03 November 2012

The Problem With Stuff

My man and I were talking with some other people today, and the conversation turned, as it sometimes does, to how so often we don't do what we really want to do. So often, we'll say to each other: "We really should get together with (Insert Name Here)," but we never do.

That poor Insert-Name-Here, he's one neglected friend. Well, him and his missus, Mrs Insert-Name-Here. Actually, to be precise, him, his missus, and all the Little Insert-Name-Heres, not to mention their grannies, uncles and aunties. We keep wanting to meet with them, because they're such great friends and we miss talking to them, but then we don't. And for why? Because we're busy. We're busy, and when we're not busy, we're tired from being busy.

Steve the Stuffed Bear buried under Stuff
And it's all because of our stuff. You see, there's six people in our family. Six largish people. And people need food. And they need space to live in, and clothes to wear, and transportation to get from here to there, and roofs over their heads and floors under their feet and windows to look out of and a grassy space out back to bounce on a trampoline on and have boxes full of dirt to grow carrots in. Because they like carrots, which is all to the good. We want them to like carrots.

But all this carrot-growing takes time, and energy. And so does looking after all that other stuff that comes with having roofs and floors and windows and clothes and toys and cars and trampolines. So much stuff. So much time and energy that goes into that stuff. And if it's not looking after the stuff, it's acquiring the stuff, and in order to acquire the stuff, you need money, and that requires enormous amount of time and energy to earn it. And even if you're tired of all this stuff-acquisition-and-maintenance and want to reverse the process by just getting rid of some of the stuff - well, have you ever tried cleaning out a twelve-year-old's bedroom? I rest my case (but not my weary head).

Sometimes, I almost wish something drastic would happen and rid me of all those stuff obligations. Something like, I don't know, a forest fire that wipes out our house so we could collect the insurance money and live on it happily ever after (with no stuff). Well, yeah - of course I know that I'd be horribly traumatised and would have a nervous breakdown long before I'd see a dime of the insurance money; I know this wouldn't be a great solution - so quit intruding common sense on my extremist fantasies, will you? My point is that sometimes I wish all the stuff would just go away. Because I'm tired. I'm tired of looking after stuff, of buying more stuff, of getting rid of broken stuff, of buying and cooking foodstuff and then disposing of uneaten and rotten foodstuff, of cleaning stuff and mending stuff and moving stuff from here to there because it's occupying the space of other stuff. And then, finally, I just hide my head inside a computer screen or a lovely Austen movie to forget about my stuffy obligations. I'm tired, you know?

So if you're one of those friends, a member of the numerous clan of Insert-Name-Heres, please forgive me for not having spent any time with you lately. I really miss you.

Life, the Universe, and the Problem With Stuff. I think I'll have a nap now.


  1. oh, Angelika! This is BRILLIANT! LOL!

  2. I Hear you on the "something drastic" happening. I can always tell when I'm feeling like things are Too Much when I find the thought going through my mind that if my pets just died...things would be simpler. That sounds awful without me there to explain what I mean but...there it is. M-S and I were just talking about fires and houses and stuff the other day. ;-)

    Lately I've been feeling as though our "stuff" - whether materials things or commitments or our own expectations of ourselves have been pulling us down. I can almost see strings tied to each thing and attached to my shoulders - weighing me down. Something has come together in the last month for me to finally, finally Do something Major about it. So...I guess I'm being my own "fire" these days...burning through our home and lives. It's a bit crazy and tiring but I have high hopes that I'll have huge amounts of energy freed up once I'm done and feeling more "stuff"-free in every way.

    1. Heh, I know exactly what you mean about the pets.