One of the first routines I remember from George Carlin was his take on the pursuit of material goods. “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”
What is it about that new car, piece of jewelry, pair of shoes, etc. that is going to be a temporary fix for your personal issues ?
Maybe I just don’t get it, whatever “it” is.
As we attempt to help loved ones sort through the clutter of their lives, we are faced with emotional blockades.
They are not ready to give up anything. Any thing. But, at least we tried.
I remember the feeling of pure envy that I experienced when someone recently told me that they lost everything in their basement because of a ground water flood. He smiled as he said that it was a blessing in disguise, as he had been storing stuff for his 3 adult children. The flood allowed him to get rid of it all without a challenge from his family. He was also spared the emotional decisions of what to keep, what to discard, and how to avoid being a storage dump in the future.
The idea of being a “minimalist” is getting more attractive every day. Some friends have already completed the process of scaling down to move to smaller, more manageable quarters. Some family members, however, are just not there yet.
He didn’t win; he died in his 50’s of liver disease. His widow and four daughters had no interest in his “toys”; selling them all off soon after he passed away.
There’s a lesson in there that has not gone unnoticed in my household.