Your stuff is just a pile of sh*t that someone will rummage through when you die.
I know it’s a weird thing to be writing about. But it’s Just. So. True.
And important for you to realize because if you place too much value and emphasis on your stuff, you’re missing the real point of all of this.
Now, I like stuff. Which makes this post even more ironic. I’m making STUFF part of my business plan in fact. (enter Firefly Finds – stay tuned.)
I LOVE it actually. I’m addicted to Estate Sales and on-line auctions. I just LOVE to find cool unique things and have the ability to picture EXACTLY where I’m going to put them and how it’s going to look. After buying and selling 8 homes due to a life of career transfers, I learned not everyone has this skill set. I can also imagine items altered slightly and repurposed into something entirely different and unique.
Having chronic insomnia doesn’t help this habit of mine. Last night there I was lying in bed unable to sleep as usual. So I did what any treasure hunting addict would do – I perused auction sites.
One in particular just got under my skin.
Sometimes online auction houses feature what’s best in an owner’s collection – they list the antique furniture, fine art and jewelry. That sort of thing.
This one listed most everything. And ironically, some of the items were listed almost chronologically.
I saw the cool furniture.
Appliances the woman had in her home. The things she used every day.
Her shoes. Where had those shoes walked? Through her workplace. To her daughter’s wedding. The grocery store.
Kitchen items. Her silverware. A crockpot.
Her jewelry. Fine and lots of costume.
Jackets. Then suits and dress jackets.
More shoes. She liked shoes and costume jewelry.
I saw her taste and preferences through these items. Got a feel for who she was and while I didn’t know anything about her physical appearance, I could imagine what she would look like. I knew her height and stature. I knew how she dressed.
Next came family Menorahs. Three of them. I always think it’s weird when Menorahs, Bibles or other religious items show up in an auction. These are family keepsakes in my mind and just seem so…. Personal. Am I wrong? It’s somehow distressing to me to see them sold to the highest bidder as if they had no special worth beyond monetary value.
Then came the walker. There was a stationary walker and a fancy partially motorized one. This woman had aged and needed physical assistance later in life.
It was making me depressed, really. But this was a good reminder. Stuff is just stuff. Whether it’s an incredibly gorgeous Ferrari or an old pair of your well-worn shoes, at the end of the day someone is either going to be pitching it in the trash or selling it to someone like me.
Your stuff is just that. Junk. With large price tags or small. It is NOT accomplishments. It is NOT the mark you leave on this world. It is NOT how or why people will remember you 5, 10 or 50 years from now. Those lasting things take more effort, more time and more intention.
So watch what you’re focused on and where you spend your time and energy. Are you focused on buying the next item or are you focused on accomplishing your next goal? Time is precious and it is tenuous. Be intentional about leaving your mark so that when someone has bid the highest bid and goes home with your belongings, the memory of who you were and what you did does not waft away with all your junk.
You are not your stuff. You are what you DID and the mark you made on other people. Be sure of it.