Sunday, April 22, 2012

STUFF

Is Your Stuff Weighing You Down?

My friend Kari shared the above article with me today. It reminded me about a conversation Bill and I overheard last night while dining at the Island Hotel in Cedar Key. A tourist was asking a resident "where do you shop" & the resident kind of looked at the woman blankly asking, what do you mean, for groceries? The tourist said no, like where is the Walmart? I couldn't live in a town without a Walmart! She kept going on and on about how she lived only a mile from the mall...blah, blah, blah. Our lives can so easily revolve around possessions and I myself was completely obsessed with this in my past; I also think it was a way of escaping my reality.

I have known Kari since she was a little girl and one of the few kids I ever babysat. She became my regular babysitter, when my kids were 2 and newborn, at about the age of 13 and has probably known me longer than anyone, aside from my family. As a teen she watched my floundering as a mother, experienced my roller coaster marriage, and saw first hand, my copious consumption - my viral need to acquire. Upon reflection I can see that this was a coping mechanism that I had learned from my childhood. "Things" made me feel better, made me think I was better. But in actuality it was the complete opposite. I became overwhelmed with debt and STUFF. So much so, that I actually remember getting sick to my stomach from shopping, even before I got home, more than once! I think my life began to change after my divorce, years of therapy and I fell in love with a man who helped assuage my insecurities and who encouraged me to grow in a more positive way. Our move to Tahoe, where there were no malls, or discount stores also made it easier for me to really change my life and my habits. Our life in Tahoe became about our love, our passion for exploring the great outdoors and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. I learned to CHILL OUT!

When we decided to full-time RV we had a lot of downsizing to do and I jumped in enthusiastically to purge through 3000 sq ft and a huge garage full of STUFF. I relished it, it purified me, it made made me really look at "things" differently. Now for any of you that has seen us parked for any length of time I know you will be laughing at this because we have seriously used every square foot of space in this motorhome to be comfortable. I really try, on a regular basis, to continue to pare down. Bill and I both LOVE to entertain and I think at least half of what we carry around in our basements is for that purpose alone. So I am still a work in progress, battling that inner-shopper and reminding myself constantly that all I really need is my best friend and lover by my side...

Thanks, Kari, I needed that!

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