Lee-Ann dos Santos & I connected through mutual friends and shared interests, as she's been working on her own family business, designing ethical & mindfully-produced children's clothing for their forthcoming shop, author. We have found so many similar cares, interests, & concerns, I knew she would be a perfect fit to share what she's been thinking here at Shop Good! Thanks, Lee-Ann!
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with chalk board art ever since watching this talk by chalk-art master Dana Tanamachi. Truth be told, I can’t stand chalk. At all. But I am a sucker for inspirational wall art. Not to impress my guests, but to keep me sane and happy.
Nine months ago, with my brand new chalk marker (hallelujah!) in hand, I flippantly scrawled this quote onto my lovingly finger-painted chalkboard frame. [In reality, of course, my “flippant scrawl” took 9 tries to get right, but who’s counting?]
Sounds so proverb-ial doesn’t it? Do you remember who said it? It was easy to miss. She snuck it in there right after Michael and Jane asked if they could clean up the nursery a second time… That’s right. Nanny extraordinaire: Mary Poppins.
[Full confession: I had never read or seen Mary Poppins until this past fall. How is that possible??? I don’t know. But I do know that seeing Mary Poppins for the first time as a 30-something parent provided incredibly profound perspectives on the power of fun and investing my tuppence “wisely in the bank”. Totally worth a re-visit, in my opinion.]
I thought “enough is as good as a feast” might satiate appetites for dessert so I displayed my chalk masterpiece right by the dinner table — a pithy summary of “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and Lessons from Madame Chic.
But as I observed this quote, 3 times a day, 7 days a week…I realized its application went far beyond the table into every area of life.
“What is enough? ” has become my question,our family’squestion… when making decisions on clothing purchases, home renovations, educational opportunities for our children, exercise goals, social engagements, entertaining…pretty much everything.
“Enough is as good as a feast” has given memorable, concise language to that tension between the sometimes-not-enough ofminimalismand the often-burdensome-waste ofextravagance.
Note the “sometimes” and “often”? Here lies the beauty:enough is flexible and personal and as unique as the values held by the person or people asking the question.
For one family, tea cups and saucers are a waste of space and money, coffee mugs areenough. For another family tea cups and saucers represent celebration and facilitate community; for this familyenough looks like 10 vintage-find cups and saucers. Both scenarios can be the right choice.
I have realized that my love affair withenough flows from the freedom it gives to makeunapologetic choices, free from comparison or consideration of what others around me are choosing.
And if I am ever inclined to disapprove of someone else’s choices (not that you would ever do this), I remind myself that the mindset of ENOUGHis a gift in this world so madly engrossed in the pursuit of more.
Thank you P.L. Travers and Walt Disney for the reminder.
Where have you been able to clearly define enough in your life?
Where does enough for your family look like unapologetic minimalism/extravagance?
Lee-Ann and her fabulous family are learning to live out the beautiful tension of “enough” as they navigate the balance/messiness of family alongside the launch of their children’s clothing line,author. planned for Spring 2018. Learn more about author. here or follow on IG: we.are.authors on the journey toward helping families write great stories through closet staples like jackets and underwear.
Somehow, impossibly, I travelled around the world one year ago!
I am deeply grateful to have taken a trip to Bangladesh when I did. I was at a stage of my life & business when the adrenaline had long worn off, and I was a getting a bit stuck in a cultural mindset trap: "I don't feel like doing this every day."
More details on that, I'll save for another day (or perhaps for a more intimate conversation!). But, let it suffice to say that my colleagues in Bangladesh do NOT operate from that mindset... it doesn't even factor into the conversation.
Being reminded of this, as well as seeing — in person — the inner workings and impact of the blanket biz on the production side... well, it was deeply regenerative for me.
If I had not visited in January 2020, I don't know when that trip would have taken place! Soooo thankful.
Here is one story of a woman artisan I met: Poli.
This season for dignify has challenged us with waiting. Blankets have been leaving our hands at the fastest pace ever (yay!) and we are trying to simply keep up. Add extra inconveniences & delays (from COVID, from customs checks, and more), and we have been really exercising our muscles in patience, trust, and gratitude.
Culturally, we are in a stage of waiting, as well. Waiting for vaccine rollout. Waiting for "normal" opportunities to return, for "normal" life to resume in our cities, our nations.