What is enough? The answer is in your past

photo courtesy pixabay.com

How to find out what we really need around us

It seems like such a hard thing to do, list everything you need to be happy and as a result have enough. There is an easy way to find the answers you are seeking. Here’s how. Think back to when you left home the first time as an adult. Did you get an apartment, or did you live in a dorm in college? Did you move out of your parents home when you got married?

What did you have in your first home? Oh, I’m sure there were plenty of mismatched dishes and bedding. That’s not what I’m getting at. We don’t need everything to match even today, but if you like the look there is nothing wrong with it. What I want you to remember is what you really took with you into your first home.

My first home

My first home was very simple. Because I didn’t have any furniture to start I rented a furnished apartment. The apartment came with:

  • a kitchen table and 4 chairs,
  • one couch,
  • one chair,
  • one end table,
  • one coffee table.
  • The bedroom contained one dresser and a full-sized bed.
  • There was a simple curtain on each window.

I then added to this by bringing in:

  • two lamps, one for the bedroom and one for living room
  • shower curtain,
  • two towels and four wash cloths
  • one set of sheets and one comforter
  • alarm clock
  • stereo and albums I already owned
  • serving for 4 of silverware, dishes, glasses
  • couple pans
  • two pot holders
  • dish strainer
  • handful of dish cloths and towels
  • vacuum

That’s it. I didn’t have a TV and didn’t miss it. I didn’t turn on a phone as I was permitted to use the phone at work if I needed to make calls (this was before cell phones). It was simple, easy, inexpensive. I had plenty of disposable income as a result to cover all the extras I wanted.

I enjoyed going out with friends, attending concerts, and dining out. I traveled on weekends and didn’t worry about someone breaking into my apartment, I figured if anything were stolen it was no big deal to replace it.

I may be older, but does that mean I need this much more?

As we grow we begin to accumulate more and more. Think about the mail. If you set it down instead of going through it each day pretty soon you would have a large, over-whelming pile to contend with. It’s no different with the rest of our lives.

If you don’t pay attention to what you are bringing into your life, whether that be work, collectibles, or demands on your time, pretty soon you will be overwhelmed.

Were you happy in your first home? It was new, it was yours. You didn’t think about all the things you didn’t have and I doubt very much you tossed and turned all night worrying about how you were going to get those things we are told we need.

I accumulated too much because I gave in, I stopped thinking about what I really needed and believed this was what I was supposed to be doing. I lived on autopilot, never thinking about my actions.

Less really is more

So I decided to dump all my stuff, and I am happier than I have been since that first apartment. I love the freedom I gained by owning less. I would like to lessen some of my belongings even now, mostly my clothes, I tend to wear the same things over and over, there are things in my closet I like, but I never wear them.Why do I still have them?  Sounds like a task for a quiet afternoon while listening to the pouring rain. Why then? Because the music of rain is soothing, making any job more pleasant.

Forget all the things you think you should have, take the time to look into the past for the answers to the present. What did you need to be happy then? I doubt you need much more today.

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