What Do You Do When You've Run Out of Room?
It doesn't seem possible. We've been in this house only one year
and we've reached capacity already?
It's not that technically there's no space, rather it's that
if I intend to live simply, and with open spaces, I can't fill
up any more than I already have. Drat.
That's a problem when you're out and about and fall in love with
things. Not necessarily expensive things - I gave those up for
the duration of the economy woes. Just small things that speak
to you personally, like, "Hey, wouldn't I look just great
in that corner by the TV? C'mon, you know you'd like to have me
sitting there where you can spot me and smile with the pleasure
of owning me." ;-)
Yes, that can be difficult when you know that you'd have to move
something that's already there, and that looks perfect there,
and that you have no other place to move it to where it would
look equally as good. Or you do, but then you'd have to move the
object that's in that location to somewhere else, and so forth
and so on.
So what do you do? Darned if I know.
I realize that this is not just a problem involving decorative
items. Many people have similar issues with clothing and shoes
or books and music. Possession somehow becomes more of a need
than a want. I could do a rant on our materialistic society, or
delve into psychological roots, but that's not really what I'm
talking about here.
I'm targeting the question of: How do we live in simple, clean,
open spaces, and still keep near to us the things that we cherish
and make us smile?
Well, one way is to rotate. I know that when my kids were small,
we would leave out some new toys that they received and put the
rest in the closet so that at a future time, they could experience
the toys as "new" again. I can certainly rotate my décor.
I could also change the focus of my window shopping to buying
items for others. That would allow me to combine the pleasures
of shopping and discovery with gift purchases for the future.
And I could give away what I already have. I've always thought
so highly of people who, when you admired something of theirs,
were able to say, "Would you like to have it?"
I try not to go near "dangerous" stores, believe me.
But this past week, with entertaining houseguests, I opened myself
up to temptation. Fortunately, I limited myself to only considering
items that were missing from my collections, like a medium-sized
serving bowl. But what about all the rest of my years?
I think I need a new philosophy as I try to maintain this down-sizing
phase of life. A way of easily saying, "You know what? That's
lovely, and it would look nice, but I'm happy with what I have."
That's key, don't you think? Not just regarding new purchases,
but with all of life -- to be able to appreciate what's out there,
but knowing that you don't need to own it in order to be feel
content. Happiness, of course, comes from the inside out, but
sometimes when we feel a strong desire to "have" something
in order to experience the pleasure of owning it, that pleasure
is just a short-term experience. It's like eating something when
we're frustrated as opposed to being really hungry.
I have to recognize that the "fixing-up my house" period
of my life is pretty much finished for now. Yes, I could keep
re-decorating, and I may somewhere down the road, but the present
time, for me, seems to be more about developing my creativity.
I would rather see more of the results of my own efforts around
me than focus on the artistic works of others. For now, this seems
right and do-able.
The nice part, I know, is that life is forever in flux. Any decision
that I make now can, and will be considered again in the future.
But in order to stay the mistress of my environment, as opposed
to the other way around, I want to make choices that support my
current beliefs and goals.
Until, maybe, you come to visit me and we go shopping. ;-)