As we sat at the restaurant, I listened to our family member lament, “I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t planted anything, or cleaned off the cushions for the porch furniture,…” his list went on and on.
His comments made me feel sad, because I FEEL THE SAME WAY ALL OF THE TIME. We purchased a house a couple of years ago, and as I’m sure many homeowners can attest, it feels like there’s always another project that needs to be completed, or something else that needs to be cleaned, or something that needs to be organized. We’re usually moving through life so quickly that we forget about WHY we bought this particular house: the huge yard that’s perfect for a frisbee-loving dog, the screened-in back porch that’s just the right spot for drinking an IPA on a quiet summer night, the open floor plan that has plenty of room to have family and friends over, the proximity to the cute, artsy village, and the state park with the most beautiful views during the fall.
Instead, we spend our time doing the projects, and the cleaning, and the organizing. Any good feelings that we derive from those activities last for a couple of minutes, and then we’re on to the next.
I would wager that there is a strong correlation between paying off debt, and putting less emphasis on how much “stuff” you need. I know that personally, the more debt we pay off, the more frustrated I become by how many possessions we own, and how much of our resources (RE: time, money, and energy) it takes to maintain those possessions. You know why? Because I see how much time, money, and energy has been wasted. Instead of spending a Saturday morning cleaning out a closet, I could be taking a hike in the state park with my husband, dog, and daughter. Instead of picking up toys, clothes, and other belongings scattered around the house every night before bed, I could be curled up with a good book. Instead of buying something else to decorate the house, we could use that money to buy an awesome meal in the village. There is such a long list of what we could do, if not for all of the stuff.
SO, the moral of the story is: don’t let the temporary high of buying stuff fool you. Too many of those possessions represent something lost, whether it’s your time, your money, or your energy. You have more important things to do!