“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
Things. We’re told much of the time not to focus on things. Minimalism over materialism. However, we’d like to draw attention to their significance in our lives and broaden their meaning beyond just objects. Could it be silly to be grateful for a vase? Perhaps. But what if walking through your door you see a bouquet of flowers filling that vase? Or, what if gazing at a vase brings you back to the quaint local store you got it from and the feeling you had the day you purchased it? Or, what if you get to admire a family heirloom on your windowsill every morning? That really is no longer just a vase. Do we tend to have more things that don’t elicit these feelings? Sure, but we want to highlight those Marie Condo-esque Things, you know, the ones that bring you joy.
We accumulate stuff over time. Sometimes it’s passed down or gifted to us, sometimes we make impulse buys, sometimes we contemplate for a long time whether or not to hit “Order” (if you’re the “Add to Cart” type like me, this last one happens a lot…). We have certain uses for this stuff- a favorite outfit that’s worn regularly, a basket that holds your coziest blanket, a frame that houses a day at the beach. We have places where this stuff goes -a new dress in the front of the closet, a beloved book on the center of the shelf, bananas resting in the ceramic bowl on the table. And then there’s the stuff we forget about and don’t have use for…
For a New Year’s challenge one year, I tried the “30-Day Minimalism Game.” You get rid of one thing the first day, two things the second, three things the third and so on. Of course it started out pretty easy. Needless to say I had plenty of things to gather up and give away or throw out. Really useless things like pens without any ink left, a pair (or two) of earbuds with the outdated phone jack, and of course, those paper stacks. There were clothes I didn’t wear anymore or ones that didn’t fit and some of those items I was hanging onto with that “one day I’ll need this” mentality. I don’t remember making it the full 30 days, but what I do remember is stripping away the parts of my surroundings that didn’t hold any value. In getting rid of the expired CVS coupons and lonely socks, I created an entirely new environment filled with the things that actually mattered to me.
The things that we value are made up of more than their glass, plastic, metal or wooden materials. What they really are are mementos: polyester, cotton, linen or silk moments in time. By calling attention to the things that we have, it breathes more life into them and that gratitude for these things makes what we currently have enough.
Follow this week’s journal prompt: Jot down the things in your dasy that would be hard to live without. Write about a time in your day that includes one of these things. Want the full journal? Get it here!
Catherine at Revive