money n stuff

One thought I commonly find myself having is “we don’t make enough money.”  Another is “we have way too much stuff.”  The inherent irony in these two statements struck me the other day as I tried to find places to put all of our new Christmas clothes and toys.  On one hand we are incredibly lucky and extremely wealthy by world standards.  On the other hand, a family of four living in a studio apartment is not quite up to middle class American standards. (It helps that 1 of us is an infant.)  Its true that a lot of our “stuff” is valuable, we aren’t “hoarders” by any means.  But it is still burdensome to manage our material possessions.   I try to keep this in mind as I pass through the post Christmas sale landscape.  I could argue that really we need a bigger house.  Yes, someday I would like more space. But, really, I think it is a problem of flow.  Maybe a more generous release of “things” would provide more space for what we need to enter.  For instance, I  have a drawer full of handmade gift scarves from various friends and family.  I don’t get to use them as much as I would like, but I don’t want to offend anyone by giving away their gift.  Maybe it is more respectful of the gift to give it again to someone who would truly appreciate it.  Although it has been an unseasonably warm winter, I still have a nagging desire to pass some of these things to the homeless community which gathers at a stoplight near my house to “spange”.  A fear of confrontation and even rejection has kept me from reaching out to these people I walk by nearly every day.  Who knows, maybe a personal gift would make a difference in someone’s life, just to know that someone thought of them for a second.  But I don’t want to have any expectations.  Maybe they don’t want my stuff either.

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2012

I have to admit- I have a little anxiety about this year, and the Mayan end date of Dec 21 2012.  After all, I just brought another little being into this world, and I’m not ready for it to end just yet! I realize that many people interpret the 2012 date as a warning to shape up and live in harmony with nature, or perish, and that ongoing global crises are happening, not just some catastrophe that may or may not happen in 2012.  If this global anxiety leads to positive action it will be a good thing.  I for one would like to give up complacency about the environment this year.  I admit that the immense scale of problems we face has lead me to stick my head in the sand.  What can we actually do that makes a difference? Is it even possible to really manage our greenhouse gases without a global breakdown of the economic system? (We seem to be having that anyway.)  I sincerely hope and pray that the upheavals that we are currently facing will lead to a more peaceful, just, and harmonious life for humans on earth.  That we in the affluent countries can have more meaningful and gentle lives and those struggling for basic survival will be better taken care of.  That a sharing of resources is possible in a way that leads to better quality of life for everyone.  Otherwise we don’t really deserve to live on this beautiful planet.  And now I have a diaper to change, that’s all for now!

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