“I don’t know if you feel it but as I get older I just feel I don’t need all these things anymore”
My best friend said this to me the other day and I found it very eloquent. So much so, I asked her permission to share part of our private conversation with the world.
I have an imminent birthday coming up, and we were discussing various things I had recently donated. I also noted that my parents had asked me what I wanted for my birthday I struggled to come up with something. The only real thing I could think of was a print that I have which is currently on the floor and unframed. The thought of having this framed and hung on a wall filled me with a sense of happiness, being able to look at a painting I enjoyed everyday was the most appealing gift idea I could come up with. There just wasn’t anything I really needed or even wanted aside from this.
I’m not sure why but when I was younger I was very attached to things. Looking back I think perhaps I found comfort in memories and reminders, even the stories that went along with some items. I also used to think things were valuable, but as the years have passed I’ve come to realise that material possessions don’t actually make me happy to the extent I thought they did. I’ve found that conversely, the more I get rid of the happier I become.
I suppose as I get older I have found that things are less important that the relationships I have with my friends and family. But also the items I’ve been holding onto for many years are becoming more and more insignificant because I don’t use more than half of the things I own. As more time passes, the more I notice the amount of things I have that are superfluous to my life.
The comment my friend made to me also had me thinking about the past in conjunction with the future. I’ve spent years of my time and life accumulating things, storing, cleaning, fixing and organising only to get rid of the majority over the past couple of years. It all seems like such a waste and sometimes makes me think of all that wasted time energy and money. It’s almost upsetting to a point to look back and think about what I could have done instead with those valuable and finite resources. But then I stop. This feeling is what helps me strive to maintain a minimalist lifestyle. It’s a feeling that keeps things out of my house and money in my pocket. As a result, I try to see my past mistakes not as regrets, but as reminders. Reminders to not forget about what I have learn’t and how far I have come.
‘Things’ have taught me a very valuable lesson and its important not to forget that, only if that is forgotten is it ever all for nothing.
How do you feel about possessions and getting older?