I posted an op-ed, (smiles), on Facebook five years ago. That was long before I began writing the blog. It’s rather fascinating to me that I had the seeds of minimalist thinking and living planted in my brain over five years ago, and quite a coincidence my ‘opinion’ popped up on Facebook as a memory.
I want to preface this by saying, I think it’s okay to have and admire nice things. I like to think my tiny home has nice things in it. I just have to realize when I have enough. Possessions that aren’t meaningful to me, don’t tell people who I am.
Here is my mini tirade…Five years ago…
As I’ve grown older (okay old), I have come to understand that I have spent many years fighting a battle that no one can win. There has never been a defining moment when I realized that I have enough. There is always more to get. I fell into the “keep up with the Joneses” mentality. It hasn’t been so much for myself, but for my family. I should have impressed upon them that those Jones people have an endless amount of money. I should have told them that in the end, even the Jones people are judged by who they are, not by what they have.
My grandparents gave me so much that had nothing to do with money. My parents had their financial ups and downs, but I now remember priceless things they said, and the things they did for me that had to do more with time than money.
I beat myself up when I couldn’t stretch the budget far enough to buy the $200 tennis shoes for my kids, even though I wore the $15 Walmart shoes. Status symbols were a much bigger deal in Texas than some of the other places we had lived. I managed the $100 brand, but it was not appreciated. It wasn’t their fault. I fed into it.
I didn’t realize the best gift you can give your children and grandchildren is for them to feel security by means of unconditional love, a happy home, enough food to eat, a roof over their heads, and most of all strong values. Those things are by no means easy to consistantly provide, but are far more important than stuff, stuff, stuff. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner.
Money, status, and things don’t buy love and respect; especially if the important things that make us all feel secure are diminished. It’s a hard one and it never really gets easy.
When we leave this world THINGS go back into the box, but the ideals we stood for and the respect we earned, stay in the minds of the people who knew us and loved us for all the right reasons.
I am so fortunate to have grown up in Murdo, SD. It was not a perfect childhood, but with my large extended family surrounding me, I got everything I needed. They were my happiness, and I can still reach back and get what I need from them.
Today, I can also count on my wonderful family and amazing family of friends. I am so blessed.
I gotta go now. I think I may have won the lottery. Wait! I already have.
Remember the good in your past. It puts everything into perspective, and makes for a much happier now.
The Bridge to Contentment…as captured by a SD friend, Dianna Kenobbie Diehm.