In a time with so much information and technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to get caught up in the “bigger is better” mentality. Social media being a big factor in this, as its double-edged sword serves as both a blessing and a curse all at the same time.
I love social media with all its silly memes and mockery at life, getting us through our day jobs and mundane tasks with a smile, keeping in touch and staying connected with old friends and family, or staying up-to-date on current events.
However, the flip side of that is sometimes feeling the need to keep up with what everyone else is doing or what they have that you don’t, and to that, I have to remind myself, “Less is more.”
I was an ’80s kid. I played outdoors, I climbed trees, I caught crawfish in ditches with my friends, I picked blackberries from the bushes, and ate them on the spot. I was lucky to grow up in the middle of the woods as Jacksonville slowly became built up around me. I suppose that’s why to this day, I still spend a lot of my time outdoors, and because of that, I’ve noticed my boys enjoy the simple outdoor things just like I do.
If we aren’t at jiu-jitsu practice, the beach, or the skate park, we’re at the marina catching blue crabs, our latest favorite thing to do. We are very fortunate that the marina is practically in our backyard, so we’re always down there catching blue crabs, shrimp, fish, or any other marina critters we come across. Over time we have met people from all walks of life who share their favorite childhood memories with us of doing just the same or giving us tips on how to catch more crab. It’s nice to know that something as simple as catching a blue crab can bring out such fondness in people from all different backgrounds. I always wonder if it reminds people of their childhoods as it does for me when times were simpler and the stress and worries of adulting hadn’t quite crept in. Crazy how a blue crab can inspire such deep thoughts!
A couple of years ago, we went on our first paddleboard and kayak adventure down the Rainbow River and swam with the manatees at Crystal River and my boys have continued to talk about those trips more than the Disney trip we took shortly before that. I love that my kids are picking up on the fact that you don’t always need the latest and greatest toy or game to make you happy. Don’t get me wrong, they still love those things, too, but if I ask who wants to go to the marina and blue crab, they immediately stop what they are doing and yell ME!
It’s okay that they still do want the latest and greatest things, and it’s okay that they live in the YouTube and TikTok world, but I’m also glad I’m able to show them a balance through things that my husband and I love — just being together and being active. It’s fresh air, a bike ride, a backyard fire pit with some marshmallows on a stick, an awesome sunrise or sunset, seeing how deep we can dig a hole in our backyard and talk about it (boy life, LOL), and grab a net and let’s go catch some crabs!
So, remember friends, it’s great that we all strive to achieve and acquire the things we love or are drawn to, it’s what we work hard for every day, but it’s also okay to remind yourself that sometimes having less gives you so much more. More family time together, more memories, more gratitude, more satisfaction. It makes you stop and appreciate what you do have and not worry about what you don’t.
My sons currently live by the catch-and-release mentality, so I’m waiting for the day they figure out how lucky we are that if we needed to, we could live off of the land, but I’ll save that topic for a later day! Until then, let’s just grab a net and go explore by the water’s edge. There are blue crabs to be caught and deep thoughts to be had!