Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Reflecting on Life's Extras

Years ago, when my parents were both still alive they had a sofa and a love seat that I loved.  After they were gone, our son was about to graduate from Grad School and go on to his first post-college job. The sofa and love seat had a home and would go on to make many people happy.  After Quanah and his wife, Erin, got a new sofa/love seat set, grandma's furnishings moved on to friends of theirs who were now also working in the area, post-grad-school.  Later, these same friends were moving up in the world, bought grown-up furniture, and contacted Quanah about grandma's couch.  They had met a woman in crisis who needed furniture and would Q mind if they moved the sofa and love seat to her?  No problem was the short answer.  When Quanah told me, I am comforted by the thought that so many people had made use of these pieces and, in the end, provided comfortable seating for a woman who had been left with nothing.  It had been 13 years from the time my mother had passed.  That was a lot of goodness being spread around.

We all have an abundance of something and not necessarily a good something.  Material abundance comes most quickly to mind.  Spiritual abundance follows, then physical or artistic giftedness perhaps.  Are we attractive, healthy, and intelligent and to what degree?  These are all good somethings but what if you suffer from an abundance of "want" in your life, or perhaps an abundance of "ignorance"?

Charles Dickens showed these two downsides of the idea of abundance most vividly in his book, "A Christmas Carol".  With the stark images of two children as symbols of our responsibility to each other, we are shown that we all share the same present and the same future.  If we don't care for the least among us - the weak,  the hungry, the sick, the elderly, and the frail, we are doomed.  If we don't care, we won't show our children the example of caring, and there will eventually be no one to care about anyone.  

So, I think about my abundance and all that I have been given.  I have to ask myself how much of it do I actually need?  Accumulation is rampant in our society.  I'm as guilty as anyone and it is because I have been blessed with much in my life, that I now examine what I've actually done with it.  No confessional coming, I promise, but I have made a bit of a list.  

Of course, when you start to really think about wants and needs, they tend to grow so, be warned.  If you decide to go there, your own list could take you into challenging waters.  Starting your list, you may find yourself feeling very heavy.  The good news is that's the door you walk through to begin seeing the need around you.

As we age, we may come to discover that the things we hold on to, are the things we least the need.  Each time I go upstairs at home, I find myself getting rid of things.  As anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm not a fan of going upstairs of any sort, let alone the ones here at home.  But I do, on occasion, and when I do I always come down feeling a bit lighter.  

"Life is but a breath", a wise woman once told me. Blessings, suffering, and loss all contribute to our abundance list and taking an inventory of abundances can put order to one's life.  So, be brave. Take inventory.  No matter where your discoveries lead you, you will always have the choice to change the results, especially if you don't like the outcome.  And then, you too will find opportunities to spread the goodness around.


  1. I love this, and you are so right about it!! The more we age, what is important changes. What a story about the furniture!

    1. I love that I have that memory of mom's furniture. It was special and we all remember it.

  2. Lovely reflection and so true ❤ We both so enjoyed that set, and Quanah particularly has many cherished memories.

  3. Lots of Truth to chew on Annie.
    Beautifully written and that furniture has been a blessing to so many. I love the story and it's memories.
    I think we all need some purging in our lives...
    Great post.

  4. Hi Annie, thanks for commenting on my blog post.
    To answer your question..I haven't seen this particular flea market since 2008. It was held on someones private acreage .
    I practically wore my camera out taking pictures of all the interesting settings.
    Wish I could find it again.

  5. What a beautiful post. I love the story about the sofa and loveseat. Luckily my husband and I are not collectors so our home is sparse. I love that it is easier to keep clean this way. Separating wants from needs definitely becomes easier with age.

    1. the story about the sofa and loveseat is interesting

  6. I would live as a minimalist if I could, in my personal surroundings. But alas, I keep finding all these "things" that I seem to "need".

  7. I love this sentence:"the things we hold on to, are the things we least the need."...

    Have a wonderful weekend

  8. I like reading this article teaches the good to children to do and share with others.


    Greetings from me in Indonesia

  9. Beautiful post :)
    Have a wonderful day :)

  10. What a lovely history of your parents' couch and love seat - I can understand that it makes you happy.
    You are so right about the abundance. I've found that the older I get the more I want to get rid of things while also really appreciating the things that are precious to me. Cleaning out is no small task though.

  11. Hello, great post. I found I can be happy with less, hubby and I went through our home and donated or trashed many things we were holding onto. Some things we gave to our son, why wait till we are gone. Enjoy your day, have a happy new week!