Who can relate to this feeling when moving house? Thinking you have almost nothing, filling all the cardboard boxes in the world, nearly fainting at the size of the removal van, followed by the endless unpacking created by the endless packing?
The modern world is full of stuff and we’re constantly encouraged to feel that we need more. But…
Stress and more stress
The life-path of everything we buy except for essentials is:
- Find the money
- Spend the money
- Get whatever it is
- Hopefully use/wear it a lot – or maybe not
- Faint when the credit card statement arrives
- And repeat
Okay I know I’m simplifying here, but stuff doesn’t just equal money, it equals clutter, and it means a lot of moving things around to vacuum and dust. That means time spent doing something that most of us don’t particularly enjoy (whispers housework sensitively), when we could be out, about, taking in the sunshine and connecting with others, the planet, music, the theatre, all of the above and more.
What about Rome?
All roads lead to Rome not housework, not another new gadget, dress, jeans, car. Rome is somewhere amazing (substitute anywhere you like in its place), but often we don’t have holidays because we don’t have the money, or we put it all on a credit card, spend a year paying for it, and repeat.
However, there’s another aspect to a lot of stuff that causes you worry and stress in any number of ways…mental health. When did we become a society that needed so much stuff it stresses us out? Cars that may cost 1/5th of the value of our house? Cosmetic work at the age of 20? Gel nails – rather expensive and look weird two weeks later. Those nails hanging off the end of your nails fascinate me.
So you work all your life, get a nice house together, buy an expensive TV, and spend a lot of that life indoors watching it, maybe faintly bored. Got to be honest, looking back I’ve spent far too much time living a small life, and I don’t know many people who haven’t. Mind you, the good news is that I don’t know many people.
The problem with this is the growing numbers of older people going down with dementia. I’ve known several and none of them had dynamic lives full of good memories. That’s what’s got me thinking.
Apologies for the gross generalisations but…
Yes I am generalising, but I wonder how much?
Let me stop that though. I don’t want to carry on listing litanies of misery or potential problems, that’s precisely not who I am. I guess I just wanted to suggest that we all take a step back and reflect, especially but not limited to, younger people.
I was listening to people talking about age the other day (on TV…yes I know!) and I sat there and thought “I do not believe in any of that!” I believe that you can make something of your life at any time, any age, in any decade. Yes, it may be different to what you would have done at 20, 30, and so on, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. Great even.
The one thing I do know is the more time and money we spend on stuff, and indoors, the less time we spend being alive. If we all had a minimalist house, sensibly priced cars, and fewer things to dust, we could spend more time looking after the two most important things in our life: our mind and body.
They, after all, will keep us alive, the sofa won’t!
To your happiness and new experiences