Presidentially Adjacent: Nelly Taft

Nelly and Howard Taft

Nelly and Howard Taft

"Don't make your brief too long, dearest.  The court will appreciate it much more if they don't grow weary over reading it.  Many a good thing is spoiled by there being too much of it.
Nelly Taft, First Lady of the United States

Not exactly a President, but a great quote nonetheless.   Nelly is referring to her husband's writing here, but as some of you know, President Taft liked too much of a quite a few things.  Nelly has a good point for all of us to consider, many a good thing IS spoiled by there being too much of it.  Here are a few things I run across in organizing and parenting.  Any of them resonate with you?

1.  Choices:  Guys, choices don't solve all our problems.  Choices don't make children behave or stop them from having strong emotions or reactions.  Choices don't make us feel liberated, all the time.  Ease up on the choices you give your kids and heck, ease up on the choices you give yourselves too.  Sometimes coloring in the lines is relaxing, efficient and useful.

 

2.  Ideas:  Generating new and fabulous ideas can be draining and lead us down too many paths so we can never get to where we actually want to go.  Some ideas are better thrown back in the lake then added to an already full barrel of fish.

 

3.  Caffeine: Tragically, we can have too much coffee (or tea, or diet coke, or chocolate).

 

4.  Books:  Ugh . . . this is such a hard one for people.  You can have too many books.  Whatever doesn't fit on our bookshelves (and I mean lined up neatly, not jammed in willy nilly) are too many books.  The holding on to the book does not make us smarter or wiser or more accomplished.  (I know you are outraged, but just let it sink in, we can talk more about books later.) 

 

5.  Social Engagements:  Too much can really be too much.  Do we have white space in our schedule?  Is their time for magical, unplanned moments to occur?  Do we wear down our relationships by rushing, nagging and making people do things they don't necessarily want to do?  We talk nicer, our backs feel better when we have time in our week that's unscheduled and unhurried.