When walking the dog, I notice the houses that go up for sale or rent, the new foreclosures and the ones that are out right abandoned. I have been in my current home for almost 12 years. When walking this morning, my mind wandered to selling my house and buying one of these foreclosed or abandoned. It would mean work to get the new place cleaned up and repaired, but I would be way ahead financially, so no problem. Then I thought that we might have to stay in an apartment or residence hotel for a few weeks. Then it hit me. No house payment, no home ownership costs, no excess stuff. Hummm, that is an interesting thought. Maybe less is more? All the “stuff” in life is like baggage we carry around. We think we need it. We rent storage units when we run out of room. We cling to it, just in case we need it again. I tried to clean out the garage last month. My kids went crazy. Getting rid of unwanted stuff is emotional for them. They get that from their father! The keeping of the stuff is emotional for me. On those morning walks, I sometimes see into garages with absolutely nothing in them. How is that possible? Then others are very organized, with cabinets and the floor so clean you can eat spaghetti off it. (I had a friend when I was in high school who said that about his friend’s garage floor) How do they do that?
As usual, I have wandered away from the topic — somewhat. The topic is can we be happy with less? I think I would be much happier with less. I read Robin’s latest entry on this subject and it brought my morning musings to mind. He talks of being happy as you are. How many of us are happy with our life? How many of us complain our life? That “I am not worthy” internal “tape” plays often in my head. “Why can’t I just do what I know I need to do?” Is this where Buddhism come into play? Can I just chant to be happy? There is a concept.
Here is the link to Robin’s entry: http://fraughtwithperil.com/rbeck/2011/06/12/right-effort/
On this topic, last month was contribution month in SGI. A CD was distributed to encourage the members about contribution. We watched it at a district meeting. A few leaders talked and then the experience… It took a few minutes for me to realize, I had heard this experience before. The man talked of his college days when he was very poor. And then his early adulthood when he was also poor. Then he talked about how he and his wife always contributed, no matter what. By the end, he was bragging about how much money his family has — a mansion in California wine country, a ski vacation home, a summer beach home, and my favorite – chartered planes for family vacations. I had heard this many years ago at a big meeting is SF. I was disgusted about halfway though. But everyone else was envious. When you have that much on the line, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I’d be so worried about losing it or keeping it or keeping track of it.
I’m going to go home and work on shedding some stuff and being happy as I am.