“I have eaten a bumblebee and it’s under my shirt.”
Whoa there. Since when did abundance become a problem? For much of history, man has been vigilant about conserving scarce resources. Surviving abundance is a weird 21st century twist on an ancient problem of surviving scarcity. Our ancestors, living on the edge, couldn’t have fathomed the notion that we’d be struggling to get rid of excess stuff.
About the only thing in short supply now is restraint. We are overwhelmed by needless wants that only serve to increase our hassles and anxieties while decreasing our bank accounts.
Part of this is a naming problem. Abundance sounds pretty benign, maybe even desirable. It connotes prosperity, safety, and well-being. And if only we could recognize when enough is enough, abundance would be just fine. But what we’re really dealing with is overabundance. Excess. Surfeit. Glut. Doesn’t sound so promising now, does it?
If you often feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose, you might be a victim of abundance gone amok. Rather than being quenched, you’re drowning. Too much comes in lots of packages- food, clothing, technology, gizmos, square footage and social media.
Once you’ve recovered from too much, how do you avoid being in survival mode again? Flex your restraint muscles. Practice saying no to frivolous purchases, no matter how alluring they may be. Distinguish between needs (fundamental) and wants (fleeting). Think before you do.
It’s easier to restrain than to recover. Sips from the chalice of enough beat mopping up from the firehouse hose.
About that bumblebee? This is a bastardization of the old saying, “I have eaten abundantly, any more would be an exert.” Until now, I assumed that others were privy to this expression that is delightful in both iterations. But I find no mention of it anywhere, except in my family. So this old saying, heretofore known only to the six grandchildren of Dorothy Arrington, can now be yours too.
But be careful, lest you find yourself with a bumblebee under your shirt!