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What will we do with our stuff?

Today I overheard Anne having a conversation with her friend Patricia and, while I could only hear Anne's side of the conversation, I was intrigued. When they wrapped up their conversation, I asked her, "What was that about? I heard you saying you didn't know how to make yourself start?"


"I have collected so much stuff said Anne, "and after the experience of emptying my brother's apartment, I was reminded that someday, my stuff would need to be dealt with.


"As I look around my home, I see so many treasures that are meaningful to me; items brought home from various adventures, items gifted to me by my husband, my parents, my friends, and items that I salvaged from my grandmother's house and even my own mother's.

"I just came home with more stuff; my grandmother's Standard Broadcast Majestic radio (circa 1930), her Royal typewriter, my mother's first record player, and her silver cabinet. My brother had saved these treasures and now they are part of my collection!


"Of course, I had some help in accumulating stuff, my husband has contributed too.

"At one point, we had so much stuff that in addition to a residence in Calgary, a residence in Toronto, and a cottage on Georgian Bay, we had three Public Storage lockers (one in each location) to store our extra stuff!


"We have multiple patterns of beautiful crystal and china tableware and cutlery; table decorations for every occasion; for indoors or outdoors, for large crowds or small. I have a doll collection, art series, bedding, letters, books, and let's not forget the shoes!


"When I think about parting with my stuff, I get anxious. I think, "What if I need to replace that and I can't afford to, or I can't find it or ...


"Patricia is having a similar experience! She says she doesn't know where to start and I don't know how to make myself start getting rid of my stuff!"


As an owl, I have very few possessions; in fact, if Anne hadn't insisted that I dress for the occasion, I wouldn't even have clothes. So, I truly don't know how to help Anne or Patricia.


What would YOU suggest? Have you experienced similar thoughts, obstacles? Have you managed to deal with your stuff? We would love to hear from you!


2 Comments


Donna Black
Donna Black
Aug 13, 2021

When we had to move our parents from a mobile trailer to a two bedroom apartment, it was quite the chore. What we did was start one section at a time. We started with mom's clothes first. We started 3 piles, items to give away, items to keep and undecided items. We then started the process over again until everything was gone. Do you have family that would you could bless with your treasures? Mom also asked all her children & grandchildren what they would like to have. I believe it is always good to have someone with you, who can be objective, to help sort through your items.

I am grateful that we were able to do all this…


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Being a collector of "stuff"... and also a recipient of many gifts and "such"... it will be a painstaking job for someone to dive in and unravel... what to do with the "emotional items".. the treasured letters, cards and items which have served as reminders of those I love or have loved. As I think about the privilege of being from "my generation" collecting was a learned action. Owning these treasures satiated being reminded of the special bond between people... and yet my Buddhist mind says "not to be attached"... The sentiments are complex and will not bring my children the same feelings, however, I believe there will be a generous spirit who will oversee. I simply need to l…

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