Too Many or Not Enough

I’m coming to realize that owning possessions is a balancing act – having enough of what you need, when you need it and not storing stuff that might be useful someday.

There is a lot of thought involved in what to own when you are in a transitional phase – transitioning from living the way you’ve always lived and making changes that contribute to a more intentional lifestyle.

There are things that can seem important one day and a few days later, not important at all.  You wonder why you still have it or why you acquired it in the first place.

Then there comes the moment when everything falls out of balance and the whole kit and caboodle crashes down around you.  You realize that most of what you own exists in your home to give you a sense of security.  A false sense of security. Right then and right there, the fear that you’ve been dealing with all along rears its ugly head.  The fear that you’ve been ignoring and battling is staring you in the face and can no longer be ignored.

Fear of not having enough, of not being enough, of not being prepared and of being hurt.  Basically just being afraid of what could happen if…

If is a scary word.  What if …?

There is no real security to be found in “things”.  Homes can be lost through foreclosure, fire or natural disasters.  Nobody is immune from homelessness and, in fact, homelessness is a reality for many.

The same can be said for clothing, dishes, decorative items, beds and bedding, etc….   Having something doesn’t mean that you will always have it.  All of it can be lost.

It is a lie that we tell ourselves.  A lie that was told to me.  A lie that I have told myself.  If I have certain things, all will be well.  Owning a house means that I a successful and doing the “right things”.  Multiple sets of sheets for my bed means that there will always be a clean set to put on and that means that I am a good homemaker.  Plenty of matching dishes to set on the table on one of many tablecloths means that I have done a good job.  Lots of clothes and knick-knacks and other stuff are all indicators that everything has been done correctly and that all shall be well.

If I live life “right” then I am prepared for whatever shall come my way.  Let’s store food back for an unnamed disaster.  Let’s have plenty of blankets in case really bad weather comes.  Let’s be prepared and be ready for life.  There is safety in that.

All bullshit.

Crap happens.  Scary stuff happens.  Disasters happen.  Jobs are lost and income is reduced.  I can’t spend my life, my energy and time trying to shield myself from the “bad” stuff.  There aren’t enough belongings or possessions to protect me from circumstances – real and imagined.

My solution?  Well, I really wish that I had all the answers.  Right now, I’m decluttering until I feel a little bit of fear.  I’m taking a tiny step into the fear.  I’m hanging out there for a bit and just feeling it.  Then, I’m taking a step back, reassuring myself that I’m doing a good job and I’m resting.  It’s slow work.  Sometimes getting rid of things is easy.  Most times it is not.

I know just getting rid of stuff isn’t going to solve everything.  I remember that the clutter is a symptom and not exclusively the problem.  But, for right now, it’s enough.

I am enough.  I do enough.  I have enough (more than enough).

Today’s declutter –

  1. Two margarita glasses.  I don’t really drink anymore, but if I should decide to make a big ole’ pitcher of margaritas, I can pretty much guarantee that there will be more than two people ready to share.  In reality, we will probably have a big gang of folks over and will be drinking out of red solo cups.  Two margarita glasses – too many and not enough.
  2. A pair of shoes that I really like.  They are too big since I lost weight.  I’m not going to gain the weight back just so I can wear them.  Why are they still here?  It’s been a year.
  3. More clothes that the kid has outgrown.  At least the laundry is finally caught up.  That should be all of it.
  4. A lightweight jacket that just doesn’t fit right.  I have two others and this one just never gets worn.
  5. Some terra-cotta plant pots that have been sitting on my deck waiting for me to suddenly become an avid gardener who remembers to water plants during months long droughts.  That’s obviously never happening since I had to dump the dead plants out of them to give them away.
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3 thoughts on “Too Many or Not Enough

  1. A timely message for me today. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been in reduction mode for a couple years but still acquiring (mostly books) and still have WAY too much stuff. We moved last year and reduced household by about 50% and now live with family in a much more limited space so it seems like a lot more maybe. But I just thought this AM, why do I have all that clutter on my beside table? What’s it doing except needing to be dusted? I don’t use it, barely notice it to look at it and feel overwhelmed by it when I do. The pain of changing is getting less than the pain of staying the same so I know I am on track. You are an inspiration.

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