For many years now, my dad has told me, it doesn’t matter. It is only stuff. Or, it is only money. Now, in life we do need some stuff and some money to make a normal life. However, I can’t tell you how many times, I get caught up in things. Things that in my idea matter, but in the whole of reality, do not.
I am currently going through my home and doing the yours, mine and ours as well as the annual purge of unnecessary items and I have hit a shocking reality. Most of the STUFF in my house really does not matter. Not only does it not matter, but it is of no great earthly wealth either. I took a look around to find things to sell at a garage or on KSL.com over the past month. However, as I went room to room, I found some things that I couldn’t bare to part with, but in all honesty, no one would pay even a minimal price for things.
I have a couple of dear friends come over and help me purge my STUFF and stage my home over the past while and it is funny to me that the more I get rid of, the softer, calmer and more relaxing my home has become. The less STUFF I have, the happier I am. What a concept.
Over the past several weeks, it has become so completely clear to me that so many wants and needs in this society are just STUFF that in the long run really has no value or meaning. I think back to the purchases that I have made over the years and how much I “needed” that STUFF when I purchases it and how now, I don’t use it. I don’t touch it. However, I hang onto it.
Last night, I was driving home from having family pictures taken and across the valley, I could see a huge fire coming up across the crest of the mountain. This fire was right near where my friend lives. I grabbed my phone to call her. The fire was just behind her home and see could see it coming over the ridge from her backyard. I think that I was more frantic than she was.
I quickly asked her if she had all of her STUFF together in case she needed to evacuate. She said to me, in the calmest of voices, (I am going to use quotes, but I am only paraphrasing) “You know, I looked around and really, there isn’t anything that I want to take. I have some nice things and I certainly don’t want to lose them, but it is just STUFF. We will grab our important documents, computers and kids and be ready to go.” I was a bit floored. You have to realize that her house is absolutely gorgeous and they literally built it on their own. However, they knew that it was just STUFF and that it would be ok.
In a moment of crisis, what are the key most important things to me. If I only had a few minutes and one opportunity, what would I take with me? What would matter most. I have been pondering this question for quite some time (ever since I saw the movie “Leap Year”…. good flick by the way.) It now comes to mind when I go out grocery shopping or to Target or heaven forbid, Hobby Lobby. Is this important? Will this matter in the long run? Quite honestly, most of the time, the answer is “no.” Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments of weakness or a small impulse once in a while, but I will admit, it is amazing how that thought controls so much of what I do.
In the moment of truth, what would I grab? Honestly, and in this order: My kids, my dog (even though he drives me CRAZY,) my computers and back up drives for pictures, the folder of important documents, 72 hour kits and the medicine bag. The rest, even if I have an extremely hard time admitting it myself, is just STUFF. Stuff that maybe can not be replaced (quilts, heirlooms, memories and keepsakes,) but will not follow me when I am gone.
Even though I was not close to being affected by the fire, I learned a great lesson from a friend who was. Now lets see if I can apply this to my storage room and pitch all of my STUFF!