Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stuff is stuff.

Whoops, missed last week, and not much of a blog for today. Just goes to show that I can't be habitual about this kind of stuff.

A friend of mine whom I haven't seen in a great many years has moved from his home to a new one in a new community and it's a whole new life for him. I'm hearing about this on facebook, as he posts his adventures. He is someone who has not moved for almost 20 years, and this move for him is a great challenge. As I read his updates I think about my own experiences in the past couple of years with all the moving and upheavals in my life and it's curious.

Moving can change you very much. It's a great ordeal to reassess one's baggage, both material and emotional. One realizes that they can do without much of one's possessions when moving day comes and there's no more room in the truck. This can be given away, that can be tossed. This can be replaced, that cannot. It's a good cleansing of sorts of the junk that we acquire yet never use.

I don't think anyone doesn't collect junk. Stuff that doesn't get used but once every few years. takes up space, needs to be dusted. After you've read a book, do you keep it? Do you give it away to a friend or the library? How many shoelaces are in your junk drawer? Are you ever going to use that exercise equipment?

What is it that we really need? When asking that question, it's easy to get ethereal and say: We need food, shelter, clothing, respect, love, air, water... you know the stuff we NEED in order to survive. Anything else is unessential. Right? Then why do we hang onto Grandma's china? Why is this T-shirt still in my dresser drawer when I haven't worn it in nine years?

I don't really have an answer to this. It's just what I'm thinking about. My friend from facebook hasn't had to strip away his life very much and re-prioritize things much, and he is doing so now, and he's being quite a crab about it. I may have done too much of it, and re-prioritized until I come to the conclusion that none of the stuff I own has much sentimental value, (I knew before already that not much of it had monetary value, ha ha). If my house were to catch fire and all my belongings to be destroyed, I think I would fare better than most in dealing with it. Though I am not trying to tempt fate!

People who have survived fires or storms or other catastrophes all say the same thing. "at least we are alive." And really, that is something to think about on days when trivial things receive too much importance. We are alive, and today we face a new challenge.

Picture from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/7924963/Pictures-show-the-extent-of-the-floods-in-Pakistan.html?image=8 Image of a man saving his belongs after the pakistani flood.