We guard it, polish it, look at it, are nostalgic about it, hold onto it, fight for it, pack it away, uncover it, display it and store it. Our Stuff is really stressful!
What ‘Stuff’ do we really value?
Take a look at all the things around you.
They may comprise the small items you collected or the items from someone else’s home/restaurant/business.
Some of the things I see around my home are from travels and friends and some of the items are from family who no longer wish to keep the items anymore, but want someone else to look after them.
All these things, this ‘stuff’, is needing special care and attention. My care and my attention.
Everywhere you look from today onwards you will notice the impact that stuff has on the people who own it! A piece of litter, a sculpture or the little pendant around your neck – all of it needs attention.
Why do we let it take over our lives!
Why do we care so much for things?
Stuff is there for our use, to aid us and remind us of the past, but when does it begin to take over so much that we spend more of our precious time looking after it?
It is plain to see that everything we have, has a value and everything has a continuing cost associated with it.
A gold bar is very valuable, yet if we had one we would still have to protect it, store it, invest time and more money into it, just so we could say we had a gold bar.
Even exchanging the gold bar into money or buying something else with it, will involve further investment from us!
How can you decide what is valuable enough to keep and what is a drain on our lives and our experience of it? Isn’t it time you work that out.
I often think of the wildlife that surrounds us. They have nothing more than what they need at any moment and when it comes to nesting they make it a special priority to use and protect what they require.
We, for obvious reasons, need a cup and a plate and knives, forks, shoes clothes and soap, but do we need to have multiples of the stuff we own?
When I look in my drawer I still have a mobile phone from the 90’s and enough soap to keep the neighbourhood supplied for a month. These things are just there, one, useless, the other useful but in too great a quantity.
When we begin looking at the stuff we have and the stuff we are not using it begins to focus our attention on why we are being distracted to buying even more of the things we need too.
There is one obvious conclusion I draw from a vast number of items I hold onto more than ever though, and that is that they result in memories being triggered for me.
Like photos on my photo frame that keep showing me the past travels and friends and family, so some of the items I keep in the house also are memories too.
It is these that I find hardest to part with!
A little figurine from my mother or a pencil sharpener from my father may all remind my of great memories I have had with them. Programs from a football game or even Aunties best mixing bowl all hold a special place in my memory and keep my focused on those people.
We also collect (and I do collect) items that one day will come in handy, and leave them to clutter up my normal living space, but this only serves as an excuse to myself to keep something.
Like Aunties favourite chipped mixing bowl, our memory of something is also our excuse for holding onto the past.
(Within this post, I am not going to discuss the environmental impact on reusing our stuff, but note that this too can also be used as an excuse not to do anything either!)
There are a lot of things to make a home a home, but there is also way more than we really need to make it a home that is comfortable and easy to keep clean and stress free.
I’m in no way saying we should live as free as the birds, but it is better to be excited by what you can truly use regularly than to have cupboards overflowing with ‘stuff’ that inhibits your every move.
My final observation is we should be allowed to let things go without any guilty feelings. You are not letting go of a memory or a valuable piece of your heart. You still have the memory and you still have your heart, and now you have a clearer space to enjoy with your family and friends.
There is no importance in the stuff we all collect – including the little leather bracelet we put around our wrist or the special coin in our wallets. It is all about the memories we associate with them.
It is important to remember, the item does not have the memory, the person does! The item was only there as a reminder!
“Act Anyway because in action is still an action!”