Look around at all your stuff. The big stuff. The little stuff. Don’t forget the stuff that you no longer have because it broke or wore out or you lost or gave away. And remember all that stuff that fills your closets, drawers, shelves, and cabinets.
What happens to all that stuff when you die? Some of it will be taken by the people you love and incorporated into all the stuff they already have. Some of it will be sold. Some of it will be donated. A lot of it will be thrown out. I know this, because we just went through this with my grandparents. Fortunately, they are still alive, but we had to move them into a nursing home where there was no place for almost all of their stuff. We had to choose what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to throw away.
So, I’ve been thinking about stuff. Some stuff is important and necessary. Some of it makes our lives better. But if so much of it is unneeded or unwanted after we’re gone, how important can all that stuff be? How much time, energy, and money do we and should we spend on acquiring, keeping, and disposing of our stuff?
Obviously, the right stuff and the right amount of stuff will be different for different people. Where is the line, the balance? How do we know?
“Is this thing worthy of my life?”
You’ve spent your time earning money. Time = Money. Your life is made up of time. Life = Time. Time = Money = Life. You’ve spent part of your LIFE earning money. When you spend money on something, you are saying that this thing is worthy of your life. Is it?
If it’s not, don’t buy it. Don’t acquire it. Don’t throw it out. Don’t make the people you love get rid of it when you’re gone.
But the memories I have of my grandparents only take up room in my heart, and because my heart is limitless, I can keep them there forever. I remember that my Grandmother’s special treat was to take me and my sister to Red Lobster. It was a little tradition that we always looked forward to. I remember that my grandfather kept the refrigerator stocked with Yoohoo, and my favorite part of the summer afternoon was running in after playing outside and opening the refrigerator to pull out an ice cold chocolatey drink. I remember giving my grandparents a CD of music at their 60th wedding anniversary full of songs they might have played at their wedding only to have him look at it and ask, “What is this?” So, then I had to go to the store and also buy him a CD player.
Give, because you can’t take it with you when you die. What can you give that will create a memory that someone you love will cherish after you go?