10 August 2010

Learning to Enjoy Life

One of the huge lessons we have been learning on our life learning journey lately is that we enjoy living life. We have been working to slowly pare down our belongings, as we realize they do not bring us the same pleasure as other parts of our life. We have been seeing that spending time with others is truly what is important to us. We have been seeing how much S.T.U.F.F. we have that we simply don't even know why we have it. And as we are sorting through our belongings and donating what we are done with, we are seeing how much farther we have to go.

It may be nice to have the storage shed just off the porch outside, but we are finding out that just because you have room for it doesn't mean you want it. This is the reverse of the lesson that we learned a couple years back that just because you don't have enough space for something does NOT mean that you do NOT want it! All these possessions we swore we couldn't live without a couple of years ago are being looked at askance now as we dutifully try to avoid them. After all, eye contact means you have to deal with it, and we aren't ready to do that yet. So many of these things we look at and think, society tells me that I should want this, but I don't. Does that mean that there is something wrong with me?

We may learn from our past, but I don't think all of us were meant to keep it. The other day I was talking with my mom on the phone about her upcoming move. I asked her if she was going to sort through any of the clutter, or if she was just going to make sure it all got moved and deal with it later. The move is coming up in just a few weeks, and they just signed the lease on the new place, so there really isn't that much time. She stated that she was going to sort through some of it, after all they didn't want to move garbage! But after long soul searching she was realizing that she and her husband were "living museums". They feel a need to keep all of the old stuff with them. It always seems to come in handy.. and on a regular basis. She could always pull out props to help emphasize a point she was teaching to someone, or to show someone how things used to be. This is a role she is very comfortable in.

On the other hand, the image came to me that I am an "open field". I want to have open spaces and only the things that are directly useful. I want to share laughter and happiness with others. I want to share learning with others about new concepts, and new ways. It may sound a bit silly, but this was a revelation to me. It seems that as much like my mom as I am, I do it my own way. My daughter decided that she is a "convertible with the top down, a suitcase in the trunk, and an unlimited tank of gas". I have to agree.. she is such a free spirit.

And I have to laugh as I recognize that in our family through the generations we are learning that what we really want is less stuff to weigh us down, and more freedom to be ourselves and share that with others.

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