Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Accidental accumulation

I was reading comments in a New York Times article about car-less societies, and one of the comments referred to the "stuff" that we accidentally accumulate.

This hits home. As much as I do not wish to accumulate in this way (savings? yes. just stuff? no.) today I emptied many bags out of our attic and filled the back of our Subaru in order to deliver it to Goodwill.

Where does all this stuff come from?! Some of it is from Tessa, and I'm pretty guilt-free about that....she grows out of things, and we pass them along, and that is good. It does seem, however, that I accidentally accumulate things. I am working hard at avoiding accidental accumulation, but it seems that my attic tells a tale that I have a ways to go. I think I've come a LONG way, I think that I'm doing better than ever before....but I'm not "there."

I'm working hard at buying only high quality things, so they won't need replacement. This is easier for me to do now than at any other time of my life, because though finances are tight, we have a household stocked with all of the essentials. When we were younger, we were still acquiring the niceties of life - if someone was coming to spend the night, we might have needed to buy pillows, or extra towels. To serve a meal we were sometimes lacking in the right platter, etc. But now? Now we have pillows and towels and sheets and platters galore, and what is lacking is minimal (despite what I believe when I enter a housewares shop).

Accidental accumlation indeed. Maybe that phrase will help me to be more intentional.

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