Wednesday, June 25, 2008

stuff. {1}

I don’t think it is any secret: I LIKE STUFF. I mean, I’m trying my best not to carry on the packrat tradition in my family that was likely started by my great great grandpas uncle, twice-removed (yes, I’m pretty sure it has been in the family that long). But I’ll be honest in admitting that I do like stuff…I like having stuff. And it doesn’t even have to be brand new stuff. I still like stuff from thrift store & yard sales.

But at the same time I keep liking all this stuff, I’ve been growing a disdain for all of it for the last few months. I don’t want to be one of those old people who smell like moth balls and sit in their dining room sipping Foldgers among their newspapers from 1934 and rolled up gum wrappers they saved from their high school graduation ceremony. And I don’t want to be one of those families who has to rent a storage unit or buy a shed to store all my stuff in and ship it to the moon like I hear will happen in the future.

So I’m struggling with a bit of a conundrum. I really do like stuff….but I really do hate stuff. How is that for an oxy-moron??

And I’ve been struggling with it lately. During this week of “freedom” from my textbooks I’ve re-entered the public. (gasp!). and aside from realizing that the reason I was feeling frumpy (which explains why I was asked last week if I was a freaking 15-year-olds MOM!!!!!!!!!!) was because after two years in rural west Virginia I found joy in shopping in the clothing section at WalMart…aside from that little tidbit, I realized that there is just a lot of STUFF out there. And supporting an economy that gives half a million dollar housing loans to families who will obviously never be able to repay them (oh don’t even get me started on this housing “crisis”), supporting a market who tells me that I deserve a new car this weekend even though I already have a perfectly functional one sitting in my driveway…and buying into (literally) a world of retail that constantly tells me I’m just not good enough if I don’t have the newest and the best-est…..I’m just not convinced it is the best for my psyche, my faith, or my pocketbook.

The weirdest thing about my whole “buying” mindset is that I don’t find my motivation from dissatisfaction. I don’t look in my closet in the morning and feel like I need to buy another shirt because I don’t have anything to wear. I don’t walk into my living room and look around with disgust that I need something better or newer. Quite the contrary, actually. I’m totally satisfied with what we have. Completely okay… pleased in fact, with the contents of my closet.

So maybe it’s an underlying temptation…to be a better person all together, instead of just a better-dressed one. to have a more fulfilling life/vocation/marriage by filling it up with more stuff.

And I’m gonna work on it…..or work on resisting it, I guess.

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