Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Not In The Getting But In The Keeping

I keep things way too long and while I may not technically be considered a 'hoarder', it's difficult for me to let go of brochures, pamphlets, receipts, dishes, clothing, old school assignments, furniture, bedding, or anything unless it is absolutely useless.  There could always be a use for this, I say to myself! And sometimes when I have let something go, I have found that there are times when I missed the thing I threw or gave away. I remember right away two things specifically that come to mind.  The handmade doll I got from Nova Scotia, that I handed over to a missionary companion of mine so I could have peace in the apartment. The gorgeous original art  from Irish Artist Ann Gorman depicting a young woman trying her best to look beyond her circumstances entitled, 'Dreamer', given to a friend going through a rough spot. I really valued those items and yet somehow felt it would be better to give them to someone else. Was it wise to give these away if I valued them and still miss them?  I think it was!

 Something has helped me cut down on my accumulations and need to collect!  It is the fact that I have had to leave everything behind more than once in my life.  Most people, when they move, take most of their possessions with them.  Not I!  I have had to walk away from  everything when I've moved! That happened once on a huge scale and then on a smaller scale, 5 other times.  I've left furniture, a piano, a car, all my clothing, appliances, heirlooms, hobbies and a myriad of other things. 

But the leaving behind of possessions has taught me a very important lesson--with most of the things I left behind, I've been able to do just fine without, either because I can replace them or just because they weren't essential to my survival and I am still alive without them.  As a matter of fact, because I have left certain things behind, it has freed me up to pursue new interests and hobbies
that I might not have otherwise!  After all there are only so many hours in the day that you can use and if the object of what you spent your time on is gone, you are free, in essence, to pursue other things to fill your time! For example, the sewing machine I left behind that I didn't replace allowed me to drop that pastime which filled a lot of my time and pursue new things (like blogging)!

Here are a couple of things I think are true regarding possessions!
"The wise man carries his possessions within him"  -Bias
"Treasure your relationships, not your possessions"  -Anthony J. D'Angelo
"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible."  -Albert Einstein
Now, of course, I just finished confessing that I am sort of a pack rat and I do, after all, own a second blog that has everything to do with collecting "things"!  But I know that these things are really not essential most of the time!

If I were to look back and wonder what it is that I think was and is the most valuable and essential to me, it would have to be my kids.  I have the two greatest boys ever.  I feel lucky that I was able to spend quality time with them before I had to give them up.  Yes, I DO know a lot about leaving things behind and giving things up.  I lost my youngest son due to a fraudulent divorce decree before he turned two, never to raise him, and my oldest son at 10 the same way.  It was heartbreaking for me.  I spent thousands of dollars trying to correct it.  As criminal as this was, it is considered civil law and civil law is different than criminal law.  But what I DID luck out on is that I somehow knew that I needed to do a lot of the following and luckily, I think I did:

Just for this morning, I am
going to step over the laundry,
and pick you up and take you to the park to

Just for this morning, I will
leave the dishes in the sink,
and let you teach me how to put that puzzle
of yours together.

Just for this afternoon, I will
unplug the telephone and
keep the computer off, and sit with you in the
backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will
not yell once, not even a
tiny grumble when
you scream and whine for the ice
cream truck, and I will buy you one if
he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I won't
worry about what you are
going to be when you grow up, or second guess
every decision I have made
where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let
you help me bake cookies, and I won't
stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take
us to McDonald's and buy us both a
Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold
you in my arms and tell you a story
about how you were born and how
much I love you.

Just for this evening, I will let
you splash in the tub and
not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let
you stay up late while we sit on the
porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening, I will
snuggle beside you for hours,
and miss my favorite TV shows.
Just for this evening when I run
my finger through your hair
as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God
has given me the greatest gift ever

I will think about the mothers
And fathers who are searching
for their missing children,
the mothers and fathers who are
visiting their children's graves
instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and
fathers who are in hospital rooms watching
their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't
handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you good night I
will hold you a little tighter, a
little longer. It is then, that I will
thank God for you, and ask
him for nothing, except one more day............. 

Was I perfect?  That's a laugh!  But what I do know is that my boys and I are great friends. They include me in a lot of what they do, more so than any other person.  That is a great compliment to me since they could very well exclude me in a lot of things.
So, while I AM quite a collector of stuff, I hope that I have learned what the most valuable things in life are and if I am ever called upon at a moment's notice to drop all save the most precious, I think I will be able to do it! 

disclaimer:  I did not write the above poem, and I don't know where it comes from.  It was stored on my computer from somewhere.  If you know where it comes from, please let me know so I can assign proper credit!

    1 comment:

    Chastina said...

    What a beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing it.

    I'm a collector too. My hubby is trying to help me control my collecting. He encourages me to through things out.