I have been thinking a lot lately about stuff and the more I think about it the more I realize that less really is more. More stuff does not really make your life richer, or more fulfilled and in fact it weighs you down and begins to be a burden especially as you age.
I have been pondering this for two reasons, the first because my husband and I have been talking about decluttering and getting rid of a lot of our “treasures” perhaps even downsizing. The thought of moving all of this stuff I currently own makes me ill. Where did all of this come from?
The second reason this is weighing on my mind is my in-laws. My in-laws are wonderful people who both grew up during the depression; they have worked hard for everything they have and what they have is ALOT more stuff than I do.
They are nearing 89 in a few months and as their health declines the discussion often turns to what to do with all of their stuff? They are never going to leave their house, or as my father in law says he is not leaving unless he is carried out, so dispersing with their possessions at this point seems a little strange. After all you cannot very well take their desk or table out from under them and yet they bring it up.
What will happen to their things they ask? Where will their collections go? Will anyone know their worth? Will people recognize the value of their antiques? They waffle between giving their treasured possessions to the kids and grandkids and selling them because they fear no one will want them when they are gone. The fact is, all of their kids are in their late 50’s-60’s, they have stuff of their own and really no where to go with more. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has room for a treasured momento, but not an entire house of treasures. My mother in law frequently tells us that upon our next visit we need to bring a moving van.
The thought of more stuff actually keeps me up at night. As a result I have been cleaning closets and purging my house because I cannot even imagine what our family would do with our stuff. What I think are treasures someone else might not. Why should I burden someone else with my things when I am gone? Wouldn’t I like to be remembered for more than a house full of stuff?
As I have pondered these things the last few months I realize now more than ever that things do not make you happy, things will not help you live longer or fell better or have a better life, things are just that things.
What really matters in life is love, time and experiences; a memory is priceless after all.
I have been making a point to spend more time with the people I love, to learn new things, to read more, to be more present when I am with friends and family, to be grateful for what I have, to have more experiences traveling, going to concerts, or just being with myself.
I do not often talk about “life” but sometimes it is just nice to have people to “talk” to and share these sorts of things with. Perhaps you have been thinking along the same lines this year?
On that note, I leave you with this thought:
“The price of anything is the amount of life that you exchange for it.”
Henry David Thoreau
Have a great day!