Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Blessing of Enough











Before our "Spending Freeze" a typical Saturday activity for us would be to go into downtown Frankfurt and figure out fun ways to spend money. Whether it was the movies, a restaurant or a museum, we felt no qualms with shelling it out to keep ourselves entertained. The past few weeks have been a wake up call and quite the interesting experiment. Not permitted to pay for anything from train tickets to lipstick, we've been filling our days with as many "free" activities as possible. On Saturday we decided to go hiking in the beautiful Taunus region north of Frankfurt. It was 80 degrees outside and sunny and I couldn't have asked for a better day. We hiked for about three and a half hours, stopping for a late picnic lunch on the shore of a lake - Wispersee, it was called. It was an incredible day and it didn't cost us a cent (unless you count the snacks we packed and the minimal amount of gas it took to get there.)

This spending freeze has been a learning experience. How much importance do we put on material possessions? When did the catchphrase of the human condition become more, more, more? It certainly had in my life. I'm always on the hunt for things, material things that I believe will improve my life when really it's the intangible that matters.  I have to admit, blogging really does nothing to help this problem. So many people, my self included, are developing something I'd like to coin Acute Pinterest Syndrome. Yes, APS. With APS, we are tirelessly convinced by various social media sites that unless we have a magnetized spice rack and vintage distressed furniture and a perfectly coordinated yet eclectic living space we are not good enough.  Thus, the most common symptom of APS is the burning desire for more. More of this, more of that, more of everything until we can be satisfied with who we are.

We have so many blessings in this day an age, but what we may never have is the blessing of enough. It's possible there will never be a time when we can sit back and smile and say "I have everything I need." Our material possessions, no matter how adorable they are, no matter how much chalkboard paint or chevron patterned fabric we manage to use, do not define us. They may improve our surroundings but they don't improve our lives, and we don't need them. What we do need is love. Love, sunshine, laughter - these are the things that improve ones life.

Today is the first of may. I am up in the country with Steven's family. I intend to spend the day outside and enjoy the nice weather with these people I love so very much. That, my friends, is more than enough. 

10 comments:

Lauren said...

Great post lady! My husband and I feel the same way about our upcoming summer. It's gonna be a cheap one so we're going to be on the outlook for as many free activities as possible. We were in Frankfurt on Saturday so I know how absolutely gorgeous it was!! We were walking around Old Town and then were by the river for the afternoon. The hike sounds great too!! xo

Alyx said...

Haha, welcome to the poor life.

150 EUR a month for food and transport makes you appreciate the free stuff in life.

Charissa Steyn said...

wow...i can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post!!! so so well said. my heart exactly.

Baylee said...

Was the spending freeze a choice or a must? It really is nice to get back to the free things in life though. Your hike looks great.

Laura said...

Since I've been in France, I've been on a near spending freeze and there is still so much available. Now when I buy things it's always good quality and I think about it three or four times before-hand. I just can't afford to throw money away on materials I may not value. Date nights are also so much more special because they happen rarely. But there are always a ton of free things to do.

Alysha Doan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alysha Doan said...

Reminds me of a talk I heard last year in our ward. The speaker said (and I'm paraphrasing, but the point stands): With regards to spending and material possessions, the motto of my parents' generation was "Make it do." (Patch holes, repurpose, reuse until it would no longer do). My generation was "Get it new." Your generation is "Get it NOW." Certainly gave me something to think about! Now I think to myself, can I make whatever I have do? Do I have to buy this item brand new? And the all important: "Do I really need to buy this item right NOW, or can it wait?" Saved me from many many impulsive purchases!

Rosie B said...

Great post! I try and allow what I have in my life to feel like enough - I mean, really it's more than enough. But it's just taking the time to practise gratitude and realise that actually, you need so little in life to be happy. Thank you for the reminder :)

Rosie xx
Just Listen

Autumn said...

Your photos only get more and more beautiful, really

We have spending less money here lately and going through all of our things for our cross-country move. It's made me realize how much we truly have. I still get the "I wants" sometimes, but it isn't anything like it was before.

Maria said...

God I love this so much! I love being able to enjoy things without spending money!

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