Early this morning, and I mean EARLY this morning, I was lying in bed, trying to get back to a few more hours of sleep, but could not. This happens to me more often than I wish it did.
Part of what often keeps me awake is not being able to get thoughts of things I need to do, projects around the house I need to finish, and other nagging stuff like that out of my mind. Does this ever happen to you? I would bet that it does.
This morning, though, I woke up to thoughts about a thing that we owned, that was in our cellar. It was a thing I once knew I needed to fix before summer. Suddenly, I realized that the ‘thing’ I was concerned about getting parts for, taking apart, and fixing was no longer down there in that cellar. In an effort to do some ‘hoeing out’ this spring we had gotten rid of it. I would not be able to use it, but I would also not have to work on it.
Wow! What a sudden relief it was to realize that I WOULD never, COULD never take that old thing apart and fix it… EVER! It was gone, and I was glad of that.
I then began thinking, (still not sleeping) of other things we had gotten rid of recently and the time that would be saved not having to fix, clean, store or even use some of those things. I remembered reading a few old adages and ideas long ago. One was: “The more things you own, the more things own you.” Another: “The happiest man in the world is the one who just bought a boat. The second happiest man in the world is the one who just sold a boat.” And, yes: “Sometimes less is more.” I remembered my dad once telling me that the more ‘things’ (equipment) on a car that you’re buying, the more things there are to break. That sounds a bit negative, but also a bit true.
Years ago, I wrote a column about the excess of things that people own, of storage units full of ‘stuff’ that will no longer fit in our homes, and about collections. In that column I also talked about those wonderful big black trash bags, and the fact that whatever you put into that black hole, after you tied the top, you never, ever would see again. Your life and your space would be freed up just in not owning the things in those bags. You may not agree, but to me there is great relief in such simplifying of life. By the way, about collections of ‘collectables.’ I think we need to understand that ANYTHING is collectable. You can collect dust bunnies from under the bed if you want to. That does not make them valuable, (unless you happen to love dust bunnies.) Then I guess they’re valuable to you.
Here at our house, we’re still hoeing out and simplifying. We will have fewer things to dust, fix, and find time to use. For us that is a good thing.
By the way, I never did go back to sleep this early morning. I came downstairs and wrote this column.