There’s Still Stuff

This week my buddy, Coulter, asked, “How is the life liquidation going?”  Well … it’s … going.

Yeah, we got rid of our kitchen table on craigslist, and Lisa sold her Leica, and I’m selling our Merit 25 sailboat, but there’s still stuff.  There’s so much stuff.  We looked at each other today after assembling the latest load for the Salvation Army.  Where is this stuff coming from?

I have floppy disks with unknown files on them.  I have movies and music from college on CD-Rs.  We have pictures we don’t remember and books we’ll never read.  We have an extra microwave, a spinnaker sail, a vintage tapestry, and an anchor in our storage locker.  But we’re getting through it.  We still have about a billion glasses, plates, and bowls in our kitchen.  That will be the last battlefield.

I like watching the show Hoarders.  It’s amazing what people think has value.  There’s an episode where this gent doesn’t want to trash his steel collection because the offer price is ‘too low’ in his opinion.  So instead of selling it and getting the money and reclaiming his yard and putting actual money in the bank, he passes on the offer.  He keeps his stuff.  He lets it suffocate him.  And I find myself doing the same thing.

The value I assign to my things is nowhere near the value an outsider would assign.  Everything is worthless in the right circumstances.  Everything can be an anchor … especially my anchor.

Arques, France
Creative Commons License photo credit: | Tie those to my shoelaces

I find myself getting very pessimistic about things.  Is all this purchasing and collecting and prosperity really about happiness?  Do my things make me happier?  At some point, they just don’t.  The 4th corkscrew doesn’t enhance my quality of life like the 1st.  Are the relentless waves of accumulation suffocating all of us?