More than enough stuff.
As I looked around my office I noted how many books I acquired over the years that never had a page turned by my finger. I opened my jewelry box to find many costume pieces that have not graced my ears, neck, or wrists in years. The other day, after feeling quite deflated, I engaged in more retail therapy. I came away with an outfit which in the end I knew would take its place in already full closet.
In reaching for Cd’s yesterday, I realized the Cd’s are plentiful but only a few are enjoyed consistently as my lifestyle changed and I know longer spend evenings with the tunes on and the TV off. A few DVDs align my shelf that have never been seen, apparently they were must haves but there they sit. The freezer is overflowing after a trip to Costco. Eventually most of the food will be eaten but some of it will end up in the garbage, a final resting place for the freezer burned.
My Christmas decorations were in several boxes but many items never get used. Tastes have changed, homes are different, creating a feeling in festive times can be daunting. I get bogged down in the details and eventually I put most of it back, thinking next year I will find a way to use it. I rarely do. Our garage holds stuff, stuff that moves around. We try to organize but invariably someone goes in and decides the stuff is in the way as they reach for something else. Once used, an item is rarely returned to its designated place, “we’ll just stuff it there for now, deal with it later.” It gathers dust until the next expedition happens to unearth items.
This Christmas, like all Christmas’s, I find little joy in the commercialization and process of acquiring more stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of gift giving but I believe in being realistic, genuine and above all else assess need. More stuff for the sake of buying is meaningless to the giver and receiver.
I will share with you in all honesty, in the latter stages of childhood I remember the thrill of receiving “the stuff” on my list but after the novelty wore off I remember thinking about what I really wanted. What I wanted from people in my life was not something they could buy, it was not something that filled my room or a box, what I needed was to feel safe, respected and heard. No matter how much was put in my pillow case at the foot of my bed (an English tradition) or under the tree, my wishes remained floating about waiting to be granted.
To my amazement all these years later I still reflect on life, Christmas and the receipt of stuff this way. I believe we tell people all year what our heart wants, I believe we do our best as an adult to create love and respect for our own being. The reality is we have more than enough stuff; monetarily it shows but spiritually it is hard to quantify as it lacks true meaning. This is never more put to the test than in the face of disaster, illness or death, it is not what we bought that is first in foremost in our minds.
So, in the quietest of moments, as you lay awake in bed, can you say “Today I received what I wished for, my life is enriched and it didn’t cost a dime.”
(I am adding this song, sent by Pat…see comment below)