I feel really guilty right now. After organizing "my area" tonight -no small feat- and hauling several boxes of unwanted materials out, I was reminded of several things. First off, I have WAY too much stuff. Secondly, I am blessed to have too much crap. Thirdly, I don't need more crap. And finally, there are lots of people who wished they had my burden of too much crap. Therefore, I feel like a fiscally irresponsible, stuff-hording gremlin.
How many of you have already thought about how your parents or grandparents made it through the Great Depression? I can't get the image of my young grandfather taking care of the chickens they raised so they could have meat for dinner. He HATES chicken now. I've thought about chickens as a potential necessity with the ecomony going the way it is, but I already don't care much for them. My dad's mom raised rabbits and her mother disguised them as chicken legs for supper. For years Grandma didn't catch on that her pets hadn't just run away...they were on the table. Rabbits may be an option, but vegetable gardening is more in my league. I imagine raising squash, tomatoes, herbs, lettuce and happily scraping by through the vegetables of my labor. Ba-dum-bum.
Not that the recession will really reduce us to raising rabbits, er -chickens, I mean- or having to garden for consumption. But gardening in a somewhat self-sustaining way seems responsible to me. It takes a bit of money to get started, but once you do you reap so many benefits and often don't have to go back to the nursery for anything. Maybe I'm going a bit overboard, or perhaps I'm just a little distracted from my main point. Yep, I'm sure of the latter.
My main point is being responsible. It was such a sobering experience going through my things and putting them in the keep, trash, giveaway piles that I had to crack a beer. I often spend money on so many extras like a kid at a circus, wowed by the veneer, the bright, shiny colors, but not seeing in reality it's junk. I don't need junk. YOU don't need junk. But it's hard not to see stuff for what it is. And often it isn't "junk" -it's items of value that I think I truly need. You know, if every year I went through all of my things I would realize that I still have plenty of treasures, projects and "special stuff" and I don't need one more thing.
So I'm feeling a combination of anticipation of financial strain, plus overindulgance and irresponsiblity of buying/accumulating too much stuff. It's as if I've been gorging myself for years and I FINALLY look in the mirror and see what I've become. Scary, very scary.
Thankfully Brian's on a minimalist kick, too, though I don't feel like I'm simply trying to get rid of stuff but trying to utilize what I do have. I won't be turning around and replacing things I'm giving away a few months down the road because I realized, "Man, I actually NEEDED that."
It's just shocking, that's all. I hope that I act responsibly as I endeavor to part with so many unncecessary things. Thank you, Lord, for giving us so much and help me learn to be accountable with it. I definitely need Your help.