Monday, December 21, 2009

Are You Afraid of Your Stuff?

Are we afraid of our stuff?  I ask this question seriously...well almost seriously.  Think about it, we earn money to buy stuff, we then earn money to buy space to store our stuff, and then we hold on to our stuff as long as we can.  People fight over stuff, people go into debt to get more stuff and then people die and leave all the stuff. Stuff seems to have more control on us than any other single thing.  It is almost as if we work to support our stuff.
Why is it we are a "stuff" society?  I know people talk about keeping up with the Joneses, but why did the Jonses need it in the first place? It seems stuff runs our lives. Almost all commercials try to get us to buy more stuff and all we seem to do is worry about stuff. 
Please understand I like stuff as much as the next guy, but I do seem to spend a lot of my life taking care of my stuff. 
There was a depression era phrase, "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without."  Have we forgotten this concept all together?  The new motto seems to be "Waste and Replace."  As frustrating as this is, our society builds landfills to hold our junk.  What are we thinking? 
You may ask why I am on this little rant.  It is a fair question.  Every year I take stock of my stuff near the new year.  You might consider it a mini nesting episode.  I look at what I have and what I want to get rid of.  It can be very overwhelming. 
If I am being honest, the reason I don't get rid of a ton of items is because I don't have anyone to give them to.  I know you just asked yourself why I have never heard of Good Will, and I have. I donate to places like that regularly.  The problem is I want to give my stuff to someone I know will benefit from it.  I want my kids clothes to go to a family in need, I want my crib to go to a young family.  I want my furniture to go where it will be appreciated.  I don't want to feel I have wasted money by buying things I didn't use completely.  If I give it to someone I know can keep using it I don't feel as bad. 
Just so you are aware, I know half of you just rolled you eyes and wondered why my therapist hasn't been on this a little sooner.  I can't be the only one who wants to know my stuff is going to be used and loved.  It brings me comfort and eases my guilt for owning so much stuff. 
So I am back to my original question, are we afraid of our stuff?  Does it keep us up at night? Do we wonder how we got so much stuff and what we are going to do with it all?  Do we feel guilty about it and vow to not buy so much stuff? 
Ah, such deep questions.  As you can tell, my mini nesting is in full swing.  Don't drive by my house next week, you may see half of my belongings piled up on the sidewalk.  Oh, who am I kidding, it will be my husband's belongings...I want to keep my stuff.

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