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Extra or Enough?

I am a homebody, but I’ve moved 7 times over the course of 20 years.  Each of my four kids […]
By
Wendy Jones
June 16, 2018

I am a homebody, but I’ve moved 7 times over the course of 20 years.  Each of my four kids was born in a different place.  Every  home contained multitudes of memories, some amazing, some haunting, favorite spots (which for me were usually the outdoor patios), some included decorators, fancy knobs and pulls, even copper sinks and home theaters, things that the first world pays for and then has to keep up and maintain, in my case, at the expense of connection. Stuff can never fill a human void.  I think you can probably see where I’m going with this.  What I have learned over these 20 years and 7 houses is that home for me is about the intangibles…safety, security, and warmth, and if you are lucky a comfortable bed. 

Yesterday, I signed a lease, on my own, for the first time ever, and I’m 43.  It’s a little house, and so amazingly, still close to the beach. I had to move by March 2019, but I decided that the unknown and the anticipation of every “last event” (Christmas, summer, birthday) in my home where I have spent the better part of 12 years raising kids, making memories and at the end, a heavy unraveling that doesn’t need to be dwelled on now, but has nonetheless taught me so much about my outlook and toughness that I never knew, was more taxing on my spirit than just taking the leap. I thought I’d wake up this morning apprehensive, but I happily found that I am confident that I can turn this house into a home and a huge reason for that was one simple statement made by 13 year old Kate, after i took her and her and brother to see the house.  

“It’s not extra, it’s enough.”  

Talk about clarity spoken by a child from the back seat. She just gets me, whether she knows that completely yet or not. When a comment like that comes out of my child’s mouth, I have a moment of all is right with the world, and I have to take it in and write it down.  For me, that profound but simple statement means she sees, hears and knows me, and my influence is being felt. To me, that is the ultimate gift of parenting. 

I started to think…extra or enough.  Extra is what makes my heart pound with anxiety, enough is what makes my heart full. Extra is what costs more, takes away time and diverts from the simple pleasures.  Enough is what gives me time to talk with my kids, write, do yoga, learn more, and breathe easy.  Extra is full of comparison, enough is content.  Extra is exhausting and enough sleeps easy.  Extra is never satisfied no matter how much it has, enough counts every blessing.  This concept has grabbed on for me and this list is going to expand and maybe be printed and posted all over the bulletin boards in my new house. Right now life is calling and I get to go watch some more volleyball.  Hoping your heart is full of enough today…

 

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About the author:
Wendy Jones is a mother of four, lifelong athlete, writer, and optimism & resilience coach and speaker. Through 20 years of parenting and relationship struggles, she believes that vulnerability and our willingness to share our stories is a way to heal ourselves

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