July 19, 2011
I have such incredible friends! They have provided me with furniture, gadgets and household items, clothing, blankets, pillows, towels, cloths, and whatever else I need. And even some things that I don’t need, items that turn a house into a home: tea set, vases, candles, pictures. As I’m setting up a new home, it gives me the chance to consider what stuff I want to keep and what stuff I can pass on to someone else.
It amazes me how quickly the stuff I now have came into my life. I went from a 864 square foot home, with all its stuff, to nothing but a big pile of ash. We did find some items that were still recognizable. Enough to fill one shelf. The only stuff left from a houseful of memories and fifty years of living.
Now I’m in a 1050 square foot home, and have been given enough stuff to fill it! And it’s only been a little over two months since the wildfire burned down my home. And this is stuff that my friends had extra in their homes. Stuff that was in boxes in their storage room, stuff in their garage, stuff waiting for a garage sale, stuff for donating, or stuff just waiting for a teen to get old enough to move out. Some of the items that my friends gave to me over the past two months have been new items, just recently bought specifically for me. Most of the items have been sitting around in their houses that they longer have any use for.
This is on top of all the stuff they had to furnish their own homes! My friends’ accumulation of stuff worked in my favour. I have no reason to buy anything. But I’m sure I will. I will buy just a few items to tuck in my house amongst the other stuff. Just a few items that I need that weren’t already given to me. After all, we are a society devoted to accumulating stuff.
Just as George Carlin points out in his monologue on “Stuff,” we feel better when we have our stuff surrounding us. We know we’re okay when we have our stuff. For my friends, providing me with stuff helped them to feel better. They knew I was okay because I now had a bunch of stuff. I was no longer a victim of a wildfire. I was part of society again.
My oldest daughter is moving away to college in the fall, and I have already started accumulating stuff for her to take with her. Necessary stuff: dishes, cutlery, pots and pans, mugs, glasses. And even some unnecessary stuff that will help her to feel at home in her new place: decorative clocks, knick-knacks to put on her shelves, pictures.
So, between all my friends, they had enough extra stuff to furnish a 1050 square foot home. AND, enough stuff to provide a young adult with setting up a small college apartment. AND, enough stuff for me to donate a few boxes to the local goodwill store. Now that’s a lot of stuff.
George Carlin’s comedy act is a funny look at our accumulation of stuff and what it means to us. I recommend that you take the time to watch it and laugh yourself silly. You can find his monologue at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac.