Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am a Pack Rat

I have a confession to make: I am a pack rat.

I was born with a strong desire to acquire and, having acquired, to hold on to forever.

I grew up nurtured in the way of "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without." Such a philosophy served my parents and grand parents well during the depths of the Great Depression, when items were used, repaired, and reused until they could be used no longer. 

It was a philosophy well-suited to the farm, where income depended on the sale of the crops, and the price recieved was never certain.  It is also a philosophy well suited to the uncertain economic times of today.

All is well as long as the items retained continue to be used and useful.  However, when things are retained past usefulness and use the result the resulting clutter can become overwhelming.  I am a packrat and I know whereof I speak.

The question is what do I throw away, what do I sell, and what do I keep?

If it's broken, and will never be fixed, it's gone -- trash.

It I haven't used it in one? three? five? ten? years, it probably needs to be gone, either given away (the church rummage sale is coming!), sold, or trashed.

It is consumeable, I need to consume and enjoy it, else, why have it?

And, if I have more than one, I probably should keep the one that works best and let the rest go.

After all, a pack rat like me needs room for all of the good and useful stuff that's just waiting to be dragged home!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Path to Happiness

Were I to desribe my home to you, I would use the words "comfortably cluttered".

I am a bibliophile. My house is filled with books. I am also enough of a child that my house is filled with toys. And I'm enough of a tinkerer that my house is filled with things to build and things I've laid aside to fix.

I am now at an age when I realize that I will never have time to read all of the books I would like to read, nor play with all of the toys I would like to play with, nor to build all of the projects I'd like to build, nor even to fix all of the things that need fixing.

I also realize that having a book does me no good unless I have the time to read it. I will probably never have the time to read them all, but reading and studying a select few will bring great enjoyment.

Ditto toys. What use is a toy if one has not the time to play with it?

Ditto projects. Had they been that important, they'd have been completed long ago.

I am finding that most of the things that make me truly happy are relatively simple and inexpensive.

I don't need to have a lot to live the good life. I need merely to appreciate and enjoy what I have; appreciating and enjoying what I have is one path to happiness.