As each holiday approaches I find myself craving more and more simple traditions. Less decorations, less focus on what we should buy for people and an increased focus on the time we have with those we love. In the past few years I’ve had numerous conversations with friends about this – tell me what you think…
In my twenties, after getting married and starting a family, I had this inner urge to consume STUFF. Whether it was furnishings for my home, decorations for holidays, kids toys and gadgets… I collected and purchased stuff like Gus from Cinderella collected cheese. I couldn’t wrap my arms around the items I was bringing home. I was prone to overspend with anything I could easily convince myself I needed. Needed meaning if I could justify in any way purchasing the item, I did. Despite my best intentions, it’s easy to be fooled—by emotions, clever advertising, shiny objects—into shelling out more than anticipated. Yes, I’m looking at you over there with a shopping cart full of unplanned purchases.
This was NOT how I was raised. I was raised in a very humble home with a single mom who usually worked two jobs to help pay bills. When we went shopping, we usually purchased only what was on the list. I worked from the time I was fourteen and there was not an abundance of cash flow to encourage overpsending while I was growing up.
Yet, for years, this is how I behaved. And then the recession hit our family in 2007. A good wake up call for how I had been living. Obvious motivation to curb spending.
So – I’m not sure if this is an aging rites of passage, typical post-recession behavior, or if I discovered myself a little more as I went into my thirties while learning to understand my personal preferences…
But – I chant LESS IS MORE over the past few years… and yearn for quality over quantity. This attitude overlaps my relationships, my home, how I spend my time, my choices in eating, my wardrobe, and valentines decorations. As silly as that might sound.
I want my life to reflect who I am. And at this phase of my life, I hope to spend less but still create a home with joy found in the little things. Happiness found in being with those we love. And this year – more than ever – I have a goal to see how much less we can buy, and how much more we can enjoy life.
Photos by me, Jane Rhodes
8 responses to “valentines day in our home”
This is probably my favorite post from your blog to date! My husband has been trying to tell me this for a long time, now maybe it took me reading this to finally get it. An over-abundance of suffocating me and now more than ever I know I need to just getting rid of stuff–and not only stuff but extras in my life that are weighed me down thank you thank you thank you for this incredible. I’m around your home is simply beautiful!
Ah.! Gorgeous home, gorgeous family.
I can relate to the over-spending. I just love cheap home-decor so much. Ha! I need to focus more on quality over quantity!
I feel the same way! I used to buy things just because they were “on sale” or a great price, and thought I needed them, but I only liked them not necessarily LOVED them. Now I have been really thinking about purchases and definitely believe quality over quantity. I would rather have one sweater that’s a little more expensive that I love rather than 10 sweaters I kind of like, in the end I would end up spending the same amount but if I put that towards one thing I LOVE then I have something of quality that will last a lot longer. I have been trying to reflect this in my home decor and kitchen as well! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Love this! I just finished Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and this post is perfectly in line with all I loved from that book. Once you learn to let stuff go, it’s amazing how easy it is to keep things simple.
I think a lot about this, too. I think in our twenties we needed to discover a wide variety of things – and everything seemed temporary – no need for anything to last long or dig deep into one hobby or friendship. In my thirties, I surround myself with quality – people, things, my job – all in efforts to enjoy them as long as I possibly can!
Yes!! I keep thinking, “What can we go do?” Instead of, “what can we buy?” Love it Jane!
I love this post. I, too, have been attempting to be more thoughtful in my purchases. I hate clutter and feel like less in my space makes me feel better. I struggle most with kid purchases and keeping up with their stuff, i.e. cleats, sneakers, bags and books. You know, stuff they need and then there is the wants…any ideas on how you manage with your kids would be great. I know the shots of your home and in a moment but even your kids spaces seem so clean. What’s the secret?
As the cloud begins to lift after a very stressful 6 months for our family, I think about this a lot too. Our world was so complicated, not by our choice, over the last little while, that as we slowly gain control over our life again, it became even more clear that simple is good. Simple… in all aspects of our life. I am trying to go with the mantra “do less with more focus”. Thank you so much for your thoughts…hugs.