It’s Not the Stuff…

its-not-the-stuff-graphic2Are you overwhelmed by all the stuff you have that you need to take care of and deal with each day?

If so, you’re not alone, because most people today are in the same situation as you. What happens is that the more money people make, the more they spend, and they create a lifestyle that they have to care for and feed each day. They buy a larger house, a fancier car, a boat, maybe a second home…and this brings with it added costs way beyond their normal routine bills. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t seem to end. And you have to ask yourself, are they really any happier with all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated?

It’s kind of funny when I think about it because Ron and I have “been there, and done that.”  In the past 30 some years, we’ve bought and sold several homes, had a motor boat, and been on a variety of vacations. We’ve purchased golf clubs, kayaks, a paddleboard, and other toys to entertain ourselves. We’ve filled our home with lots of “treasures” to decorate our space and while I love its comfort and beauty, is it truly what brings me joy and happiness?

When you get right down to it, you realize that it’s your family and friends that make your life special…well maybe not all the time. But most of the time, it’s the associations you have that fill your soul and nourish your life…not all the junk you’ve accumulated that clutters your living space.

I happened to find a book a few years’ back called Almost Amish, by Nancy Sleet, that helped me hone in on the consequences of living with way too much. Now I may not want to take on the  Amish way of life, I like sushi too much, but these people understand what’s important…and that’s their community. Recently I read an article where a young Amish man died leaving a wife and family behind. They had no insurance, which is the Amish way, but she didn’t need to. Because the people in her community were there to help her by plowing her fields and helping her take care of her farm.

That’s why we decided to take on the mantra to “simplify” whenever we can. We’ve downsized to a townhouse and are continually working towards getting rid of the stuff we really don’t need. Now I certainly haven’t quite mastered this yet. As I said, I like good food, and some nice wine…but I’m working on it…slowly but surely.

As you’re racing through your own life, take some time to really consider what makes your life special, and make a note that it’s not the next best phone or device, the new TV show or another expensive toy that will make you happy. It’s your family, friends and the people in your community that truly make your life truly rewarding.

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