I have watched Disney's Mary Poppins numerous times. As a child I stomped around the living room demanding 'votes for women,' imagined chortling myself up to a tea party on the ceiling, hopped in and out of chalk drawings, and swelled with the final notes of Let's go Fly a Kite. It is a completely enchanting film from start to finish.
Recently I shared Mary Poppins with The Little Helping for the first time. I thought I knew each line by heart but that evening, nestled quietly amidst the familiar scenes, I caught a tiny nugget of advice that has since become my personal mantra.
The children have only just met Mary Poppins when she teaches them how to turn the chore of picking up their toys into a game all on its own. With snaps of their little fingers the room springs to life and essentially tidies itself. The loathsome task becomes so fun that little Michael Banks asks if they might do it again immediately. His request is quickly dismissed. "Enough is as good as a feast," Mary Poppins chides as she bundles the children out the door.
Excess is all around. The final days before Christmas were particularly overflowing with the things we must have, must give, must eat, and it's all okay because, "it only happens once a year". Indulging in the chaos of the season is fun but if, or rather when, the fun stops life can unravel quickly.
In 2014 I am going to continue to remind myself that enough is absolutely as good as a feast and potentially even better. I can think of many ways to apply Mary Poppin's blunt wisdom to my wellness journey.
I'll begin with this short list:
- The first few bites are always the tastiest.
- Leaving some for later means enjoying a delicious meal or sweet treat two or more times rather than only once.
- Finding a little time everyday to exercise is better than 'killing it' infrequently.
- Owning a few well loved and useful items beats a house full of flashy junk.
- Doing one thing well trumps the frantic mass production of half baked ideas.
- Hundreds of social media contacts will never replace a dozen great friends.
This Christmas season, and into the new year, may you live a life of 'enough.' – enough food to nourish you, enough shelter to warm you, enough peace to comfort you, and enough love fill in all the empty spaces.
Our Lady of Second Helpings - Lighter Living for Regular People