This month, I’ve been thinking about . . . capacity.

It all started as I was remembering the closets in our previous house. That house had been custom designed for its original owners (not us) — and it had storage space . . . for miles! Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Cupboards, closets, and shelving everywhere you turn?  But, as we discovered, having too much space . . . can be a real problem.

Because . . . when you have extra storage space, you tend to fill it!

And you fill it with stuff you don’t need to save. With appliances and gadgets you never use. With every single paper your then-elementary-age children bring home from school. With extra dishes your grandmother sends you. With no-longer-worn clothing. With excess holiday decorations. With excess books and papers and games and puzzles and photo negatives and . . . well. Excess everything. When you have the capacity to store stuff, you WILL store stuff. An empty space . . . just invites us to put something in it!

Then we moved into our current house. And while we have plenty of storage space, we do not have MILES of storage space. As a result, we’ve become much better stewards at using our available space.

(The photos in this post are just pages from my “space” journal this year.)

It’s like that with our “metaphorical” spaces, too. (Our personal capacity; our “bandwidth,” so to speak.) It doesn’t feel good, generally, if we have too little space to do what we want to do (or even need to do). We end up craving “more space.”

By contrast, it also feels bad when we have plenty of “space” in our days – free time, open days, unplanned weekends – because we’re not always good stewards of our capacity then, either. We squander it. We don’t seem to know how to choose what to do with our time. We do the wrong things. (Just like my old closet situation.)

I have no answers here. No solutions. At this point, it’s just an observation. Having too much space – either physical or metaphorical – can cause as many problems as having not enough space.

But. There’s gotta be a “sweet spot!”

One of my “goals” for the year . . . is to figure out what that “sweet spot” might look like for me. And then try to put it into practice. (Knowing, of course, that life has ebbs and flows, and that “sweet spot” will remain a moving target.)

But that’s where I’m headed. I’m looking for space! And then figuring out how to use it wisely.


How about you? What’s your word got you thinking about this month?