Consumption vs. Enjoyment

We live in a consumer culture. There is very little we can't own.

When John and I lived in Panama, we spent six weeks in base housing with very few possessions.  Hold baggage--they call it.  The bare minimum you need to survive while you wait for the rest of your belongings to travel by boat.

It was freeing.  Everything was so simple that we had a ton of time.  We met our neighbors, we explored, and yes...sometimes we were even a little bored (which meant we got out and discovered things to make us 'unbored.')

I have this secret fantasy that if we were to downsize to one of the sample rooms in the Ikea showroom (500 square feet) that we would get out more.  We would go to the library, the coffee shop would become our new living room, we would go for more walks. We might even enjoy all the things we encountered more because there was no responsibility of ownership.

But at the moment, our house is a tool.  We host gatherings.  We serve as a b&b multiple days a week. We care for the wildlife in our yard (squirrels, bunnies and birds). And I love that, but I also don't see it as permanent.

I think one of the keys to possessions is to hold them loosely. To never see yourself as actually owning them.  To consider them as tools to be used for a time.  That way, when it is time to release them, you can do it joyfully. And experience the freedom of not being burdened with the responsibility of so many things.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall