A Life Lesson… From Nora

posted by Andrea | 04/9/2015

life lesson from nora

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit in West Michigan, Nora, Simon, and I have been taking lots and lots of walks to run our daily errands — which has been enjoyable for all of us (especially for me!)

On one of our recent walks, we stopped by the bank (where Nora got Smarties) and the grocery store (where she got popcorn and a sucker). As we were walking home, I could tell she was getting frustrated so I asked what was wrong.

She had ALL 3 snacks and her water bottle in her hands — which meant she couldn’t eat or drink anything.

“I have no hands left!” she exclaimed.

It took a bit of convincing before she FINALLY decided to put 2 of the snacks down for a while so she could actually eat and enjoy the 3rd snack.

As we walked on, I was thinking about how so many people I know (including myself at times) act an awful lot like Nora with her snacks.

We have so much stuff in our homes that we don’t even have a chance to enjoy it all — but we won’t get rid of anything because we want it all.

We have so many activities, events, and obligations that we rush from one thing to another without really enjoying any of them.

We have so many to-do’s on our list that we mindlessly go through the motions without stopping to enjoy life or relax and do something fun.

Obviously, this is a very basic lesson (after all, she is only 3!) but I do think it’s something we can all think about as we strive to simplify and organize our homes and lives.

Are we really enjoying the things we have?

Are we really enjoying the activities and events we participate in?

Are we really enjoying the things we do each day?

Or are we too busy trying to “hold onto everything at the same time” that we can’t enjoy what we have?

I’ve been talking a lot about being too busy lately — because I think it’s a huge issue for so many people these days.

Sometimes, all we need to do to simplify and de-stress our lives is let go of a few things (and yes, they might be things we used to enjoy before something in our life changed). It doesn’t mean we can’t ever do or have those things ever again — it just means we are simply putting them down FOR NOW so we have the time and ability to enjoy other things.

Just like Nora was only able to enjoy her snacks when she gave in and put a couple of them down for part of our walk… there are times in our lives when we will not be able to enjoy all the goodness in our lives unless we’re willing to put a few things down for a period of time.

This might be purging physical objects to help our home feel less cluttered. It might mean saying no to various commitments we have previously said yes to. It might mean (as I mentioned a couple weeks ago) finding a way to create change when we just feel too busy — either by streamlining our tasks, finding someone else to do those tasks for us, or dropping the tasks completely.

Either way, I have a feeling that by setting some of our busyness aside for a while, we will be able to enjoy the things we have and the things we do that much more.

I know it certainly worked for Nora 🙂

What might you be willing to set aside for a while?

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20 comments

  1. amy martin

    04/14/2015

    I’m so happy I’m not the only one that learns most of what Gods trying to teach me by using my kids to get the lesson accross!! Thanks for sharing this perfect analogy on the “for now” concept!

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  2. Deborah

    04/11/2015

    This is such a fun comparison! I love it when simple things in my life make me contemplate a deeper meaning or bigger scale.

    And I’m thinking Nora scored on your walk!!! 🙂 Simple things and daily details with kiddos are so much fun. I remember the first time I gave my daughter a ride on one of the 25 cent rides in the mall. I think I was more excited about it than she was. Total rabbit trail here, but seeing Nora and hearing about your outing made me think of it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes Deborah — it was a really fun walk for me because I basically wrote this entire post in my head on the walk home 🙂

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  3. MJ

    04/09/2015

    What a beautiful illustration! Yes, this is something I’m working on right now. I’m not sure what I’m going to put away for now, but it is definitely going to be some things. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Lori

    04/09/2015

    Thank you so much for this!

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  5. Linda

    04/09/2015

    This was a great post and will have to be repeated over and over as I think we fall into a trap of being busy. I found myself in this trap this week. I was scheduling my children for next years extra curricular activites at our homeschool building. I was so down as I saw what the schedule would look like. One morning it dawned on me that I did not HAVE to do this. These were supplement classes. I do invest in an adequate curriculumn, they really are not needed. What a weight was lifted when I told my husband that we will continue with we have done the last two years, music and PE. This does not require loads of time and it is things they enjoy. As I have read in some of you previous post children do enjoy home. My boys do get tired and stressed if we are constantly going somewhere. Thanks for the great reminder!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yay for simplifying your schedule!

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  6. Melissa

    04/09/2015

    Great post, great advice! Thank you!

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  7. Avia

    04/09/2015

    Great post! It makes me eager for my now 2 yr, 4 month old to get a little more verbal so I can know what’s going on in her head. Or maybe I don’t want to know!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — don’t be too eager! Nora has been EXTREMELY verbal since she was about 16-18 months old and she hasn’t stopped talking since 🙂

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  8. Rose

    04/09/2015

    Amen!!!!!!!!!! Bravo on this post!!!! Hits Home!!!!!!!!!

    Have a wonderful rest of the week all~

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  9. ShellyL

    04/09/2015

    Nora is one of the cutest kids ever!! Excellent analogy and excellent advice. I am temporarily letting go of my daughter being in plays with the local theater group. The rehearsal schedule is so rigorous that our family doesn’t have time for anything else. We may do another one at a later date but for this summer, we are out.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yup… just because you say “no” for now, doesn’t mean you say “no” forever. Enjoy your extra family time!

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  10. Tracey

    04/09/2015

    Andrea, this is one of my favorite posts here ever! (And that’s saying a lot!)

    First, I just LOVE the adorable picture of Nora! That look is priceless!

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    Tracey Reply:

    (Oops! The rest of my comment disappeared!)

    This idea of holding on to so much that we can’t enjoy any of it IS SO TRUE. Kids are great at teaching us those things, and so simply and clearly.

    Thanks for sharing this!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Tracey!

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  11. Emily

    04/09/2015

    So many simple life lessons we can learn from our kiddos. Loved this, thank you for sharing!! 🙂 Miss Nora is growing up so quickly. Beautiful little girl!!

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  12. Julie Spady

    04/09/2015

    perfect analogy!!

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  13. Kate Beckett

    04/09/2015

    i love playing soccer. But I decided to take Time off from playing last fall. I miss playing BUT I appreciate not havig that weekly commitment SO much more. Not only the hour game but the half hour ride to and from it. The game was stress relieving but the lack of commitment is freeing at times.

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    Andrea Reply:

    exactly — and you can most likely always go back to playing again IF you decide that’s what you want to do!

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