I am saying here, I know there are necessities in life and there are also times when we need to reward others and ourselves but it’s excess when those “necessities” start to become everything and those “times” become every day.
So another pledge is going into the books (because remember this is “the year of change” for me). A pledge to start becoming more aware of what I am putting into that Target basket or what I am freely giving my children at the drop of a hat. However, I don’t want this pledge to be one that feels like I’m not getting anything in return (aside from more money in the savings account and less crap cluttering me home). To replace that high after a shopping spree, I plan to replace it with feelings of “doing good.” I’ve never been one to give my time to others. I blame my controlling personality … I need to be in control of my schedule and what I am doing, when I start giving my time to others that means I lose that control. It doesn’t help that my husband is just like me. We figure that when we have free time, we want to spend that free time together not apart or with others we aren’t married too. But if I want to teach my kids that being part of a community, sharing our gifts and talents with others is all essential in making a change for the better and an impact on others, you gotta give your time too.
As the holiday season approaches, I hope you will also take this pledge too or at least have it cross your mind when you see an opportunity for volunteering or an opening to give back to someone else.
To make you all feel guilty, I have taken the time today to contact my church to donate items for their Christmas Sharing program and to donate my TIME (GASP!!!) during the week of December 7th to the program. So if you want to “keep up with the Joneses” start looking to other women and mommies that have the biggest hearts and brightest smiles, not the ones with the best purses and the most square footage in their houses.