Christmas night, after I spent an entire day indulging myself and my daughter, as I drove home from my parents’ this thought crossed my mind, “I’ve lived a life of uninhibited indulgence.”
I’m not saying that I have lived a life filled with debauchery and excess. I haven’t. Not in the context of American life, anyway. In fact, it’s been the opposite. I’m un-American in many ways, in that I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes, food, or cars.
But in comparison to most of the world, my life has been filled with always having enough. I’ve never lacked for anything, not really.
I’ve always had a home, with food on the table, clothes to warm my back, and transportation to take me wherever I need to go.
When it comes down to it, I’ve always done exactly what I wanted and gotten exactly what I wished for.
The latter part is subjective. There are many things I’ve wished for that I’ve never gotten. But in all honesty, they are things that are either impractical, illogical, or completely unnecessary to my being. Day-to-day, I cannot say that I have lacked for anything.
If I want new clothes, I buy them. If I want food, I get it. As an American, if I want. I get. It’s just that easy. While yes, there are poor people and homeless in this country, overwhelmingly, we are a country filled with more haves, in comparison to the have-nots.
Yesterday as Annika opened her gifts, she went from gift to gift, finding all things she had asked for at one point and a few things she had not.
Then we went to my parents’ where she got more gifts that she had wished for perhaps once.
Yesterday morning, the day after, we were driving in the car and I asked her, “Did you have a good Christmas?”
Her response was, “Well, Mommy, I did get the things I asked for, the dolly, and the wagon, and the jump rope. But I got a lot more things that I didn’t ask for.”
She wasn’t being ungrateful. I don’t think it’s logical to expect a 3-year-old to be that knowingly selfish. She was being honest.
It was too much.
Oh, from the mouths of babes.
And this conversation got me to wondering, “Can one suffer from having too much?”
This question in itself might seem selfish. But the reason I wonder is because I know that while I have always had plenty, I have not always been happy. And I look around me, at this world and our country, and I see many depressed and angry people, wanting something different.
We spend our lives wishing for more, or something else. And this season just has me wondering, maybe, it’s that we just have too much and that we got a lot of things that we never asked for.