Sunday, December 9, 2012

When "stuff" invades your space

Arizona mountain sunset
Most of us in the U.S. have way too much stuff.  I was thinking about that and it is such a curious thing to me that we hoard stuff that is actually quite insignificant in the whole scheme of our lives.  Some people get tired of their stuff and change it out for all new stuff.  I'm wondering why all that stuff plays such an important part in our lives.  Are we so weary of our lives, ourselves and our environment that we encumber our lives and waste our money on things we don't really need?  When I see a homeless soul walking on the side of the road I am in awe of their small pack that holds all their earthly possessions.  These resourceful people have perfected the art of limiting their stuff to a few priorities.  I have a good girlfriend that packed up her Ford Pinto with her stuff and drove across the country in the 1970's to live in another state.  That really impressed me.  She was able to put everything important to her in that little car and start a new life.  The thing that impresses me the most is that she also worked for the U.S. Forest Service on fire watch and carried all her possessions in a small backpack.  To this day she lives her life simply and efficiently . . . unencumbered.

My new front yard
I'm thinking about all of this, because I am now in the process of packing my stuff in preparation for a long distance move to Arizona.  I have moved a number of times, and each time I move I am amazed at all the stuff I have.  Why do I need that stuff??  I'm thinking it might be time to simplify my life and find freedom from all that encumbers me.  The other reason I'm thinking about having too much stuff is because it's Christmas and it's time for giving thoughtful presents to others.  What on earth do those people on my list really need?  Nothing.  I'm particularly sensitive about this subject, because whatever anyone gives me will need to be packed and moved 390 miles . . . unless it's a consummable and then I better consume it in the very near future.  Have you ever noticed that peoples' homes reveal so much about who those people are?  Our homes and its contents are the windows into our identities.  So if we unencumber ourselves from all the stuff, do we become faceless and lose our identity?  No we don't.  We still are who we are.  So why is that stuff all that important?  The truth is it isn't.

So as I go into this Christmas season I am again rethinking the topic of stuff and making plans to unencumber myself.  I want to make wise choices about the stuff I choose to move almost 400 miles.  I will find suitable homes for all the stuff I'm leaving behind and determine exactly which possessions I really need.  I know for sure I won't be able to fit all my possessions in a small backpack or in a Ford Pinto, but there will be fewer boxes than I have packed in previous moves.  I want my life to be simpler and have more meaning.  At my new home there will be no grass to mow or flowers to water.  My new yard has been exquisitely landscaped and cared for by Mother Nature and I am grateful.  After all, she is the true Master Gardener.  To simplify and become unencumbered is one of life's most precious gifts.  Living a life that cherishes simple pleasures and rejects the chaos of a fast paced world has many rewards.  May your holiday season celebration find you grateful and unencumbered.  Blessings to you all!
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